Upgrading your ESXi Hosts

9-29-2013-1-59-03-PMLast week, we discussed how to monitor our virtual and backup infrastructure using VeeamOne. During that demonstrations, I realized that my virtual infrastructure is outdated; and to be more specific, the build I’m using was released back in February 2017.

In the past, every time VMware released a new build, I downloaded and went through the manual installation process.

This time, I asked myself, “There must be a better way to upgrade the VMware Hypervisor without downloading the ISO, and then running through the boot and installation /upgrade process.

On this blog, I will share my experience with you to explain how easily you can upgrade your ESXi host to the latest build; so, let’s start…

Our short journey will start with the following link, where you can check the latest VMware build released:

https://esxi-patches.v-front.de/ESXi-6.5.0.html

After you have accessed the website from the link, you will be able to check the latest release version (build) and compare it with your current running build. For example, if you have read the previous blog on VeeamOne, you will see that I am running ESXi 6.5 build 4487370, dated February 2017 (bottom of the page). Reading through the list of builds, we notice that the latest build is 5310538 dated April 2017.

To start the upgrade process, we have to run through the following steps:

Current version number

From the list, write down the build number; we are going to use it in the upgrade process. In our example here, we have these numbers:

vbuild.JPG

Preparing the ESXi host 

The next step is to enable the ESXi host SSH, if it is not already enabled. By default, this option is disabled. You can easily enable it though the vCentre of Host WebGUI client. See the Figure 1.

Figure 1 – SSH at Edit Security Profile

SSH.JPG

Start the upgrade process

On connecting to the ESXi host via SSH, you then have to adjust the firewall rules to allow for outbound HTTP requests. This has to be done before starting the upgrade process; do this by running the following command:

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient

That command enabling the passing of HTTP outbound. Next, you run the following command to start the process:

esxcli software profile update -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml -p ESXi-6.5.0-20170404001-standard

Tidy up and reboot

Now, lets tidy up by resetting our firewall rules back the way they were by running the following command, and then rebooting our server.

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e false -r httpClient

reboot

Conclusion

When you are consolidating your infrastructure under several Hosts, special care must be taken to ensure that you are running the latest hotfixes, update and security updates.

Upgrading your virtual infrastructure is very critical, and it shouldn’t take much time if you use the steps we have described here.

Leave a Reply