With the release of vSphere 6.0 Update 2 I needed to update my hosts! VMware Update Manager [VUM] makes updating and patching your environment very easy. It can also be used to upgrade VMTools and VMHardware versions on your virtual machines. In this post I will be installing VUM on Windows Server 2012 R2 VM using the SQL Express database and attaching it to my VCSA 6.0 U2 appliance. Once installed then I will use VUM to update my environment!
- Must have a vCenter.
- Software: .NET Framework 3.5 needs to be installed on the VUM server. For two install methods click here and here.
- Hardware: 2 GB of RAM if separated from vCenter. 8 GB of RAM if installed on a Windows vCenter.
- Storage: VMware recommends at least 120 GB of free space for the patching repository. Sizing Estimator for vSphere Update Manager 6.0.
- SQL Express: If you have a small environment (VMware says 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines or less) then the embedded SQL Express database is just fine.
- External: If you have a larger environment then you will want to use a external database. Click here and here to read more about having a external database.
- For a full of requirements check out the VMware Update Manager 6.0 Update 2 Release Notes.
- Click here for all VMware Update Manager documentation.
Install VMware Updates Manager:
Here is the download link for VUM.
Extract or mount the vCenter ISO and launch the install. If the autorun didn’t run you can manually launch by going to the UpdateManager folder and running VMware-UpdateManager.exe
I will be installing this in my home lab and will be using SQL Express.
SQL Installer will pop up but won’t require any interaction from you. It will perform a Express installation.
Once SQL finishes you will be prompted with the language selection. Click Ok:
Accept the EULA to continue then click Next:
I always like to do the download manually. Uncheck it and click Next:
Enter the details of your vCenter server and a user account to use. Highly recommend using a Service Account. Click Next:
If you have a DNS server in your environment change the drop down menu to the FQDN of your VUM server. If not then IP address is okay. If you need to enter proxy settings to access the internet you can do so now or you can skip and perform later. Click Next:
You can change the install directory and patch repository here. Click Next:
If you do not have 120 GB of free space you will get the following message. Check out the sizing estimator in the Requirements section above to see how much space you should have. You can proceed without having the space requirement.
Yay VUM is now installed. Click Finish:
Install the VUM Plug-In:
Next the is to enable the VUM plug-in in the thick client. In the top menu go to Plug-ins -> Manage Plug-ins:
You should now see the VUM Extension in the Available Plug-ins section. Click Download and Install:
A install wizard should launch. Just agree/accept/next your way through it. Nothing you can configure.
Once the wizard completed you should get the following SSL security warning since it is using a self sign certificate. Check the box and click Ignore:
Now the VUM Plug-in should show Enabled:
To open VUM go to Home -> Update Manager:
Welcome to VUM!
Download Critical/Non-Critical Baseline Updates:
Let’s start out with a simple task and update the default baselines for Critical and Non-Critical patches from VMware. This will update your currently installed version of ESXi with the latest updates/patches of that same version. For example, if you are running 5.5 then you will get the latest updates for 5.5, it will not upgrade you from 5.5 to 6.0. If you are running 6.0 then this method will update you to 6.0 Update 2! If you are on 5.x scroll down and use the ESXi Image update method.
Click on Configuration -> Download Settings. Here you can configure a proxy settings if applicable. Click Download Now to download updates from the default VMware sources:
A task will appear in the tasks pane. Once completed go to Baselines and Groups. There is now numbers below Content:
Remediate Hosts to Apply Update Baselines:
Next lets remediate a host to apply these updates. Go to Home -> Hosts and Clusters -> then click on a Hosts or Cluster. Now click on the Update Manager tab then Attach:
Select the Critical and Non-Critical baselines then click Attach:
Both baselines should now appear under the Attached Baseline section. Click Scan:
Since we don’t have any Upgrade baselines just click Scan:
All of my hosts are Non-Compliant!! Let’s remediate one of them. Click Remediate in the lower part of the screen:
Select which baselines you want to use then uncheck/check the hosts you want to apply. Click Next:
Here is a list of all the patches that will be applied. If for some reason you want to exclude a patch you can deselect it now. Click Next:
Enter a task name and when you want the remediation to happen. Click Next:
Change settings here if applicable. Click Next:
Change settings here if needed. Click Next:
Once you are satisfied click Finish:
If your host wasn’t already in maintenance mode you will notice VUM will put it in maintenance mode for you. You can monitor the progress of the remediation by watching the task.
Once finished one of my hosts is showing Compliant! Time to rinse and repeat 🙂
How to Update ESXi version using VUM:
You can also use VUM to upgrade your ESXi hosts. You have to use this method for major upgrades, such as 5.1 to 5.5 and 5.5 to 6.0. This method will also work going from 6.0.0 to 6.0 U2.
First you need to download a ESXi image. If you are using HP or Dell I would advise using their customized ESXi images. They contain the latest drivers and packages that are applicable to your hardware. Otherwise you can download the version from VMware.
- HP Hardware: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/servers/solutions.html?compURI=1499005#tab=TAB4
- Dell Hardware: http://support.dell.com
Now you have the ESXi image let’s upload it to VUM. Back in the thick client go to Home -> Update Manager -> ESXi Images tab -> Import ESXi Image:
Browse for your download ESXi image then click Next:
Once the upload complete click Next:
The Import ESXi Image wizard will also create our Baseline. Enter a name then click Finish:
You will now see the ESXi image.
Let’s attach the new Upgrade Baseline to a cluster/host! Go to Home -> Hosts & Clusters -> Select a Cluster or Host -> Click the Update Manager tab -> then click Attach:
Select the Upgrade Baseline then click Attach:
Now kick off a Scan:
Ensure the Upgrades box is checked as we want to scan for that. Click Scan:
One of my hosts needs to be updated! Click Remediate in the bottom right of the window:
The Remediate Wizard is mostly the same as when we performed Critical / Non-Critical updates. Select the host(s) you want to remediate then click Next:
Accept the EULA to continue then click Next:
If you are upgrading from ESXi 5.x then you will want to leave the box unchecked to alert about any issues. Click Next:
Continue through the wizard. Once you are satisfied with the summary click Finish:
You can watch the Task in the Task pane for a status of the upgrade. Once complete you should show that host as Compliant!