Vmware 2V0-21.20 Topic: vSphere 7 ESXi, vCenter, and VM Upgrades
December 14, 2022

1. vSphere 7 Lifecycle Management

vSphere lifecycle manager is now the next generation of update manager. So if you’re familiar with Update Manager, a lot of the concepts for Life Cycle Manager are not going to be new to you. We used Update Manager to do things like upgrade and patch our ESPR and ESXi hosts and install VIM on those hosts as well. Vibes are just additional third-party software bundles. So we want to install some kind of third-party software on an ESXi host that’s distributed as a vibe, and we can use Update Manager to add extensions to ESXi hosts.

Those are vibes. We can also use Update Manager to update the virtual machine hardware and VMware tools on virtual machines. That’s really about it. We can’t do much more than that with Update Manager. So, what exactly is a lifecycle manager? Different. So with Lifecycle Manager, we get all of the functions of Update Manager plus image consistency. So what we essentially want to do here is establish a base image-based version of ESXi itself that’s going to be our base image. And that’s the main part of what makes an ESXi host an ESXi host: the base image. Then we’ve got other components, like third-party software packages, that need to be installed on ESXi.

We used to call them vibes. We’re calling them components now. And then we have things like the desired state for the firmware and the desired driver versions. And what we want to do is utilise Lifecycle Manager to maintain a consistent image across all of my ESXi hosts. So I can have this declarative lifecycle model where I basically choose the desired image for a cluster of ESXi hosts. We choose the required drivers, the required vendor addons, and the required firmware, and this is the state that we want our hosts to be in. So all hosts are kept in this state, and any hosts that drift outside of that state are remediated. Now, in order to make this work properly, all the hosts need to be from the same vendor and, ideally, the same model. And NSX is not currently supported in this first release, although I imagine it will be supported at some point in the future. All right, so let’s take a look at Lifecycle Manager in the VSphere client.

So here I am at the home screen of the Vsphere client, and I’m just going to click on Lifecycle Manager. So here we are at the home screen for Lifecycle Manager, and it brings us right away to our image depot. And this is where we can store stuff like base ESXi images, vendor addons, and third-party components. So these are the things that are going to make up my ESXi image. And I can click on “Actions” here, and I can potentially import updates. So if I chose to import updates, I could import a zip file. That zip file is an ESXi offline bundle. So, for example, here we are at my vmware.com.And I know this is version six to seven, update three, but just ignore the version for a moment. You can see here that there are different download media for ESXi. We can download the ISO image or we can download an offline bundle that’s in a zipped format. So if I want to download that offline bundle here, then I can manually import it to the image depot. But I’m not going to do that. What I’m going to do instead is cancel this. And I’ve already taken to actions.and I’ve gone to sync updates. That resulted in updates being synchronised over my Internet connection.

So there are a couple of different ways I have available to get software added to this image depot. So now you can see that in my Image Depot, all of these software components have been successfully downloaded. You can see here an ESXi version (even Oga) and a build number here.And if we scroll down a little bit more, we can see some of our vendor software components. Things like Dell EMC add-ons for PowerEdge services and HPE customizations for HPE servers And then we’ve got some components listed down here as well. So now I’ve got all this stuff available here in my image depot. I’m going to go to hosts and clusters. And you can see here that I’ve created a cluster. I’m just going to quickly drag one of my hosts into that cluster. So there’s actually a host in there to work with. And on this cluster, I’m in the updatestab, and we have the option here to manage this cluster with a single image. So let’s click on that button. Is this something new with VCenter Lifecycle Manager? You can see here that we have the ability now to make sure that all the hosts in my cluster get the same image. And there are some prerequisites here. And in my environment, all of my hosts are ESXi. Seven or later, they must be from the same vendor. Well, this is my home lab environment, so my hosts are actually virtual machines, so no problem there. But ideally, if you’re using this, your hosts should be from the same vendor, and optimally, they should be the same model as well. And then, finally, hosts may not be stateless.

So if you’ve created stateless hosts using AutoDeploy, that’s not a fit for this. So let’s set up an image here. I’m going to click on the setup image. Now I’ll choose the ESXi version that I want to use for this image, and then I’ll choose any vendor add-ons or any firmware and driver add-ons that I want to include here. So if I click on “vendor add-on,” there are some here for Dell and HPE. These aren’t really Dell hosts, but I’m going to go ahead and, just for demonstration purposes, add this vendor add-on and then additional components here. We can add components if we have them available, as you can see here. A number of components were made available as a result of the synchronisation that I just performed. I’m just going to grab one of them. I’m going to grab the VMware USB Nick Fling driver, and I’m going to go ahead and select that. So that must be a fling that’s been released by VMware. So I’m just going to add on that component as well. Then I’ll scroll down here and click “validate,” and my validate image task will be finished. So I’m going to go ahead and click “Save here.” And so now what I’ve basically done is establish an image comprised of the actual ESXi base image as well as some additional components as well.

