The following instructions describe the process to upgrade the vCenter Server Appliance within your environment. The outlined steps are applicable to any version upgrades.
Please note there are instructions included on setting up VCSA backups and it is recommended before performing the vCenter upgrade. All CI/CD services should be paused during the upgrade window. Typical upgrade window has been 20-30 minutes for the vCenter. To upgrade to 6.7U3, select version 220.127.116.11000. You can safely upgrade from your current version of vCenter to 6.7U3. Virtualizing macOS Catalina requires upgrading to vSphere 6.7U3.
While we're here for you, we expect that most customers won't require MacStadium support to upgrade their environments. However, as you read over the requirements outlined below, if you are unsure of how to proceed, please open a support ticket, so we can assist you.
This process generally requires about an hour of down-time. Please plan appropriately.
You must be running at least vSphere 6.7 before starting this upgrade. If you are still running 6.5 or earlier, please open a MacStadium support ticket to have your environment upgraded before starting this process.
6.7 Upgrade 1 is not compatible with the Mac Pro. We recommend skipping 6.7U1 and upgrading directly to 6.7U2 or 6.7U3.
VMware recommends backing up your VCSA before performing any upgrades.
We have provided a guide on how to setup VCSA backups for your environment located here. Please read through it and perform at least one backup before starting the upgrade.
You must upgrade your vCenter environment before upgrading your ESX hosts.
Upgrading your hosts before your VCSA will cause the ESXi hosts to disconnect and not be able to communicate with your VCSA. If you run into this issue, please open a MacStadium support ticket.
All CI/CD services should be paused during the upgrade window. You will be notified once all the hosts have been migrated and network information updated and you are ready to use the new VCSA and cut over any CI/CD functions to the new environment.
For the ESXi hosts, typical upgrade window has been 5-10 minutes per host. Simultaneous host upgrades are recommended. In the past, a host-per-cluster upgrade process was implemented, performing the maintenance on multiple clusters, a single host per cluster at a time. CI/CD functions do not need to be paused during the ESX host upgrades. However, it is recommended to monitor the environment during upgrade tasks to ensure hosts come back up after reboots as expected and to monitor for performance issues. Any host-related issues can be addressed by opening a support ticket.
This guide provides two methods of upgrading: the online upgrade or the offline upgrade.
The online upgrade requires internet access for your VCSA appliance. If you have blocked internet access for your ESXi network or your vCenter appliance, you will not be able to use this method and need to use the offline method.
This process is straight forward, and can be followed as long as your VCSA has access to the internet. If you are not sure whether or not your VCSA has access to the internet, you can follow these steps and we will call out points where you might see a failure if you do not have internet access. If that is the case, you will need to follow the Offline Upgrade process.
vCenter_IPis your VCSA IP.
rootand Admin password:
*********, which can be found in your IP Plan.
- If your Administrator password has been changed, and you need to recover it, please open a MacStadium Support ticket and we will provide the password back to you.
Select Update from the menu on the left.
At the top right is a button called Check Updates.
- Select the Check Updates button and select the Check CD-ROM and URL button.
- You should see a list of updates populate in the table below.
- Select the 18.104.22.168000 option in the list and then Stage and Install.
If you do not see the list populate, you may not have internet access for your vCenter environment. You will likely need to go to the Offline Upgrade Process.
You can select Stage Only to prep your environment instead of upgrading immediately. This can help cut down on the expected downtime of your environment, however we still recommend 1-2 hours for the actual upgrade window. If you use Stage Only, you will need to repeat these steps to this point to begin the actual upgrade.
Read through the License Agreement and check the box and hit Next.
If you would like to participate in the Customer Improvement Experience you can leave the box checked and select Next. Otherwise, uncheck this box and select Next.
Ensure you have backed up your VCSA (see the How to Backup VCSA guide if you have not already), check the box and select Start.
If you did not Stage previously, you will see the Staging process start. If you selected Stage Only, you will only stage the upgrade and need to perform these same steps again during your upgrade maintenance window.
Once the upgrade is complete, you will need to reload your browser.
Log back in to
vCenter_IPis your VCSA IP.
Finally, verify the vCenter version shows
These are additional steps that should be followed if your vCenter is isolated from the internet and cannot download the latest updates online. MacStadium provides the install media for your
vCenter through the CD-ROM and allows you to do the upgrade through this.
This will require opening a MacStadium support ticket to perform the upgrade.
