In the wait of the VMware ESXi 7.0u2 upgrade (retired due a small glitch due to the in-place upgrade process) this article series is focusing on the VMware 7.0u1 upgrade part1 from an existing VMware 6.7 deployment. The current issue with the latest VMware 7.0u2 is related to the crypto64.efi component failed to load at boot. For production environments of course the recommendation is to wait for the final package to be validated from VMware Support. Another important aspect to consider before moving to the latest version is also to consider the interoperability with other platforms and especially third parties backup solutions. Knowing that the backup solution has gone a full regression testing on latest API calls on both vSphere ESXi and VCSA is the peace of mind in case of reverting back to a previous state.
The idea for this article is to present the main steps broken in 4 parts when running the VMware 7.0u1 upgrade part1. In this example the steps are executed in a homelab based on a VMware 6.7 release. The steps are as follows:
- Prepare upgrade to VMware 7.0u1 (this article)
- In-place upgrade to VMware 7.0u1
- Patch update using ISO method
- Patch update using Network method
- VMware ESXi 6.7 upgrade to 7.0u1
VMware 7.0u1 upgrade overview
The VMware 7.0u1 upgrade part1 consists in preparing a new VCSA appliance ready to import the data from the previous one. In this case should anything go not as planned it is still possible to revert to the initial configuration and start over again. The entire process is wizard driven and can be executed from any Windows, Linux and Mac machine. Since there is already an existing VMware VCSA install the option to go for is Upgrade.
The wizard is now preparing the necessary steps in two stages: first deploy the new appliance and then import the the existing data.
Next is to accept the EULA and proceed with the wizard.
First thing is to connect to the existing appliance (Network Port 443 by default). This info will be also important for the creation of the certificate used with SSO authentication which is based on the machine name. Better use FQDN names and always make sure the DNS name resolution works both ways.
If previous information is correct, connecting to the source will now provide the option to add other important details. This includes also the authentication and the ESXi host where the current VCSA appliance is running.
Next step for the installer is to get the SSL thumbprints. All certs used by default are self-signed certs hence the warning.
At this point next step is to identify the host where to deploy the new appliance. It could be the same one. One thing to remember the “tiny” VCSA deployment requires 12 GB RAM so for a homelab it is always a good idea to plan where to store the new appliance. The good news is these days homelab based on Intel NUC officially support up to 64 GB RAM Memory.
Next step is to choose a name for the new appliance. Whilst this needs to be unique on the datastore level (cannot have 2 VMs with same folder name in the datastore) the VM name can be the same. The recommendation is to use a different name as it will make easiser to recognize the older VM folder/name to delete once the migration has completed.
At this point it is a matter to choose the size according to needs. In this case the option goes for a “Tiny” deployment which allows up to 10 Hosts or 100 VMs.
As per every VM deployment, next step is to define the storage location on the datastore hosting the new VCSA appliance. “Thin Disk” mode is absolutely fine and allows to not necessarily allocate all space soon. About 460GB that can be easily used for other VMs!
Last screen before the completion of step 1 is about the network. Of course this steps is crucial also for the connectivity with the outside world. For example to download the updates and other definitions. It is worth noting the Temporary IP address. In fact at the end of the upgrade process the new VCSA appliance will inherit the “old address” and the previous appliance is of course shut down.
At this point a final screen to review and amend settings to the new VMware VCSA appliance ready to be deployed.
Now that the installer has captured the main configuration details, these will be passed to the appliance as soon as this one has been created on the chosen datastore. It is recommended to have a fast connection as this one will dramatically speed up this phase. ideally launching the setup on a computer directly connected to the same physical switch where the receiving ESXi Host is located is greatly improving the speed.
A few minutes later and if everything went well the pleasant message of a successful deployment. Everything is now ready for steps 2 of the VMware 7.01 upgrade.