Monday, May 19, 2014

Upgrade VMWare from 5.0U1 to 5.1U2

We recently upgraded our vCenter and ESXi Hosts to 5.1 U2.

This pretty much consisted of:

  1. Creating an SSO database including usernames and passwords
  2. Upgrading vCenter
  3. Upgrading the ESXi Hosts

Creating an SSO Database including usernames and passwords

This was probably the easiest part if the upgrade once I realized the SQL scripts were already available on the CD. Since I am using SQL they were located here: 

D:\Single Sign On\DBScripts\SSOServer\schema\mssql

*Replace D:\ with your CD ROM Drive.*

The two files you need are:
  1. rsaIMSLiteMSSQLSetupTablespaces
  2. rsaIMSLiteMSSQLSetupUsers

All you need to do is open SQL Studio Management and open a new query. Drag and drop rsaIMSLiteMSSQLSetupTablespaces to the query and it will auto fill. Execute the query and it will create the SSO database (although it is really called RSA).

Do the same for the rsaIMSLiteMSSQLSetupUsers. Remember you will need to change the default passwords for the users. Remember the password as you will need those later.

Side note: Make sure you have a SQL version that is supported. I am using 2005 and had to update to the latest Service Pack. I have my SQL server on a separate server than my vCenter.

Upgrading vCenter

I did the simple install for upgrading vCenter. This installed everything, the SSO service, inventory service and vCenter itself. This was pretty straight forward. Since I had my SQL server on another server I had to supply the server name, usernames and passwords when it got to the point of installing SSO and upgrading vCenter database

Upgrading the ESXi Hosts

Even though this probably should have been the easiest part, it proved to be the most challenging. I'll explain why at the end. But first let me show you how to upgrade using the offline bundle:

First you will need to download the ESXi offline bundle for your version. This is usually a few hundred meg file.

Once you have the file, upload it to your local ESXi Host datastore. Once you do this, you will need to run:

esxcli software sources profile list -d /vmfs/volumes/4d810055-10da4bf6-16f3-f04da23d2982/5.1/

This will list the files inside the depot zip file that are available to use for an update.It will look something like this:


You will need ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard.

Side Note: you will notice i had to use 4d810055-10da4bf6-16f3-f04da23d2982 variation instead of the name datastore. to get this name all i had to do was change directory to the datastore. ie, cd /vmfs/volumes/datastore. when i hit enter to change to that directory it changed the folder datastore to the 4d810055-10da4bf6-16f3-f04da23d2982 variation. You may not have to but I did. For some reason it didn't like the folder name datastore when I ran the next command. Remember, that the filename will be different for you as well. 

Once you have the file name you will need to run:

esxcli software profile update -d /vmfs/volumes/4d810055-10da4bf6-16f3-f04da23d2982/5.1/ -p ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard

Once you hit enter it will update the ESXi Host. It should take less than a minute.You will need to reboot the host once the update is done.

Seems pretty easy. What happened in my case was after a day the ESXi hosts started disconnecting from the vCenter and I couldn't install/update VMWare Tools on the VM's. I kept getting SCSILinuxAbortCommands for driver LSI Logic SAS based MegaRAID errors. After some searching I found out its because my Perc H700 RAID Controller Card needed a firmware update from 12.10.1 to something higher than 12.10.3.

I hope this helps someone out if they are updating vCenter and ESXi.

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