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VMware Update Manager as a Guest

Posted on 2012-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-09-20
Hi,

Is it at all possible to install VMWare Update Manager as a guest on the ESXI server you want to manage ?

Normally the Update Manager machine would have to remain up, but I was wondering if you could be sneaky sneaky with the way you remmediate the host.

Basically we have a single ESXi server, in a datacenter (along with some ubunto servers and a SAN) The ESXi server is hosting a Vcenter appliance.

We would like to be able to locally manage updates, without having to install a physical Windows box or another ESXi server.

Thanks
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Question by:Zach2001
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Expert Comment

by:Bill Bach
ID: 38417931
I just posed this same question to VMWare tech rep last night.  His first estimate was "no", unless you can migrate or vMotion it to another host, but he was checking for me.
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Author Comment

by:Zach2001
ID: 38417947
hehe cheers - I was gonna post there too, but thought I might as well try here first..

fingers crossed
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 38418175
It's actually really really easy to install updates using ssh. I have 5 esxi boxes an don't bother with update manager. Basically you download the update, and put it on your datastore. Ssh into the esxi box and run a one line command. I don't have it in front of me but il get it shortly. Usually you have to put esxi in maintenance mode first, patch, reboot, exit maintenance mode.
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Expert Comment

by:Bill Bach
ID: 38418194
The recommendation I got back was actually pretty simple.  First, make sure that VMWare tools was installed as a COMPLETE install. (If not, uninstall, then reinstall it.)  Then, move the vCenter VM to a VMWare Workstation environment, where it can keep running while the ESX box is upgraded.
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Author Comment

by:Zach2001
ID: 38418214
does the vcenter have to be up as well as the machine running the upgrade manager then ?
Our vcenter server is the linux appliance...
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LVL 124
ID: 38418237
Update Manager works on a virtual machine, but you clearly cannot update the Host, that the virtual machine is hosted on.
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Author Comment

by:Zach2001
ID: 38418312
I was thinking along the lines, of once the update manager had been used to stage the updates, I could kick off the updates via console / SSH
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LVL 124
ID: 38418350
Not really practicable.
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Author Comment

by:Zach2001
ID: 38418373
How come ?
The Update manager does the hard part of finding what patches are needed, downloading them and copying them to the host.

I would find it very 'practicable' - as the alternative is doing it ALL manually or deploying and managing another server.
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Author Comment

by:Zach2001
ID: 38418430
So... if I can work out where update manager stages the updates I can easily use ESXcli, I think.
Who's with me ?
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Accepted Solution

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Aaron Tomosky earned 2000 total points
ID: 38418516
I'm all for you getting update manager running on workstation as that gets you around the need for the exsi host to be in maintenance mode and therefore not run any vms.

If you want to go the other route, here is what I do. It's really easy:
go here and download the latest patch. They are cumulative so no worries, and it just installs what it needs
http://www.vmware.com/patchmgr/download.portal
save it to your datastore (I download to my pc then upload to the datastore)
ssh into esxi (putty as root)
if you want to see if the host needs maintenance mode run this (replace "zfs-uncompressed" with the name of the datastore and change the patch name):
esxcli software sources vib get -d /vmfs/volumes/zfs-uncompressed/esxipatches/ESXi500-201207001.zip | grep "Maintenance Mode Required: True"

then to install it
esxcli software vib update -d /vmfs/volumes/zfs-uncompressed/esxipatches/ESXi500-201207001.zip

it's really fast and tells you to reboot. Done.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Zach2001
ID: 38419339
I had always thought I would have to do all the VIBs one by one - I'm sure I used to have to do that in the past.

Easy as Pie.

Cheers fella
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