And what it’s now doing is checking image compliance across my cluster to determine which ESXi hosts in the cluster have an image that is out of compliance with this and which ones do not. Okay, so now we can see the results of the compliance check, and we can see that both of my ESXi hosts are out of compliance with the image. So they are only showing the drift comparison here. Let’s look at the full image comparison. And you can see here, from a compliance perspective, the ESXi version that’s actually compliant; that’s the version that I already have on my ESXi hosts. So if I show only the drift comparison, it’s only going to show the things that these ESXi hosts need in order to be compatible with the image that I just created. So I’m just going to click on “Finish image setup,” and it’s basically telling me that this is a baseline that’s going to be attached to the cluster. And once you’ve done this, the cluster cannot go back to using baselines. I can change the image at any point later, but this is going to replace all the baselines attached to this cluster. OK, and so now that that’s finished, we’re ready to remediate. So you can see here that the hosts in this cluster are managed collectively. They’ve got this image that’s going to be applied to all of the hosts in the cluster. Then, if we scroll down a little, we can see under the image compliance screen that we have the option to remediate everything as well as run a PreCheck.

So the remediate option is similar to remediating with Update Manager using a baseline. This gives us the option to remediate individual hosts or to remediate all of the hosts at once. So I’m just going to go ahead and click on “remediate all.” And now we’re getting this remediation impact report, giving us an overview of the impact that the remediation will have and a more detailed impact for individual ESXi hosts as well. So we should check this over and agree to our licencing requirements. Let’s take a look here. Two hosts are noncompliant with the image. Two hosts will be rebooted, and we can see the impact on specific hosts where we have running VMs that will get migrated; they’ll enter maintenance mode, we’ll get the image, and they’ll get rebooted. So I’m fine with this. I’m going to accept the terms of the End User License Agreement, and I’m going to click on “Start remediation.” And what it’s now doing is pushing out this image along with these additional components to these two ESXi hosts. So this part is going to take a while because all of the hosts are going to have to be placed in maintenance mode and rebooted. So I’m just going to pause my recording while the remediation happens. So the remediation process is still occurring, but I just wanted to show you here so you can see It started rebooting my first host, so it must have finished remediating that host, and now it’s actually going through the process of placing that host in maintenance mode and rebooting it. And I can actually skip the remaining hosts here if I wanted to, but it’s still going. So now it’s going to move on to the next host. And much like Update Manager, that’s the way that this works. It’s going to remediate one host at a time and just kind of roll through an upgrade of all of these ESXi hosts. Okay, so now it seems like remediation is still in process.

One host is now complete. There’s still one host remaining, and I’m reasonably sure that the second host is going to fail. And I just wanted to mention why there is a DNS configuration issue on this second host. So when this host reboots, it’s actually going to revert to some incorrect DNS settings that are configured. And because of that, the host will not be able to be scanned for compliance. And that’s one of the things that happens when you do a remediation: not only does it actually install the necessary software, but when it’s done, it performs a compliance check on each and every host to validate that they are now compliant with the image. And here you can see the remediation process is complete, but the remediation of that second host failed. So one host is completed. One host failed because it was unable to scan afterwards to determine if that ESXi host was actually compliant with the image now. So yeah, I still have one host that’s out of compliance with the image, but I’ve got another ESXi host that is in compliance with the image. And so this one is in good shape. And if we click on the host itself, we can see our green check here when we go to image. We’re in compliance with this image. There is no drift. Everything is up to date there. If we go to the second host, we can see that this host is now out of compliance with the image. It doesn’t have some of the software components on it that we need to add for it to be in compliance with that image.

Now, as our final step, I want to show you how to actually export an image. So you have the ability to export your image in a variety of different formats, either as a JSON-formatted text file, an ISO image, or a zip file. So here’s my image. I can click on this little link here, and I can export this image. The JSON image is going to be able to be imported into other clusters that are managed by images. But the JSON text file is a really simple text file that only has metadata about your image, so it doesn’t actually have the image components included within it. An ISO image exports this image as an image that can be installed on an ESXi host. So I can take this, import it into other clusters, or just manually build an ESXi host with this ISO image. And then finally, I can use an azip file as an offline bundle. So I could use this offline bundle to import these components into a different V Center server. So I’m just going to export this image as a JSON text file because that will be really small and we can quickly take a look at it.

And yeah, here you can see the specifics in that JSON text file. It’s just telling it, “Hey, what version of ESXi should be part of this image? What additional components should be installed?” and anything else that’s part of my image will be included in that JSON text file. And then finally, one last thing I want to show you before we leave Lifecycle Manager here is that we can also check our hosts against the hardware compatibility list. And so this gives me the ability to check this cluster and see if the hardware within it is compatible with VSAM. So that is lifecycle management. And again, there are other things we can do in Lifecycle Manager, like upgrade VMware tools on virtual machines or upgrade the VM hardware version on virtual machines on our ESXi host. Those things are very similar to what we’ve done with Update Manager in the past. But this is new: being able to assign an image to a cluster of ESXi hosts and monitor those ESXi hosts for the appropriate image, including vendor addons, firmware, and driver addons and components. So that’s a new feature of Vise First that should make the management of ESXi hosts easier.

