HOW TO: Update VMware ESXi 7.0U2 to ESXi 7.0U2a in 5 easy steps

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
EE Fellow, 2xMVE, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert Pro, vExpert 2020-2011
Published:
Updated:
Edited by: Andrew Leniart
Make sure your ESXi server is up to date with the current firmware with - 5 Easy steps to upgrade VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 7.0U2 to ESXi 7.0U2a Build 17867351.
  • On 29 April 2021, VMware released the second U2a update for ESXi 7.0. ESXi 7.0 U2a is Build 17867351. 

  • This article will show you how to update ESXi 7.0U2 to ESXi 7.0U2a in 5 easy steps to get your system up to the latest release. In this tutorial, the version of ESXi 7.0 installed is ESXi 7.0U2, released on 20 April 2021, but this article can be followed to upgrade any version of ESXi 7.0. If your ESXi host has access to the internet, there is a quicker method shown in this article - HOW TO: Update VMware ESXi 7.0U2 to ESXi 7.0U2a direct from VMware. 
    VMware has removed my older legacy processors (CPUs) from ESXi 7.0U2, and also storage and network controllers, please check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists (HCL) here.

    The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the list showing actual vendor devices that have been tested and certified by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly. Devices that are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware, and may cause issues.
    VMware has removed my older legacy processors (CPUs) from ESXi 7.0 GA, and also storage and network controllers, please check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists (HCL) here.

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the list showing actual vendor devices that have been tested and certified by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly. Devices that are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware, and may cause issues.

Before we get started:

It is important to ensure you have valid backups of your virtual machines before you make any changes to a Production VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 7.0 Host server, which is hosting virtual machines. All virtual machines must be powered off with the server in maintenance mode.

Here are the steps to upgrade your software:
 
1. Download ESXi 7.0U2a Offline Bundle

  • Download the ESXi 7.0U2a Offline Bundle from VMware here
  • The file is called VMware-ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-depot.zip, check the following:
  • MD5SUM:   9b676a33ef191221f8e456b63d46dd55
    SHA1SUM:   ea71d5cf770e64359d1668a6ca49d5c4758d51f9
    SHA256SUM:   e1e7988553ed6845cc68309d6c6022dedc747ab7d08eb97d7e0bd9fca15bb283

2. Upload the offline bundle to an ESXi 7.0 datastore


3. Connect to the ESXi 7.0 host server via SSH


At the console prompt, type

vmware -l 



to confirm the ESXi version. VMware ESXi 7.0 Update 2 or later should be returned, though this will depend upon whether any patches have been applied. In this tutorial the build installed is 7.0U2. 

4. Use esxcli at the console command line to update the server 

  • At the console, type:
esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true

This command enables maintenance mode. The host ESXi server must be in maintenance mode to be patched and updated. Virtual machines must be powered off.

esxcli software profile update -p ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-standard -d /vmfs/volumes/esxi007_local1_vmfs6/isos/VMware-ESXi-7.0U2a-17867351-depot.zip




  • The above command does not produce any feedback if entered correctly. After approximately 20 seconds, the upgrade should be completed, however, we have found that if you are using slow USB flash drives and SD cards, this can take considerably longer for the files to be written. You will be presented with the following screen upon completion:



  • If all is well you should see an update screen, as above, you may have to scroll the screen to see all the information. But check the update result at the top. The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
  • You should be able to see new VIB packages installed, removed, and some have been skipped. If you are using a custom image (OEM version) of VMware ESXi 7.0U2 (e.g. from HPE, Lenovo, DellEMC, Fujitsu etc) your output could be different.

  • Type 

reboot

  •  to reboot the server.

5. Check the ESXi 7.0U2 Host server has been updated.

  • Check the following:

The Console Screen should report VMware ESXi 7.0 (VMKernel Release Build 17867351)



Congratulations, you have successfully updated your host server from VMware ESXi 7.0 U2 to VMware ESXi 7.0U2a. This method works for all versions of ESXi and updates, you just need to change the updates!

Basic VMware Articles Series:

These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0, 5.5, 6.0.
             
These articles apply to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5.










These articles apply to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.7.








 
Previous articles in this VMware vSphere 7.0 series are here.

























and new for 2021 Hancock's VMware Half Hour Video Series



If you found this tutorial helpful, please do click the Thumbs-Up icon below. This lets me know what is valuable for EE members and provides direction for future articles. If you have a related question based on this article, please click here.

Thank you very much! 

Regards, Andy
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
EE Fellow, 2xMVE, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert Pro, vExpert 2020-2011

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