In this blog we’ll walk through the steps to upgrade an ESXi host running VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 1. Prior to updating you need to check out and fully understand the upgrade considerations and note which version vSphere you’re running and what’s supported versus not supported. Remember, the key to success is proper planning. Below is a nice matrix that I grabbed off of the 6.7 Upgrade Considerations link referenced above.
Prior to upgrading your ESXi hosts or even installing vSphere 6.7 from scratch you need to make sure that all of your ancillary components in the environment support vSphere 6.7. For instance this includes all parts of the vRealize Suite as well as the other integration points like your VADP-based backup product. Not all software manufacturers support 6.7 for example.
Assuming you’ve already deployed vCenter Server 6.7 or upgraded to vCenter Server 6.7 and all other pieces – Personally I built a brand new vCenter Server 6.7 so I could take advantage of Enhanced Linked Mode and its new support for the embedded PSC.
Prep The Upgrade to 6.7!
In my environment I run HP DL360 Gen 9 servers and I need to use the HPe specific ISO image for vSphere 6.7. The vendor specific ISO images contain the important hardware drivers and packages for their specific hardware, so this is the recommended approach for a smooth upgrade. You can download these images off of my.vmware.com.
After downloading the appropriate ISO we’ll want to upload this into VMware Update Manager within vCenter. New for 6.7, VUM is now available in the cool HTML5-based interface and works quite well.
Once you upload the ESXi Image into VUM, create a baseline for this upgrade and then attach the baseline to the host or hosts which you’ll be upgrading.
Choose the upgrade baseline you just created.
In my example I’m attaching the baseline to the Cluster and click OK to attach the upgrade baseline.
Time to Remediate!
Prior to remediation you can run the Pre-Check Remediation on the host or cluster to make look for any issues. When I did this, it found nothing. The pre-check appears to check for issues with the Cluster, DRS/HA Admission and vSAN health at the level as well asVM issues and actions to be taken. To remediate your host(s) to vSphere 6.7 it’s really as easy as placing the host in Maintenance Mode and clicking Remediate!
The Remediation wizard does ask a few questions and requires you to accept the EULA. After accepting the EULA (NO ONE EVER READS THESE!) double check your host and click OK!
The upgrade, quite honestly, is pretty simple, easy and uneventful. I’ve upgraded all the hosts in my lab, 5 to be exact and have encountered zero issues. To track the progress you can watch the progress bar in vCenter.
I like to open the IPMI interface to the ESXi host so I can see what’s happening live.
Once the host boots up we can see that we’re now running VMware vSphere 6.7!
AND in vCenter we’re showing as remediated!
Its really easy to upgrade to vSphere 6.7 as long as the proper preparation and checks are done ahead of time. VMware Update Manager makes the process super simple and easy to get done fast and at mass. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps you get your environment updated quickly.