2. vSphere 7 Update Planner

The process of upgrading VCenter itself is relatively straightforward. However, the process becomes substantially more difficult as you add more compatible VMware products to your environment. And we typically handle this by referring to the update sequence documents available on the VMware Knowledge Base. So if I’m upgrading to Vsphere 7, I have to make sure that I upgrade all of my Vsphere products in the appropriate order. So you can see here all of these products, like V Realize Operations and V Realize Automation, and Site Recovery Manager, NSX, VCenter, ESX, VMware Tools, and so on and so forth. I have to make sure that I upgrade all of those products in the correct order.

And so we start with the lowest sequence number, and we work our way through each of these products one by one in order. And then there’s some other interoperability information included here below. But yeah, that’s part of the upgrade processā€”making sure that we follow this update sequence. And then another valuable tool in this process is the VMware product interoperability matrix. So here on the product interoperability matrix, I’ve chosen NSX for VSphere. I just chose version six four, and then I chose my Vsphere version. So let’s say in my environment I have NSX-64 for VSphere currently deployed. And I want to know: is that solution interoperable with VSphere 7? So I can put those services in here, and you can see there are no results. So the fact that there are no results means that these products are not interoperable. Let’s ditch NSX for Vsfare in favour of the NSX data center.

And you can see right away that it pops up with a result down below that those are compatible, so that’s the product interoperability matrix, which is basically a list of different products that you may have deployed here,  like, for example, Site Recovery Manager. I can pick my version. Is that version going to work with Version 7? You know, this particular version is not. How about Version eight three?So you can now choose from the various solutions you currently have in place and see if they are compatible with Vs. verse seven. And so this is a way for you to look at different services that are registered with V Center one at a time. But Update Planner is definitely going to make this process more simple. So the Vsphere update planner is supported in Vsphere 7 or later. And in order to access it, you have to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program. And if your environment is anything like mine, the first time you try to use Update Planner, it might be missing. So let’s take a look at my lab environment, and I’ll show you how to fix this. So here we are, in my lab environment. You can also see it here. I’m in the hosts and clusters view, and I’m going to click on my V Center server. And on the V Center server, I am going to go to Updates.

And here under Updates, you can see there’s this host area. There should be something here for Update Planner that is currently missing. So that’s what we need to fix. So if you need to fix this in your environment, What worked for me was issuing this service control command, which restarted my Vsphere client session. And when my session restarted, you’ll notice that Update Planner is now available here. So here I am, an update planner, for the first time. And so, as you can see, there is a new release. So this version of VCenter was released on January 29, 2020. Here’s the version, and here’s the bill that is an update. And I can see my release notes right here. So I’m just going to generate a report here for interoperability. And what this is going to do is it’s going to produce an interoperability report telling me, “Is this new version of V Center actually compatible with other VMware products that I currently have registered?” Now, I don’t have a lot of VMware products registered, like, for example, NSX or VRealize Operations or things like that. You can see here that the only thing I have listed here is ESXi. And so, yeah, it’s compatible with ESXi. That’s no problem. So as you can see here, this is going to greatly simplify the upgrade process when you’re upgrading Vcenter. I can see all of the products that I have registered with V Center here. And I can tell right off the bat: Is this new version of V Center actually going to be compatible with all of those new products?

3. Demo: Apply vCenter and vSphere License Keys

In this video, I’ll demonstrate how to assign licence keys to a V Center server and to some ESXi hosts. So here we are at the home screen of the VSpherer client. And from here, I’m going to navigate to the Administration view, and under the Administration view, we have the Licenses screen, so let’s take a look at assets under the Licenses screen. So I have one viewer here, and you can see that it’s currently under an evaluation license, and that licence is set to expire in the not too distant future. And if I take a look at my ESXi hosts, it’s the same story.

I’ve got an evaluation mode licence that is currently assigned to these ESXi hosts. So let’s take a look at the existing licence keys that are here. And as you can see at the moment, there are none. So I’m going to go ahead and click on my AddNew Licenses button and get my Vcenter licence key. That’s the first licence key that I’m going to grab, and I’m going to grey them out here so that I don’t share my licence keys with everybody. But I just went ahead and pasted in my Vcenter licence key, and now I’ve got a Visa Enterprise Plus License key as well. So I’m going to paste that in here too. So on each line, I put one licence key. The first line is my Vcenter license, and the second line is my Visa for Enterprise Plus licence that I’m going to apply to my ESXi hosts. And I’ll go ahead and hit Next here, and I’m going to appropriately name my licence keys and my VSphere Enterprise Plus License. I’ll name that appropriately as well.

