Updates to the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) are usually easily done from the VAMI interface. In rare cases, however, problems may occur during the update. Recently I tried to update the VCSA in the lab from version 7.0.0 (16386335) to 7.0.0 U1 (16858589). The update was started via a locally mounted ISO image. It was detected that an update is available, but the update failed right after start. The problem referenced in the link above did not apply in this case.
In such cases it is worthwhile to try the VCSA shell. To do this, it must first be allowed in VAMI, then the session can be established via SSH client.
It is important that you’re NOT on the bash shell. You can return from bash to the VAMI shell with the command below.
In the first step the update packages are staged. The ISO should be mounted at this time.
software-packages stage --iso --acceptEulas
The process checks some requirements, detects source- and destination version and tests for a mounted iso.
software-packages list --staged
The command listed above will show details to the staged package.
If everything looks correct we can trigger the update.
software-packages install --staged
The update to version 7.0 U1 finished without any issues.
During patching of a vCenter server appliance (VCSA) problems can occur. Maybe contact to the update source was lost or the whole process has been cancelled by an operator. If you try to reapply the patch, you might see an error like in the picture below.
Update Installation failed. VCenter Server is not operational.
In the VAMI interface of vCenter everything looks fine. All services are up and running and ovarall status is green. Even a reboot of the appliance doesn’t help. The source of the problem lies in an interrupted update procedure which leaves a status file behind. We need to fix (remove) that manually.
To do so open a SSH shell to the vCenter server appliance and change to the directory where the file was left.
# cd /etc/applmgmt/appliance
You’ll see a file called software_update_state.conf. Under normal circumstances this file will be removed after an update. But something went wrong and it wasn’t cleaned up. Let’s have a brief look inside the file.
Recently I’ve upgraded my homelab from 6.7U3 to vSphere7. The workflow is straightforward and very easy. The VMware Design team did a very good job with the UI.
I cannot point that out enough: check the VMware HCL. Just because your system is supported under your current vSphere version, doesn’t mean it’ll be supported under vSphere7 too. On the day I’ve upgraded, vSphere7 was brand new and there were just a few entries in the HCL. But it’s a homelab and if something breaks I don’t care to rebuild it from scratch. Don’t do this in production!
Although my Supermicro E300-9D is not yet certified for version 7.0, it works like a charm. I guess it’s just a matter of time, because the VMware Nano-Edge cluster is based on that hardware.
Before we can start, you need to download the vCenter Server Appliance 7.0 (VCSA) from VMware downloads (Login required). You also need to have new license keys for vCenter, ESXi and vSAN (if yor cluster is hyperconverged).
A couple of days ago Runecast Analyzer has been upgraded to version 3.0.0. With that upgrade a very important beta-feature became GA: HW Compatibility and Upgrade Simulator.
I used to run the Runecast service account with readonly privileges. It has been sufficient up to version 2.7.x. Even the hardware compatibility check (beta) did work with readonly privileges. After upgrading my appliance to version 3.0.0 (GA), I found a notification. Missing privileges..
Once you open host details and click on I/O devices tab, there’s further information.