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May 11

VCP6-DCV Delta Study – Section 4 – Objective 4.1

This post covers Section 4, Upgrade a vSphere Deployment, Objective 4.1, Perform ESXi Host and Virtual Machine Upgrades.

  • Identify upgrade requirements for ESXi hosts
  • Upgrade a vSphere Distributed Switch
  • Upgrade VMware Tools
  • Upgrade Virtual Machine hardware
  • Upgrade an ESXi Host using vCenter Update Manager
  • Stage multiple ESXi Host upgrades
  • Determine whether an in-place upgrade is appropriate in a given upgrade scenario

Objective 4.1 VMware Resources:


– Identify upgrade requirements for ESXi hosts
ESXi Requirements in the vSphere Upgrade Guide on page 37.

The following minimum requirements must be met to upgrade or install ESXi 6.0:

  • Supported Server Platform – http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl
  • At least 2 CPU cores required.
  • 64-bit x86 processor released after September 2016.
  • NX/XD bit enabled in the BIOS
  • Minimum of 4 GB of physical RAM, at least 8 GB of physical RAM recommended.
  • SCSI disk or a local, non-network, RAID LUN with unpartitioned space for the virtual machines.
  • At least one Gigabit or faster Ethernet controller.
  • Minimum 1 GB boot device.

vSphere 6.0 supports booting ESXi hosts from the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).
VMware Auto Deploy requires the legacy BIOS.
Changing between legacy BIOS and UEFI is not supported after installing ESXi 6.0.

For environments that boot from a SAN or use Auto Deploy, you need not allocate a separate LUN for each ESXi host.

– Upgrade a vSphere Distributed Switch
Upgrade a vSphere Distributed Switch to a Later Version in the vSphere Networking Guide on page 28.

Before upgrading a vSphere Distributed Switch to Version 6.0.0 vCenter must be upgrade to version 6.0 and all hosts connected to the distributed switch must be upgraded to ESXi 6.0.

Upgrading a virtual distributed switch to 6.0 enables the features available in for vDS 6.0.
The upgrade of a virtual distributed switch is a non-disruptive operation. Host and virtual machines attached to the vDS being upgraded will not experience any downtime.

– Upgrade VMware Tools
Installing VMware Tools in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide on page 229.

VMwareTools

Configure Virtual Machines to Automatically Upgrade VMware Tools in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide on page 160.
checkfortoolsatpoweron

– Upgrade Virtual Machine hardware
Upgrade the Compatibility for Virtual Machines in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide on page 248.

Virtual machine compatibility determines the virtual hardware available to the virtual machine.
VMHardware

Virtual Machine Hardware Version for vSphere 6 is version 11.
Virtual Machines upgraded to Hardware Version 11 are only compatible with hosts running ESXi 6.0.

Virtual Machine Compatibility in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide on page 89.

vmhardwareupgrade

– Upgrade an ESXi Host using vCenter Update Manager
– Stage multiple ESXi Host upgrades
When upgrading hosts managed by vCenter Server, you must upgrade to vCenter Server 6 before you upgrade ESXi.

The upgrade process using VUM has not really changed since 5.5.
Using vSphere Update Manager to Perform Orchestrated Host Upgrades in the vSphere Upgrade Guide on page 135.

Hosts must have more than 350MB of free space in the /boot partition to support the Update Manager upgrade process. If the host that you are upgrading does not have more than 350MB of free space in the /boot partition, use a scripted or interactive upgrade instead.

The following vSphere components are upgraded by Update Manager:
– ESX and ESXi kernel (vmkernel)
– Virtual machine hardware
– VMware Tools
– Virtual appliances

Upgrading hosts in a VSAN cluster:
– Remediation process might take an extensive amount of time to complete.
– Only one host from a Virtual SAN cluster can be in a maintenance mode at any time
– Update Manager remediates hosts that are part of a Virtual SAN cluster sequentially even if using the option to remediate the hosts in parallel.
– Virtual machines on the host uses a VM storage policy with a setting for “Number of failures to tolerate=0”, the host might experience unusual delays when entering maintenance mode. The delay occurs because Virtual SAN has to migrate the virtual machine data from one disk to another in the Virtual SAN datastore cluster.

– Determine whether an in-place upgrade is appropriate in a given upgrade scenario
Supported Upgrades to ESXi 6.0 in the vSphere Upgrade Guide on page 118.

Host running ESXi 5.0, ESXi 5.1, or ESXi 5.5 can be directly upgraded to 6.0.

Upgrade options:
– Upgrade using VUM
– Interactive Upgrade from an ESXi image on a CD/DVD or USB flash drive
– Scripted Upgrade
– Auto Deploy to reprovision the host and reboot it with a new image profile.
– esxcli command-line utility for ESXi

The esxupdate and vihostupdate utilities are not supported for ESXi 6.0 upgrades.



More Section Objectives in the VCP6-DCV Delta Exam Study Guide Index

I hope you found this helpful. Feel free to add anything associated with this section using the comments below. Happy studying.

About the author

vHersey

Hersey Cartwright is an IT professional with extensive experience designing, implementing, managing, and supporting technologies that improve business processes. Hersey is Solutions Architect for SimpliVity covering Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. He holds the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX-DV #128) certification. Hersey actively participates in the VMware community and was awarded the VMware vExpert title in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. He enjoys working with, teaching, and writing about virtualization and other data center technologies. Follow Hersey on Twitter @herseyc

1 comment

  1. Rob

    to be clear, the minimum CPU for an esxi 6.0 install cannot be September, 2016
    http://www.vhersey.com/2015/05/vcp6-dcv-delta-study-section-4-objective-4-1/
    under ‘identify upgrade requirements for esxi hosts”

    “64-bit x86 processor released after September 2016.”
    can’t be, we’re barely past September 2015.LOL
    just wanted to let you know.obviously a typo.
    Rob

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