So I’ll go ahead and hit Next here and hit Finish. And there we go. So now you can see I’ve got my VCenter licence and my Enterprise Plus license. And if I scroll over to the right, we can see that my Vcenter licence has zero instances currently used and the capacity of two Vcenter instances in my Enterprise Plus License. I’m currently using zero CPUs, and as you can see here, this licence key has a capacity of twelve CPUs. So let’s go back to our Assets tab, and I’m going to start with my VCenter server, and I’m just going to click on my V Center Server and click on the Assign License button. And here’s my new licence that I just put in. I’ll hit OK here and go ahead and assign that new license. And now you can see that a licence is actually assigned, and here’s the licence expiration date. So now this V Center server is actually licensed. Let’s go to our ESXi host. I’ll select both of my hosts, I’ll click on “Assign Licenses,” choose the new licence that I just imported, and I’ll go ahead and hit OK here. And now I’ve got a licence key applied to my ESXi host as well. So now I’ve successfully assigned licences to not only centre Sharper but also both of my ESXi hosts. 

4. Demo: Install VMware Tools on a Single VM in vSphere 7

Now it’s very important that you install VMware Tools on every virtual machine that you possibly can. It does a few simple things, like, for example, improving the way that the mouse works in the console. But it also has some really significant features that are important to the performance of my virtual machines. For example, if I want to use the VMX NetThree virtual nic, I can do so using VMware tools. If I want ballooning to be possible on the virtual machines running on my ESXi host, I need VMware Tools because it includes the VMM CTL driver.

So there are a bunch of drivers that are baked into VMware tools and that can substantially improve the performance of virtual machines running on an ESXi host. So we definitely want to do this whenever we possibly can. So here’s a virtual machine running Windows Server 2016. And you can see right here on the summary screen that my virtual machine does not have VMware tools installed on it. So I’m going to install VMware Tools on this virtual machine. I could just click on this little link here, or I can right-click the VM, and under Guest OS, I have the ability to install VMware tools. So I’m going to go ahead and do that. Now what’s going to happen inside my virtual machine?

And I’m actually going to launch my console so that we can observe this. What’s actually going to happen inside the VM is that the VMware Tools ISO image is going to be mounted as a CD drive inside this virtual machine. So let’s go back to our Vsphere client and go ahead and initiate the installation of VMware Tools. and that’s what it’s telling you right here. It’s basically mounting an ISO image on the virtual machine. And so what we do here is we mount this VMware Tools ISO image to the operating system. And then if I click back on my console, you can see it pops right up here. So it’s now mounted as an ISO image. I can go ahead and simply run the setup file here to initiate the VMware Tools installation on this VM. And now it’s just going to run through a simple installation wizard. You can do “typical,” “complete,” or “custom.” I’ll choose custom just to show you. But in most cases, typical is the way to go. Here are two virtual SCSI controllers.

That’s a storage adapter for this virtual machine. It’s going to have mouse and USB drivers. Here’s a screenshot of my VMX net three virtual nic. There are also other features, such as app defense. And here’s my memory control driver. That’s what’s going to allow ballooning to occur on this virtual machine and memory reclamation. So I’ll go ahead and just go with the defaults here and install VMware Tools on this virtual machine. And there we go. Now the installation is complete. So I’ll just click on Finish, and I’ll have to reboot this VM. And so I’ll allow the virtual machine to reboot. When it’s done rebooting, I should see the fact that VMware Tools are now installed reflected here on the summary screen for the virtual machine. So I just waited about 1 minute for my virtual machine to boot up, and then I refreshed my browser. And you can now see that the message stating that VMware Tools must be installed has vanished. This virtual machine is currently running VMware Tools. 

5. Demo: Update VMware Tools for vSphere 7

Start with the simplest option. Here I am in the VSphere client. I’m going to browse to Hosts and Clusters, and I’m going to take a look at this virtual machine called the Windows Demo VM. Now, if I right-click this virtual machine, I can go to Guest OS, and if there’s a VMware Tools upgrade available here, I can perform that upgrade on a single VM right here. Now, you can see that that option is currently greyed out, and that’s simply because this virtual machine is already running the latest version of VMware Tools.

But if I wanted to upgrade VMware Tools on a single VM, that’s how I would do it. Now, we’ve established that this virtual machine is running the latest version of VMware Tools. And if I want to make sure it stays that way, I can right-click this VM. I can go to Edit settings and look at VMware Tools under VM options, and I can check this little box to say that whenever I power on this VM, we’re going to check and upgrade VMware Tools before each power on. And that’s a great way to just kind of take that upgrade process and eliminate it. Now, I know every time this VM powers on, we’re going to get the latest version of VMware Tools. Now, the method I showed you works great for individual virtual machines. But what if I have a large number of virtual machines that I want to upgrade with multiple tools at the same time? For example, let’s click on this ESXi host right here and see what happens. We have a little tab called Updates. And under Updates, I have the ability to update VMware Tools on multiple virtual machines simultaneously.

