In my last article I showed how to upgrade from 4.5 to 4.7. In this article I thought I would make a quick guide from upgrading from 4.7.x to 4.7.x since DellEMC’s documentation is a little off. Now with the VxRail Manager plug-in capability in vCenter it does finally feel a like a single pane glass management interface. I hope this article helps anyone who has to upgrade their existing VxRail cluster.
Things that had me excited:
- VxRail Plug-in gives a single pane glass management feel.
- I enjoyed seeing that you were provided an estimate as part of the pre-upgrade process
- I loved the estimated time remaining during the upgrade.
- Even though I am use to the hosts being rebooted it was nice to see it called out
- Ensure you have enough remaining capacity to put a host in maintenance mode and not require a resync
- Review the 4.7.410 release notes for known issues in 4.7.300 and have work around in place: https://support.emc.com/docu91467_VxRail-Appliance-Software-4.7.x-Release-Notes.pdf?language=en_US&request=akamai
- Confirm vCenter is within range of the desired ESX code level you want to go to: https://emcservice.force.com/CustomersPartners/kA5f1000000KzuECAS
- Confirm all 3rd party software is compatible with the version of ESX you are going to
- Confirm all other VMware Components (vRealize, NSX, etc) are compatible with the ESX version you are going to: https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/sim/interop_matrix.php
Additional but not required Pre-Req:
Since VMs are vMotioned as part of the upgrade, please ensure that VMs are capable of being vMotioned in advance. Examples of issues which may prevent vMotion:
• VM with an ISO mounted
• VM with external storage locally mounted
• VM pinned to a host
Side note: Don’t forget to take a snapshot of the VxRail Manager VM, vCenter and PSC (If external).
If you have NSX – Upgrade first then run the following command on ESXi host to confirm NSX was upgraded:
esxcli software vib list |grep nsx
Useful ruby shell commands to run Prior to upgrade:
Check health of your cluster:
vsan.health.health_summary <cluster number>
Since you must put a host in maintenance mode you should also run:
vsan.whatif_host_failures 1 -s
Confirm your disks are balanced and none are close to 80% full, if close then run a proactive rebalance prior to upgrade:
2 x Call out for DellEMC.
The refresh icon during the upgrade doesn’t work. You can either refresh the page at the top of the UI of vCenter or wait for the natural screen refresh.
The below screenshot comes directly from your VxRail 4.7 Admin Guide.
As you can see this is not an option:
As you can see there is no upgrade button
Multi-step Upgrade Process
Host & Clusters > Cluster > Configure > VxRail > Updates
Select browse and go to the upgrade file
I always like to upload from local updates. Just ensure you download the correct file from DellEMC support page.
This will take a little time to upload.
Verify you have performed the above pre-reqs before clicking continue
You can update now or schedule a date and time for the upgrade to kick off
Put in your root and administrator credentials
Click finish and let the upgrade begin
Continue to monitor during the upgrade. Now you can monitor the firmware updates, maintenance mode, reboot & rinse and repeat from here.
You’ll get this wonderful message following the upgrade.
You can confirm you’re on the right VxRail code level and you are officially done.
As you can see in 4.7 the upgrade process has been made easier. Now that VxRail is a plug-in in vCenter it does give you a single pane glass management interface, which I have wanted for years. Overall, once you know how to navigate vCenter to upgrade your cluster it is pretty straight forward. As always I just hope this article is useful.