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Can I use VMware vCenter to upgrade the same ESXi host that vCenter is on?

Posted on 2015-01-19
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Can I use vCenter 5.5 to upgrade the same ESXi host that vCenter resides on?

I am using VMware vSphere Essentials and already upgraded vCenter to version 5.5 Update 2.
I am wanting to upgrade the host from ESXi 5.1 to ESXi 5.5 Update 2.
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Question by:matt1237
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Neil Russell earned 250 total points
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You can not use update manager to upgrade a server that hosts the vcenter server VM. You need to migrate it to another host before you can upgrade it.  To upgrade a host ALL VM's need to be suspended/powered off and the host put into maintenance mode.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Not really, because the Host needs to be in maintenance mode, which requires ALL the VMs to be shut down on the host!

So you need to transfer ALL the VMs to another host, and then update the host.

This is always an issue with the last host, if you cannot move vCenter VM to another host.

But you can do it this way...follow my EE Article

HOW TO: Upgrade from VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.5 for FREE

Shutdown vCenter Server and other VMs on the Host, make a note of the host.

Follow my EE Article to upload the offline version and update.

Restart the Host.

Connect back to the host, and restart the VMs.

Shutting down vCenter Server will not cause any issues to VMs running, it's a management server after all.
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by:Qlemo
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Connect to the VMware server instead of using vCenter. Upgrading VMware requires to suspend/shutdown all VMs.
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by:matt1237
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Ok, it sounds like using vCenter is impossible.

So as an alternative, do I understand correctly that I can update ESXi remotely via SSH as long as the ISO is uploaded to a local datastore or burned to a CD/DVD?
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by:Neil Russell
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That is correct. Andrews guide will walk you through it.  As i said, Because the host itself must be put in maintenance mode, the VM for Update Manager can NOT be on a host you are updating.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Ok, it sounds like using vCenter is impossible.

Yes, you will always have the last host, which causes issues!

So as an alternative, do I understand correctly that I can update ESXi remotely via SSH as long as the ISO is uploaded to a local datastore or burned to a CD/DVD?

No need to do this, that is an option, to upgrade, follow my EE Article! You'll be done in 20 minutes!
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by:matt1237
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No need to do this, that is an option, to upgrade, follow my EE Article! You'll e done in 20 minutes!
No need to do what?  In your EE Article you give directions on how to do an esxcli upgrade. (NOTE: I wrote above SSH but meant CLI)
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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You don't use the ISO, or DVD!

you download the Offline Bundle Update as per my EE Article!
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by:matt1237
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Yessssss! That worked. Thank you all who commented here: Neilsr, Andrew Hancock, Qlemo.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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No problems glad you liked the article!
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by:matt1237
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Yes Andrew Hancock, that was a great article and gave me confidence to actually do it.  Was a bit nervous since it's production server.  I just posted a few suggestions at the end of the article to make it work better for the next person.
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