As a result, I no longer need to visit each and every VM individually. And if I were to have a cluster of hosts, I could upgrade VMware Tools on every single virtual machine in the entire cluster. So one of the VMs running on this particular host is Demo VM.And you can see here that DemoVM could use a VMware Tools upgrade. As a matter of fact, if I right-click it and go to Guest OS, remember this option that was greyed out before? It’s not great out here. I have the ability to upgrade VMware Tools on this virtual machine. So if I go back to my host, I can see all of the VMs running on this host here under Updates and VMware Tools. I’m not going to mess with Vcenter. If I need to update Vcenter, I’ll use the Vami. But I’m just going to select this particular virtual machine here, Demo VM, and I’m going to click Check Status. And you can see here under Tool Status that, yes, there is an upgrade available for Demo VM. So there is a VMware Tools update that can be performed. And now you just kind of have to use your imagination to imagine there are 50 more VMs that all say upgrades are available here. I don’t have a lot of VMs running in my lab environment, but if I did, I could select all of those VMs and upgrade them to Match Host.

I could also set autoupdate on these virtual machines as well, so the VMware Tools get automatically updated. But I’m going to go ahead and click on “Upgrade to Match Host” here, and it’s giving me the option to upgrade the single virtual machine. Note here that only five VMs can be updated per host at one time. So I’m just going to upgrade one VM, called Demo VM. And again, you shouldn’t do this on virtual appliances. You should upgrade virtual appliances using the tools built into them, including the V Center Server appliance. I can set up some scheduling options here. I can do this right away, or I can say, “You know, I want to set this to happen at a certain time.” So maybe I want it to happen overnight for certain powered-on VMs, or maybe I want it to happen early in the morning or whatever. I’m just going to go ahead and run it immediately. I can also schedule it differently for powered-off and suspended VMs as well. And do I want to automatically take snapshots of VMs? So what I’m doing here is basically saying, “Hey, I’m about to upgrade this virtual machine.” Let me take a snapshot of it first.

That way, I have a fallback point. I can revert to the snapshot. The main thing that I recommend here is that if you’re going to choose to take these snapshots, it’s not a terrible idea, but you want to set this up. You want to say, “You know, I want to keep these snapshots for 48 hours, or I want to keep them for 10 hours, or whatever.” You don’t want to have to manually go back and delete all of these snapshots that are created. And you definitely don’t want to just leave snapshots sitting around. That creates performance issues long-term, and eventually you’re going to have to delete those snapshots. And the longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be. So if you do want to take snapshots to give yourself a restore point, I definitely recommend setting this option up so that those snapshots are automatically purged. And I definitely recommend giving them a descriptive name like “VMware Tools Update.” That way, we know exactly what that snapshot is all about. So I’m going to go ahead and take a snapshot. I’m not going to bother including the virtual machine memory in my snapshot, and I’m going to click on Upgrade to Match Host. So now this upgrade should start happening right away. The demoVM should be upgraded with the latest version of VMware Tools. Demo VM can also be found in recent tasks.

This entity is being remediated. VMware Tools upgrade or installation has been initiated on this.And so I’m just going to pause my recording while this process completes. Now, if we want to take a closer look at what’s happening to this VM during the remediation process, we can click on the virtual machine and go to Monitor, where we can look at tasks and events and see exactly what process is occurring here. So we can see that, hey, we wanted to remediate this entity, install VMware Tools, or upgrade VMware Tools. It looks like that part’s complete. And then the virtual machine had to shut down and power on. And by the way, it looks like the remediation is now complete as well. So let’s go back to the summary screen for this virtual machine and look at that. Now that we’ve got the current version of VMware Tools running, that’s a great way to quickly and easily upgrade the version of VMware Tools on many virtual machines at once.

6. Demo: Update VM Virtual Hardware for vSphere 7

So here you can see I’m logged into my Vs. FARE client, and I’m on an Es XiSeven dot O host under Host and Clusters. And I’m just going to right-click this host, and I’m going to create a new virtual machine just to demonstrate this process. And I’m going to call my new VM “old hardware.” and I’m going to go ahead and go next. I’m going to run it on this host, I’m going to store it on my storage DRS cluster, and I’m going to choose an old version of virtual hardware. Specifically, I’m going to choose version 13. But it doesn’t really matter. I can choose any of these older versions, and I can perform this upgrade.