You will follow the Online Upgrade Process after MacStadium has provided the correct install media to your environment and MacStadium will remove the install media when your upgrade is complete.
- Login to the MacStadium Portal using your credentials and open a support ticket. For the title, use "vSphere 6.7U3 Offline Upgrade".
- Your ticket will be updated when the update media has been attached to your VCSA and you may begin the upgrade process.
- Follow the Online Upgrade process and finish the upgrade in your approved maintenance window.
- Once the upgrade is complete, update the MacStadium support ticket to say your upgrade is complete. We will detach the install media from your VCSA at that time.
You should only follow these steps after your vCenter environment has been upgraded. Performing the upgrade out of order can cause a loss of access to your ESX hosts and VMs.
Preparing for Upgrades:
- Once you have upgraded your vCenter, login to the vCenter environment, go to your Datastores and select the ISO datastore.
If you do not see the ISO datastore, you will need to open a ticket with MacStadium support to request the ESX 6.7U3 install media. A link will be provided to the ISO. You will need to wait for this ISO before you can continue with this process. If you were provided the ISO through a link, you can move on to step 3.
- After selecting the ISO datastore, go the Files tab.
- Navigate through the folders to find the VMWARE folder.
- In this folder, you should find a file called VMware ESXi 6.7.0 Update 3.
- Select this file then hit the Download button.
Once the file has finished downloading, select the Menu button at the top of the screen and go to Update Manager.
From the Update Manager screen, select the ESXi Images tab and select Import. .
You may see another ESXi image here from the 6.7 upgrade. It is safe to ignore this entry.
- Navigate to the ISO you just downloaded and upload it.
- You should see a new line item for the new ESXi image you imported.
- Ensure it says VMware ESXi 6.7.0 Update 3 in the Product field.
- Next, we need to create a baseline for this new image.
- Select the Baselines tab and then select New→ Baseline.
Give the baseline an easily identifiable name like ESX 6.7U3 Upgrade then select Next.
Select the 6.7U3 image you just uploaded.
- Be sure to select build 14320338, if you have multiple images in your list.
- Select Finish on the final screen.
- Verify you see the new baseline in your baseline list.
- Schedule a maintenance window during which you will upgrade your hosts.
- Follow the Upgrade ESX hosts section to complete the host upgrades.
This section assumes you have done all the prep work listed above and are ready to upgrade your hosts. Most environments will not need downtime to upgrade; however, if you have a single ESX host or only use local storage, you may need to power down your VMs to perform the upgrade. Please reach out to MacStadium Support with any questions.
- Login to your vCenter environment.
- Navigate to the cluster you want to perform the host upgrades in.
- Select the cluster, and go to the Updates tab.
- Scroll down to the Attached Baselines section.
- Select the Attach, and the Attach Baseline or Baseline Group buttons.
Check the box for the baseline created for the ESX 6.7U3 baseline and select Attach.
Select the newly attached Baseline.
- You should see the Remediate button become available. Select it.
Accept theUser Agreement and select OK.
You should see a list of all the hosts in the cluster. Check the box for the hosts you want to upgrade.
- Select Remediate when all the appropriate hosts have been selected.
- A task should start called Remediate Entity.
- Keep an eye on the task and watch for any errors.
- The host(s) should go into maintenance mode and reboot once during the upgrade.
- If you see any errors, you can go to the cluster and select the Monitor tab and select the Tasks section.
- From there, you can click on the task to get more details as to why the remediation failed.
- Feel free to open a MacStadium support ticket if you run into any issues trying to upgrade. Also, if your host does not come back online after 15 minutes, open a MacStadium support ticket and identify which host is having the issue. We will address the host and bring it back online promptly.
- Once the host is back online, go to the Summary page of the host and verify the new build version is displayed.
- Continue upgrading until all the hosts in your environment have been upgraded.
Once all your hosts have been upgraded to the new version, there are only a few more steps to completing the upgrade of your VMware environment.
- Upgrade VMTools and (if necessary) upgrade the VM hardware.This process is well-documented by VMware. You can find more information here for VMware Tools. You can find directions for upgrading your VM hardware here.
Be sure to upgrade VM Tools before doing the VM hardware upgrades. Upgrading VM hardware before VMware Tools can lead to corruption of your VMs. Also note that VM hardware upgrades require your VM to be powered off and cannot be rolled back after upgrading.
You are not required to upgrade VMware Tools or VM hardware, however it is a recommendation from VMware to utilize the latest features and functions of version 6.7.
Updated about a year ago