The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. The vExpert program was designed by VMware to reward community members for evangelizing VMware’s products and services. Each year the title vExpert is awarded to people who have contributed to the community in an outstanding way. That can be bloggers, book authors, public speakers, VMUG leaders, VMTN contributors, VCDX and other IT professionals who share their knowledge.
Yes there are benefits (I will come back to that later), but that’s not the point. Being a vExpert is not about what to get, but what you can give. Many vExperts put a lot of their spare time into the community. Preparing a blog post, a VMUG presentation or organizing a VMUG meeting consumes a lot of time. For those community warriors is the vExpert program.
Since I’ve joined the vExpert program I made a lot of friends in the community. I also witnessed a very warm welcome as a newcomer by seasoned vExperts. To name just a few there was Ather Beg from Britain, Andreas Lesslhumer from Austria and Vladan Seget from Reunion Island.
None of the issues above did fit my observed problem. A good startpoint should be a look into vua.log on the affected host.
Unfortunately that didn’t help either. So we had (again) a closer look at the VMware upgrade path matrix. A direct host upgrade from ESXi 6.0 to ESXi 6.7U3 is supported but while we re-checked the matrix our attention was drawn to a little footnote.
KB 76555 says there’s an issue with expired VIB certificates on hosts below a specific build numer.
ESXi 6.0 GA before build 9239799
ESXi 6.5 GA before build 8294253
In fact our ESXi host 6.0 had a build level of 7967664 (U3e) which is in the critical range. So we had to install some patches up to July 2018 (ESXi600-201807001). After that the upgrade to ESXI 6.7U3 went flawlessly.
What went wrong?
Of course we did check the matrix during the planning phase in early March 2020. That’s a standard operating procedure. Unfortunately something has changed in the meantime (the footnote was added). KB 76555 was updated in May 2020 and the issue affects upgrades to versions of ESXi 6.7 beyond April 28th 2020.
Take home message: Check your design and matrices again right before the projects starts.
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).