So I’m going to choose version 13. I’m going to go ahead and click next year and pick the operating system that I intend to install on this VM, even though that doesn’t really matter in this scenario either. And then I’ll just configure some of the other attributes of this virtual machine. I’m going to make it a thinly provisioned disc so I don’t chew up a bunch of my disc space. I’ll give it a couple of CPUs and a little bit more memory, and that ought to do it. So I’m going to go ahead and fire up this VM, and I’m not going to bother installing an operating system or anything like that. I just want to get this virtual machine up and running with an old version of virtual hardware. So the basic idea here is that older hosts are only compatible with older versions of virtual hardware. So I set this virtual machine up with a version of virtual hardware that is compatible with ESXi 6.x and later. So if I have any ESXi 6 dot 5 hosts in my environment, maybe they’re part of a cluster. It’s important that I keep this virtual machine at the current version of virtual hardware, but I don’t have any of those types of hosts in my environment. Now all of my hosts are ESXi 7.

And so now it might be time for me to upgrade the compatibility and the virtual hardware of this virtual machine because there are enhancements as time goes on and the virtual hardware versions introduce enhancements. And so I really don’t want virtual machines running older versions of virtual hardware than they should be. So similar to VMware tools, there are a couple of ways that I can perform this update. I could click on the host or cluster that the VM is running on, go to updates, and from there I could upgrade the VM’s hardware. So let me do a quick status check here. You can also see it here. I’ve got one VM called Demo that’s running on version 17. I’m not going to mess with my VCenter Server appliance; I’m going to leave that as is. And then I’ve got my new VM, which is running on version 13. So I could simply use this to upgrade this VM and have it match the host, getting it up to the latest version of virtual hardware. That’s one way that I can perform the upgrade. And if I had multiple virtual machines that I wanted to upgrade the hardware on, that would be the ideal way. So I could also upgrade the hardware version on this virtual machine by right-clicking it. And under this menu, you can see compatibility. And I can schedule a VM compatibility upgrade where I’m going to upgrade this virtual machine to the newest version of virtual hardware. So, yeah, I’m going to go ahead and schedule this upgrade. Now, as you can see at the moment, my virtual machine is currently running. You see the little green triangle there?

That means the VM is currently running. So I want to upgrade this to ESXi 7 and later, which is the latest version of virtual hardware. I’m going to go ahead and click OK here. And at this point, what has happened? Well, let’s take a look at our recent task. Nothing’s happened yet. This virtual machine is not upgraded at the moment because it is powered on. You cannot upgrade the virtual hardware on a virtual machine that is currently powered on. So essentially, what this is going to do is, the next time I reboot this virtual machine, it will carry out that VM hardware upgrade at that time. So let’s go ahead and right-click this virtual machine here, and I’m going to power off this VM. Remember, I didn’t even install an operating system on this virtual machine, so I don’t have to worry about gracefully shutting it down. I’m just going to turn it off, and then I’m going to turn it back on. And so now that I’m powering on my new virtual machine, let’s go to this old hardware VM. Let’s check the monitor to see what tasks and events we can see. Yep, we’ve got it powered back on here. All right. So, what virtual hardware version is this virtual machine now running on? There we go. Compatibility: ESXi 70 Later, it is now running on virtual machine hardware, version 17. So the hardware upgrade for the virtual machine has now been completed.

7. Upgrading ESXi 6.7 to ESXi 7

So what is required for ESXi 7? You need at least two CPU cores, but you’re probably not going to be running a lot of production hosts with two CPU cores. So mostly, that’s really just for home labs. And of course, you need a supported processor. So here is the VMware compatibility guide, and I can just select a specific release version here, and I can see all of the compatible CPUs that are available and that can function with Esxi 7. So what you may just want to do is find your particular CPU model here, select ESXi Seven, and take a look at the results to see whether or not it’s compatible with Seven. The vSphere is also available at docs.vmware.com. ESXi upgrade guide This is the definitive document here that’s going to walk you through the entire process of upgrading your ESXi hosts. Now at this point, I’ll assume you’ve already upgraded VCenter, and you should make sure that you upgrade VCenter prior to upgrading your ESXi hosts.

So this will walk you through the various methods for upgrading your ESXi hosts, such as scripts or Auto Deploy, as well as how to collect logs to troubleshoot your ESXi hosts. So this is the authoritative reference for all things ESXi upgrade-related. So those are two important documents that you should definitely be familiar with. Let’s get back to the hardware requirements here. We have to have NXXD enabled in the BIOS. There’s really nothing new there. We have to have a minimum of 4 GB of memory. But if you’re running it in production, ESXi Seven requires 8 GB of memory, and you’ve got to have at least one supported gigabit Ethernet adapter. And if you’re running ESXi Seven in your home lab on a VMware workstation, you might encounter some minor issues. So just be aware of that. And of course you want to check the hardware compatibility list, which I just showed you, to ensure that your hardware is actually interoperable with ESXi Seven. Another good practise is if I’m about to upgrade an ESXi host from either ESXi Six Five or ESXi Six Seven to ESXi Seven, I should extract the host profile prior to doing that as a backup of the existing ESXi host configuration. Now, if I don’t care about backing up the existing ESXi host configuration, then I don’t really need to do that. But it’s a good practise to have a backup of your ESXi host configuration there.

