Together with the latest VMware VCSA edition as of the 11th of April 2019 there is also the latest release of VMware ESXi 67u2 for the vSphere Hosts. This release includes lots of new features, enhancements and fixes from previous version. The following is an excerpt from the official release notes:
- Solarflare native driver: ESXi 6.7 Update 2 adds Solarflare native driver (sfvmk) support for Solarflare 10G and 40G network adaptor devices, such as SFN8542 and SFN8522.
- Virtual Hardware Version 15: ESXi 6.7 Update 2 introduces Virtual Hardware Version 15 which adds support for creating virtual machines with up to 256 virtual CPUs.
- Standalone ESXCLI command package: ESXi 6.7 Update 2 provides a new Standalone ESXCLI package for Linux, separate from the vSphere Command Line Interface (vSphere CLI) installation package.
- In ESXi 6.7 Update 2, the Side-Channel-Aware Scheduler is updated to enhance the compute performance for ESXi hosts that are mitigated for speculative execution hardware vulnerabilities.
- ESXi 6.7 update 2 adds support for VMFS6 automatic unmap processing on storage arrays and devices
- ESXi 6.7 update 2 adds VMFS6 to the list of supported file systems by the vSphere On-disk Metadata Analyzer (VOMA)
- and a lot more..
For reference the steps below with the latest VMware ESXi 67u2 vSphere Host upgrade.
VMware ESXi 67u2 Host upgrade
In a previous article related to the vSphere Host upgrade the VMware Update Manager (VUM) was used to verify, download and update the VMware vSphere Hosts. The VUM engine can also be used to create custom baselines for specific updates. For example divide and manage updates on quarterly basis. If this is the same frequency for which the vSphere Hosts are updated it is possible to create a specific baseline for this purpose. In this example the existing baseline has been duplicated and then edited to look for all patches between the 1st of April and the 30th of June 2019. This covers all patches releases in 2019 Q2. A similar approach can be done for other past and new quarters and even half year. The benefit is since all these major patches are cumulative updates it is a lot quicker to run a fresh install of the base ESXi image and then just apply the latest updates. This is the case for creating a VMware ESXi 67u2 baseline which falls into a Q2.
Next step is to select the VMware vSphere Host where the custom baseline will be associated. This is accomplished in the Updates section of the intended Host.
The attached baseline section shows the existing ones. From here the optionto add the new ones. For example all the patches released in 2019 Q2.
At this point from the list it is possible to choose the desired ones.
The screen now shows the new baseline attached. Considering the patches are cumulative it might make sense to detach or remove the existing ones. This reduces the time and resources the VUM will allocate to check and verify patches.
At this point by selecting the new baseline it shows its content.
Before proceeding it is a good idea to run a pre-check remediation process. The reason is it will show also the Cluster, Hosts that will be ready or not for the remediation process. It’s a invaluable information in particular with Clusters where HA and DRS are configured also to understand how VMs will be migrated just before the ESXi Host going into maintenance mode.
If everything is clear the next step is to stage or remediate (which includes the staging first).
Once the patches are uploaded to the vSphere Host the remediation process begins. Again it is a good idea to visit the sections with Scheduling options and Remediation settings to customise the behavior for Production VMs running into vSphere clusters.
As soon as the process is completed (it takes a few minutes) and the vSphere Host is automatically rebooted it shows the latest VMware ESXi 67u2 version installed.