Easiest way to patch Vsphere vcenter server 5.1?

To someone who has been there and done that... What is the easiest method of patching Vsphere vCenter server 5.1 essentials? The methods I've seen out there aren't exactly appealing...
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RVFB ITAuthor Commented:
Also, could we go to 5.5? We have a 5.1 license
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Insert the DVDROM, and Click each component, and install....it will detect each component and update it.

Do in this order.

Inventory Service
Web Client
vCenter Server.

Make sure you have a backup of the server, and SQL database before you start.

Only takes 30 minutes at most.

(5.1 to 5.5 is more dangerous, of breaking, than 5.1 to 5.1x) but it's the same process.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
for 5.5, also I do not recommend to upgrade to that version if you don't have experience of installing/migrating vcenter server :

if you have a vcenter 5.1 license AND also a valid vmware support contract you have the right to obtain a 5.5 vcenter license key.
If that is the case, you can check your VMware account on their site, maybe you already have a 5.5 key assigned to your account. If not, ask VMware to give you one.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
All 5.x Licenses (5.0, 5.1 and 5.5) are the same! There is no difference.

only 4.x, and 6.0 are different.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
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RVFB ITAuthor Commented:
so it sounds like 5.5 is more problematic and should be avoided.. i should just do all the updates for 5.1 that there are out there...
RVFB ITAuthor Commented:
so our Hosts are licensed for Essentials Plus but our Vcenter server is licensed for just Essentials... So I need to download different update files based on the licensing... correct me if i'm wrong here
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's one update....same code! same software!

only the license key changes the features!

I would just do 5.1 latest update.
RVFB ITAuthor Commented:
so the ESXi Host updates... Those are separate it looks like right?  And you boot the Hosts from the DVD you burn from the ISO image... right? see screenshot
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Those are Host only, you need the vCenter Server download.
RVFB ITAuthor Commented:
sorry to be dense but... If you do the vCenter server update, can you ignore the Host updates? Or is best practice to update the Host as well?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, no requirement to do he Host ESXi updates unless you need to.

Often is the case, you would do both, e.g. vCenter Server, and then ESXi hosts.

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