So what are my different boot options for ESXi Seven? I can boot from a hard drive, CD-ROM, USB, or SD device, or I can use Auto Deploy for a network boot. If you’re booting from a USB or SD device, you need 8  GB of space, and the minimum for all other device types is at least 32 GB of space. And then we’ve got the usual installation and upgrade methods here. So for the most part, these are unchanged. We’ve got the interactive upgrade. That’s what you’re going to see me do. The following video will go over scripted or ESX CLI upgrades. We can upgrade our ESXi hosts by deploying new images to them using auto Deploy.Here’s the big new one. Lifecycle Manager. We can use Lifecycle Manager to upgrade our ESXi hosts to ESXi Seven. And what are you saying, Rick? Lifecycle manager? It’s basically just a new version of Update Manager. So it’s similar to using Update Manager to upgrade your ESXi hosts, except in sphere Seven, we call it Lifecycle Manager because it has some new functionality that Update Manager did not. So stay tuned for the next video, in which you’ll see an interactive upgrade of an ESXi and you’ll be able to upgrade either six dots five or six dots seven directly to an ESXi seven. 

8. Demo: Interactive Upgrade of ESXi 6.7 to ESXi 7

I have an ESXi 6.x.7 host that’s currently up and running. What I’m going to do is shut down this running ESXi host and boot it from the ESXi Seven installation media. So here at the DC, I’ll head uptwelve, I’ll put on my roof credentials, and I’m going to shut down this ESXi host. And I have the option to forcefully terminate any running virtual machines on this host. There are not any virtual machines currently running on this host, so I didn’t need to check that option, but I just did it anyways. So now my host is shutting down. So now you can see the ESXi host has finished shutting down. Now this particular host is actually a virtual machine running on VMware Workstation. And if you’re wondering how I did that, you can check out my Home Lab course on Seven.

And that course is also part of the All Access Bundle at Trainer test.com.Regardless, my ESXi host is actually a virtual machine running within VMware Workstation. So what I now need to do is present the boot media for ESXi Seven to this ESXi host. So I’m just going to go to my host and basically do the virtual equivalent of putting a CD in the CD drive. I’m going to find an ISO image for the ESXi Seven installation media. So here’s my ESXi installation ISO image. I’m going to go ahead and load that up here, and I’m going to make sure that my ESXi host is going to connect to that ISO image when it powers on. So similar to how you’d handle this in a real-world physical environment. You have to give the ESXi host some boot media, which is the ESXi Seven installation media, and then you boot up that host and allow it to boot from that installation media. And so here we go. It’s come up to the boot screen, so I can choose where to boot from. Do I want to boot from the local disk, or do I want to boot from the standard installer? I’m going to go ahead and boot from the ESXi Seven installer.

And so now it’s going to run through the installer here and load up all of these files that it needs in order to complete the ESXi installation. I’m just going to pause my recording for a moment while this happens. So as you can see here, I’ve run into a little network error during my installation process that has basically brought this to a screeching halt. And I did figure out how to resolve this. So I just wanted to go into VMware Workstation and show you in case any of you are having the same problem. And the root cause of this problem is that the network interface cards on my system are not supported by ESXi 7. So if you’re actually installing this on a physical host, And if you see this error, it’s probably because your network interfaces aren’t supported. I’m installing it on a virtual machine on VMware Workstation. And so my problem here is that virtual network interfaces are not supported. So in the case of a physical ESXi host, the only way that you can resolve this issue is to make sure that your network interface cards are on the hardware compatibility list for ESXi Seven. In the VMware Workstation environment, there are a couple possible fixes. Number one, make sure that VMware Workstation is completely up to date.

Number two, upgrade the virtual hardware on your virtual machines to the 6.7.1 update to virtual hardware that’s available within VMware Workstation. And in that case, you should be able to get it to work. If it still doesn’t work, Worst-case scenario, you can create a new virtual machine, install an older version of ESXi on that new virtual ESXi host, and run your upgrade on that. So now I’ve got an ESXi host with the latest version of virtual hardware. And this is just as if I’d upgraded the network interface cards. And so I’m going to proceed with the upgrade. So I’m going to choose ESXi 70. I’m going to accept and continue with the installation. And so it’s going to ask me what disc I want to use to install ESXi Seven on. I’ve only got one disc available, so I’m just going to continue. And now it should detect the existing installation of ESXi. So, yeah, I’ve got a current ESXi installation. What do I want to do? Do I want to maintain the existing VMFS data store and upgrade ESXi? Do I want to install ESXi Seven and preserve the VMFS data store, or do I want to overwrite the existing VMFS data store? So this really depends on whether or not you have any valuable data on the local data store for that ESXi host.

