Upgrading from ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 with VCSA 6.5

This is part four in a four part series on upgrading to vSphere 6.5

You can find the rest of the series here

This section of the tutorial will deal with the matter or upgrading ESXi from v6.0 to v6.5 with VCSA 6.5 using the new embedded VMware Update Manager.

Previously, deploying VUM with a VCSA required a separate Windows Server instance and SQL server for its database. VCSA 6.5 has changed all that; and now comes pre-configured with VUM out of the box. I’m going to give a quick overview of the painless and frankly, beautiful, exercise of upgrading ESXi with VUM.

Log in to the VCSA (flash version) and head to the home dashboard. Find and click Update Manager

Select the VCSA that manages the hosts that will be upgraded

Select the Manage tab, ESXi Images, then Import ESXi Images

Find and upload your ESXi 6.5 ISO. You can download it here, if you haven’t already


Head to the Hosts Baselines tab then select New Baseline

Give the baseline a name and select Host Upgrade as the baseline type

On the next page, select the ESXi image you just uploaded

Do itttttt

Head over to the Hosts and Clusters dashboard, select a cluster or datacenter, then the Update Manager tab, then Attach Baseline

You’ll find the baseline you just created under Upgrade Baselines

Once attached, select Scan for Updates

Select as required- probably a good time to upgrade everything unless you have a reason not to

Once the Scan Entity task has finished, head to Stage Patches

Again, select as required

Select hosts to upgrade

Select Upgrade Baseline followed by the ESXi baseline created earlier

Select hosts again

A highly recommended read

Schedule a time for the upgrade to take place, or run now

My preferred options (I run VSAN with DRS and no DPM, YMMV)

Let’s do this thang

Provided you’re running DRS, VUM will now live migrate VMs from a host, put the host into maintenance mode, restart it, update, pull out of maintenance mode and migrate VMs back, one host at a time until all selected hosts have been upgraded.


You’ve seen how easy this process is; what are you waiting for?

Happy upgrading!

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