How to Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

vSphere 6.5 released with excellent new features to improve the security and high availability of critical applications running on the virtual machines. To make use of new vSphere features available with vSphere 6.5, We need to upgrade the vCenter server 6.0 to vCenter server 6.5 and also Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 along with the Virtual machine hardware upgrade & VMware Tools on the guest operating system. There are multiple ways to upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 such as direct ISO image, upgrade via CLI (command Line) and upgrade via VMware Update Manager. Method of upgrading ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 may depend on the number of the ESXi hosts in the infrastructure. Upgrade ESXi host via ISO or Command line may suitable for the infrastructure with less number of ESXi host. If you consider the enterprise infrastructure with more than hundred of ESXi hosts may require to upgrade it via VMware Update Manager to simplify the upgrade procedure. In this article, I am going to explain the detailed procedure to upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager.

Well Planning is required before we start the upgrade of ESXi hosts. Before upgrading ESXi hosts, We need to consider vCenter Server Upgrade and also need to validating that whether the existing hardware is compatible with ESXi 6.5. We also need to validate the compatible driver and firmware versions of network adapter,HBA adapters,etc. We also need to consider upgrading the firmware of your ESXi hardware before upgrading ESXi hosts. All this needs to be planned prior to upgrading ESXi host. We can also combine drivers and other softwares such as mutipathing softwares such as Powerpath  in the baseline, once the hosts are upgraded. In this article, I will explain the detailed procedure to upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESxi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager.

Pre-requisite to upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

  1. vCenter Server should be upgrade to vCenter 6.5. I have migrated my existing windows vCenter Server to vCSA 6.5. Take a look at how i did migration of Windows based vCenter 6.0 to vCenter Server appliance 6.5
  2. In vSphere 6.5, Update Manager is embedded with vCenter Server appliance. Ensure Update Manager is also upgraded to 6.5.
  3. Validate ESXi host hardware NIC’s, HBA and other devices compatibility with ESXi 6.5.
  4. Upgrade the hardware and BIOS firmware before starting the upgrade.

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

Before start upgrading the ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5, We need to Import the ESXi image. You can import the hardware vendor customized ESXi 6.5 image based on the hardware make. Since this is my lab, I will be importing the VMware vanilla image of ESXi 6.5 . Login to your vCenter Server using vSphere Web Client,  Click on Update Manager -> Manage -> ESXi Images -> Import ESXi image

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager_

 

Click on Browse to browse towards the ESXi 6.5 ISO image location and Select the image to start uploading the ISO image into VMware Update Manager.

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager_3

Once the import of ESXi 6.5 image is completed, Validate the version and Build number. Click on Close

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

Once the ESXi image is imported, Click on the ESXi 6.5 image and Select “Create Baseline”

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

Specify the name for this ESXi host upgrade baseline.  Click on Ok.

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager_6

Newly created host upgrade baseline  “ESXi 6.5 Upgrade” will start appearing under host baselines.

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 usinVMware Update Manager

To minimize the number of screenshots, I have captured the GIF image to explain the procedures in single image. In the vSphere Web client, Select Hosts & Clusters. You can attach the created ESXi host upgrade baseline to either to individual ESXi host or even to cluster.   Select the ESXi to upgrade from ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5, Click on Update Manager -> Attach Baseline -> Select “ESXi 6.5 Upgrade” baseline. 

Select the attached baseline and click on Scan for Upgrades. Once the scan reports that the attached image is “Non-Complaint”. We are good to start with the upgrade. You can place the ESXi host into maintenance mode. In the DRS enabled cluster, all the virtual machine in the host will be automatically migrate to different ESXi host in the cluster.

Once the ESXi host placed into maintenance mode, Click on “Remediate” -> Ensure ESXi 6.5 Upgrade baseline is selected.  -> Select the target ESXi host  -> click on Accept the license agreement -> Click on Next to accept all the default options before upgrading ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5. -> Click on “Finish” to start the upgrade.

You can also notice that the ESXi host upgrade will be going on, when you monitor the ESXi  via host console.

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

Once the ESXi host upgrade is completed, You can notice that the attached ESXi 6.5 upgrade baseline become “Complaint” against the ESXi host.

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

 

Also you can validate the ESXi host is now upgraded to “ESXi 6.5.0”.

Upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager

That’s it. We are done with the upgrade ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.5 using VMware Update Manager. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for reading!!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it.

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