When it comes time to update ESXi hosts, VMware vSphere Update Manager often comes to mind first. You may also here it referred to as VMware VUM, or vCenter 6.7 Update Manager. While vSphere Update Manager, does more than upgrade ESXi, it makes the upgrade easy and removes the risk of human error. This is something many are concerned about as ESXi 5.5 end of general support approaches. In VMware vSphere 6.7, Update Manager became even more accessible. As a bit of a history lesson, it was only vSphere 6.5 that it became integrated into the vCenter Server Appliance. Now, it will be in the VMware HTM5 vSphere Client, in addition to the web client.
vSphere administrators and operators have begun to move away from the vSphere Web Client in favor of the newer, shiner, and of course faster vSphere Client which is built using HTML5. The same goes for the ESXi 6.7 web client when it comes to managing individual hosts. Since vSphere Update Manager can make host upgrades so much easier for users, many were hesitant to switch to the vSphere Client until they could do host upgrades from there. I can’t say I blame them. While host upgrades aren’t an every day occurrence, they are often crucial to any VMware environment when they do, in fact need to happen.
In vSphere 6.7, ESXi host upgrades using vSphere Update Manager will now be possible. Administrators will now be able to use the streamlined HTML5 vSphere Client to accomplish this very important task. Since this is vCenter 6.7 Update Manager’s first appearance in this interface, some functionallty will remain in the vSphere Web Client. This is reminiscent to the migration from the installable vSphere thick client to the vSphere Web Client – it took a while for vSphere Update Manager to make it. For now, the vSphere Web client will still need to be used for tasks such as VMware Tools and VM hardware updates, as well as VMware vSphere Update Manager configuration changes.
Beyond Update Manager, even more functionally is coming to the vSphere Client in vSphere 6.7.
There are some great resources available from VMware to get a quick overview of what is new in vSphere 6.7:
Additionally, the blogging engines are running around the internet! I will list great vSphere 6.7 posts here as I come across them:
- vCenter Server 6.7 What’s New Rundown by Emad Younis
- Continued Enhancements in vSphere 6.7 by Rebecca Fitzhugh
- Released: vSAN 6.7 – HTML5 Goodness, Enhanced Health Checks and More! by Anthony Spiteri
Besides Update Manager becoming available in the vSphere Client, there has been even more features and functionality added to the HTML5 interface, such as the ability to manage vSAN and NSX. The same goes for the ESXi 6.7 web client, which has come a long way with this vSphere 6.7 release.
It is important to not that you will not be able to upgrade directly from ESXi 5.5 to ESXi 6.7. If you are running ESXi 5.5, you should first upgrade to ESXi 6.5, and then to ESXi 6.7. Remember – vCenter must always be upgraded first! If you are starting to plan an ESXi upgrade, take a look at the session Rebecca Fitzhugh and I presented at VMworld 2017 called Upgrading to vSphere 6.5 the VCDX way. You can also find out how to upgrade ESXi 5.5 to 6.5 using Update Manage with this walkthrough.
If you are looking for a detailed walkthrough on how to upgrade ESXi 6.5 to 6.7 using VMware vSphere Update Manager, you can find it right here!