If you don’t, then you may just want to overwrite the VMFS data store and start from scratch. But in my scenario, I’m going to preserve the VMFS data store and hit OK here. And so now it’s asking me whether or not I want to confirm the upgrade. So I’m going to go ahead and hit F11 and perform this upgrade. So I’ll pause my recording while the upgrade process completes here. And so it looks like my upgrade is now complete. So I’m just going to hit Enter and reboot this ESXi host. And when it comes back up, it should have ESXi Seven installed. So I’m going to pause my recording while this ESXi host finishes rebooting so that you don’t have to wait through that process. All right, so here we can see that my host has finished rebooting. Let’s go ahead and log in using the same root credentials that were set up on this ESXi host before I upgraded it. Let’s take a look at some of the network settings. Have all of the network configurations been preserved? It looks like they have. My DNS server configuration appears to have been removed from the list of configurations for this ESXi host. It’s just been upgraded in place.And now we’ve got ESXi 7 installed on this ESXi host using the interactive installation method.

9. Demo: Upgrade an ESXi host to 7 with Lifecycle Manager

In this video, I’ll demonstrate how to upgrade an ESXi Six Five host to ESXi Seven using VMware Lifecycle Manager. So, as you can see, I’m logged into the V S4 client and have a host running VMware ESXi Six Five. So I’m going to go to the home screen of the Vsphere client, and I’m going to go to Lifecycle Manager. And within Lifecycle Manager, you can see within my image depot that I have an ESXi 70 image. So I already have the 70image installed in Lifecycle Manager. And so I’m going to go to baselines, and I’m just going to click on “New” and I’m going to create a new baseline. I’m going to call my new baseline ESXi Seven. And this is going to be an upgrade to the baseline. I’ll click Next, select my ESXi Sevenimage here, and click on Next, and you’ll notice this process is actually very similar to what we did with Update Manager in the past. So now I’ve chosen my ESXi Seven image. I’m going to go ahead and click on “Finish.” And now I’ve got a new baseline here. So what I want to do now is go back to Hosts and Clusters, pick my ESXi SixFive host, and go to Updates. And you can see I’ve got some baselines here, which you can see under baselines here. I’m just going to scroll down, and I’m going to attach a baseline or baseline group to this host.

I’m going to attach my ESXi Seven upgrade baseline. So now I’ve got a baseline that’s attached to this ESXi host. So I’m going to remediate this new host against this ESXi Seven baseline. And it’s giving me my end-user licence agreement here. I’ll go ahead and hit OK; it’s going to show me that one host is going to require remediation. And here’s essentially what’s going to happen: Is ESXi on the way? Seven.Build 158-4380. Seven. I can set my scheduling options if I want this to happen at a certain date and time. And I can pick my remediation settings as well, like what changes should be made to the VM power state of VMs on the host or whether VMs should be migrated. This is comparable to Update Manager. There are no significant changes here, and I don’t have any VMs running on this host. So I’m just going to go ahead and click on “Remediate.” And from there, the process is very similar to Update Manager. ESXi host will get the new image installed, it will reboot, and it will come back up with ESXi Seven installed.

10. Demo: Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance (6.7 to 7)

In this video, I’ll demonstrate how to upgrade an ESXi Six Five host to ESXi Seven using VMware Lifecycle Manager. So, as you can see, I’m logged into the V S4 client and have a host running VMware ESXi Six Five. So I’m going to go to the home screen of the Vsphere client, and I’m going to go to Lifecycle Manager. And within Lifecycle Manager, you can see within my image depot that I have an ESXi 70 image. So I already have the 70image installed in Lifecycle Manager. And so I’m going to go to baselines, and I’m just going to click on “New” and I’m going to create a new baseline. I’m going to call my new baseline ESXi Seven. And this is going to be an upgrade to the baseline. I’ll click Next, select my ESXi Sevenimage here, and click on Next, and you’ll notice this process is actually very similar to what we did with Update Manager in the past.

So now I’ve chosen my ESXi Seven image. I’m going to go ahead and click on “Finish.” And now I’ve got a new baseline here. So what I want to do now is go back to Hosts and Clusters, pick my ESXi SixFive host, and go to Updates. And you can see I’ve got some baselines here, which you can see under baselines here. I’m just going to scroll down, and I’m going to attach a baseline or baseline group to this host. I’m going to attach my ESXi Seven upgrade baseline. So now I’ve got a baseline that’s attached to this ESXi host. So I’m going to remediate this new host against this ESXi Seven baseline. And it’s giving me my end-user licence agreement here. I’ll go ahead and hit OK; it’s going to show me that one host is going to require remediation. And here’s essentially what’s going to happen: Is ESXi on the way? Seven.Build 158-4380. Seven. I can set my scheduling options if I want this to happen at a certain date and time. And I can pick my remediation settings as well, like what changes should be made to the VM power state of VMs on the host or whether VMs should be migrated. This is comparable to Update Manager. There are no significant changes here, and I don’t have any VMs running on this host. So I’m just going to go ahead and click on “Remediate.” And from there, the process is very similar to Update Manager. ESXi host will get the new image installed, it will reboot, and it will come back up with ESXi Seven installed.

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