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Update ESXi servers in VMware Cluster using vCenter Lifecycle Manager

It is best practice to keep you ESXi server up to date to keep server out of vulnerabilities and issue. Patching helps to resolve new upcoming CVE's and keep server compliant in security team's report. In this article I will update entire cluster using VMware Lifecycle Manager in vCenter server 8. It is all automated process and without any virtual machine downtime (Need to configure Cluster with vMotion/DRS/HA). I have Logged on to vCenter Server, go to Shortcuts and click Lifecycle Manager

Vmware vsphere vCenter esxi vsphere client web hosts and clusters vms and templates storage network Lifecycle Manager Host Profiles licensing.png

vSphere Lifecycle Manager baselines (previously called vSphere Update Manager VUM) is being deprecated. You can instead manage the lifecycle of the hosts in your environment by using vSphere Lifecycle Manager images (vLCM). Hence forward you will will need to switch from using baselines to using a single image to using a single image for your clusters.

My vCenter server is directly connected to Internet, It downloads all the required updates from online VMware updates repository and sync it. I will choose the latest ESXi image to update my cluster in vCenter server.

Microsoft Vmware vSphere vCenter esxi server vCenter vmware lifecycle manger baseline vsphere update manager vum deprecated image depot updates imported isos vendor addons components.png

Next Go to Inventory and select Host and clusters, from the same choose Cluster which you want to update. Select Updates section on right. In the Image I see cluster is compliant with earlier image version when I updated it last time. Click Edit button to change image to latest one. You can also upload your own modified custom ESXi images as well.

VMware vCenter vsphere esxi server lifecycle manager vum vmware image esxi version vendor addon component image compliance check auto deploy image builder offline vib esxi bundle zip drivers.png

After clicking Edit button. Choose ESXi Version from drop down list (I am selecting the latest one). Add Vendor Addon option if needed. My servers are HPE so I am selecting drivers and software for Vendor Addon accordingly. (To add Firmware and Drivers Addon, you will need additional setup for example: HPE ILO Amplifier / OneView or Dell OpenManage respectively to what hardware vendor you are using). Click Validate and  Save button. It shows the Image is valid.

VMware vsphere esxi vCenter server lifecycle manager image hardware compatibility vmware tools vm hardware esxi version vendor addon firmware and driver addons components validate image iso customization for vendor oem additional vum.png

As soon as you click Save button for new image, it checks for the compliance. On this page click Stage ALL and Remediate All button. This will start updating process and esxi servers will be put into maintenance mode and updated one by one.

VMware vSphere vCenter ESXi image compliance remediate all run pre-check stage allesxi version vendor addon firmware and drivers addon components additional hardware compatibility non-vsan cluster only drift comparison.png

Before ESXi remediation process it shows the Impact of update, review them and proceed. You can change the remediation settings such as VM power state, VM migration, quick boot, HA (High availability) admission control, DPM settings, HCL etc. Even you can select Parallel remediation.

VMware vsphere vCenter esxi server remediation report applicable remediation settings runtime ha admission control quick boot distributed power management lifecycle manager vum vmware update manager.png

While upgrading host it will migrate running vms, put host into maintenance mode and install image. After upgrade it reboots host and exit maintenance mode.

VMware vsphere vCenter esxi lifecycle manager vum vmware update manager running vm migration esxi host with image maintenance mode custom image drs ha dpm vmotion.png

This is the screenshot for remediation started, one ESXi host is completed.

VMware vsphere vcenter esxi server iso zip image complaince remdeiating hosts vendor addon software vib compliance lifecycle manager vmware update manager vum quick boot customization ISO.png

After complete update it shows details that Cluster is up to date! There are no new recommended cluster images available for this cluster and cluster ESXi hosts are compliant with the new image.

VMware vsphere vcenter esxi cluster upgrade update using Lifecycle manager cluster up to date image complaince image builder auto deploy offline vib bundle zip.png

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