Avoiding the hidden pitfalls of VMware’s vCenter server appliance 6.0 upgrade

VMware’s vCenter appliance is missing parts, one of these is the easy upgrade method. I would prefer to mount the upgrade iso on to the vCSA and click a button that does the job. Instead of this, get ready to read the various walkthroughs of upgrading the vCSA and remember the old days of typing shell commands on linux. It’s not that bad but hey it’s 2015, user friendliness and user interface design are one of the main criteria of selecting products. VMware steps backward!

Ok, let’s start. First of all, check the console display of vCSA, it should be like this:

6.5

Open a browser, goto VMware’s Patch Download Center and download (in our case) the VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.0.0.5110-2656759-patch-FP.iso file. Now sftp this file to a datastore accessible from vCSA, probably the same datastore that the appliance resides. If you mount the iso patch file to the appliance from vSphere client the job will abort since during the installation the vSphere client disconnects from vCenter. So mount the iso file from an accessible datastore.

Get putty ready and ssh to vCenter Server Appliance. Login as root to install the patch.

1

Logging in as root, it doesn’t give me the same shell environment as logging in as an administrator but it returns the linux bash environment. At this point, if you execute software-package command it will return an error since this is not a bash shell command. You must execute appliancesh command to get into the vCSA shell environment.

By typing software-package command with a help flag you can get the various option of the command

2

we are interested on the iso flag. So execute software-packages install --iso command to start the patch installation

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during the patch installation, both vSphere desktop and web clients will be disconnected.

During the installation, be careful with the EULA screens because you may press enter by accident when it asks you if you accept the terms and conditions. If you do so, the patch will be staged but not installed. Execute the command software-packages install --staged to install the patch.

3

4

When the installation finish, reboot vCSA appliance by issuing the command shutdown -r <remark> for example shutdown reboot -r patch_vca_upgrade6.0.0.b

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Now the console screen displays the new vCSA version.

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Finally disconnect the iso image from cd drive.

Good luck!

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