vSphere 7.0 Upgrade Process

MacStadium is excited to announce support for vSphere 7.0 in your VMware Cloud environment. If you are looking to upgrade to the latest release from VMware, please review the following information to ensure you meet the necessary requirements to upgrade.

Prerequisites and Risks

In order to smoothly upgrade your VMware Cloud environment, please review the following:

  • You must be running at least vSphere 6.7U3 to upgrade to 7.0. Earlier versions of vSphere will need to be upgraded to 6.7U3 before the upgrade can take place. If you are already running an earlier version of 6.7, you can follow these simple steps to complete the upgrade for your VCSA and ESXi hosts. If you are not running 6.7 currently, please put in a MacStadium Support ticket to have your VMware Cloud environment upgraded to 6.7 before proceeding.

  • Currently supported hardware includes: all 2018 MacMini models, 2013 MacPros running iSCSI storage, 2013 MacPros running Fiber Channel (additional steps will be required to update this host type, outlined below)

  • While VMware does support the 2018 MacMinis running ESXi 7.0, please note that the internal drives for this hardware model are currently inaccessible from the ESXi platform. All storage for 2018 MacMinis will need to be accessed via SAN. We will update this page if there are any changes.

  • MacStadium will perform the vCenter upgrade of your VMware environment in an approved, customer-provided maintenance window. MacStadium will also provide install media for the ESXi host upgrades to the customer. Instructions on how to perform the ESXi host upgrades is provided later in this document.

  • Customers are responsible for stopping any CI/CD functions in their environment before the vCenter upgrade maintenance window. Any tasks left running can prevent the upgrade from executing correctly and possibly corrupt the vCenter. Customers may resume normal tasks after the upgrade is completed.

  • Customers are responsible for upgrading their ESXi hosts after the vCenter upgrade and any VMTools or VM hardware upgrades they wish to perform on their virtual machines.

  • Unlike the MacStadium 6.7 upgrade, No IP or FQDN changes are expected with the 7.0 upgrade. All access configurations and general inventory layout should remain the same after the upgrade.

  • vSphere 7.0 has removed the old Flash web client interface. If you have still been using this, you will need to update your web addresses to use the HTML5 page, which can be found at https://your-vcenter-ip/ui

vCenter Upgrade Procedure

After you have reviewed the Prerequisites and Risks, you make request an upgrade to vSphere 7.0. Please take the following steps.

  • Open a MacStadium Support ticket requesting an upgrade to vSphere 7.0. Please provide the following information in your ticket: A maintenance window of at least 2 hours for the upgrade to be performed and a point of contact for approval and possible troubleshooting during the maintenance window. The maintenance window should be at least 5 days out from the ticket creation date to ensure MacStadium resources are available.

  • MacStadium will require final approval from the Point of Contact before starting the upgrade. This can be given anytime within 24 hours of the upgrade via the ticket.

  • Customer will need to stop all CI/CD or any other automated tasks interfacing with the vCenter environment at the start of the maintenance window. Any continued task processing may prevent our ability to upgrade the environment and the maintenance will be postponed to a later time.

  • MacStadium Support will perform the upgrade and inform the customer when the environment is ready to be used again.

  • If any issues arise, MacStadium will notify the customer via the ticket and work with them to determine if troubleshooting should occur or a rollback.

ESXi Host Upgrade Procedure - iSCSI

After your vCenter has been upgraded successfully, you will be given a baseline in your environment for the ESXi host upgrades to 7.0. The process for upgrading hosts running iSCSI storage is different from hosts running Fiber Channel. Note that clusters running multiple hosts should be able to perform these upgrades with no downtime to their VM environment, however it is still recommended to run these upgrades in customer-approved maintenance windows during non-peak hours to minimize risks and impact. If you are using single host clusters, you will need to power down all VMs on the host to be able to perform the upgrade. Please plan accordingly.

Upgrade procedures - iSCSI storage

  • Login to your 7.0 vSphere Web Client.

  • Select your host or cluster. If you are doing a single host, right-click the host, go to Maintenance Mode and select Enter Maintenance Mode. If your host does not enter maintenance mode after 5-10 minutes, you will need to manually power down your VMs or vMotion them to another host.

  • Go to the Updates tab and select the ESXi 7.0 Upgrade baseline.

  • Select Remediate.

  • Monitor the upgrade tasks. Note the ESXi host will reboot and be offline for 5-15 minutes. If your host is offline for longer than 15 minutes, open a MacStadium support ticket with the IP of the host affected.

ESXi Host Upgrade Procedure - Fiber Channel

Due to a hardware compatibility issue, MacStadium is required to replace the Fiber Channel HBA cards on ESXi hosts running Fiber Channel prior to the customer being able to run the ESXi upgrade process. This will require host downtime to replace the hardware and is recommended to be done a single host at a time to minimize impact and customer downtime. Attempting to perform the upgrade on a host prior to the hardware replacement can result in your ESXi host becoming unresponsive and can require a rebuild of the host. It is recommended that all host hardware be replaced in a cluster before performing the ESXi host upgrades. Note that clusters running multiple hosts should be able to perform these upgrades with no downtime to their VM environment, however it is still recommended to run these upgrades in customer-approved maintenance windows during non-peak hours to minimize risks and impact. If you are using single host clusters, you will need to power down all VMs on the host to be able to perform the hardware replacement and upgrade.

Upgrade Procedures - Fiber Channel

  • Open a MacStadium Support ticket requesting your Fiber Channel hosts hardware be upgraded. Provide a 15-30 minute maintenance window per host to be upgraded. MacStadium support will review the timeframes and provide approval for the maintenance.

  • During the maintenance window, the customer (or with approval the MacStadium Support Technician) will login to the vSphere Web Client, put the host into Maintenance Mode and power it down. The Fiber Channel HBA will be replaced and the host will be powered back on. Storage will be re-provisioned and validated to the new cards.

  • The host may be taken out of Maintenance Mode after storage has been validated. This process will repeat for all approved hosts in the maintenance window.

  • Once all hosts have had the HBA replaced in a cluster, the customer may follow the standard Upgrade process as outlined in the iSCSI section.

Updated 6 months ago


vSphere 7.0 Upgrade Process


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