VCF On VxRail – 4.0.1.0 -> 4.0.1.1 Upgrade (Part1: MGMT WLD)

Part 2: Walk-thru upgrade of a VCF VI Workload Domain

In this 2 part series I will provide an example walk-thru upgrade of:

VCF 4.0.1.0 (VxRail 7.0.000) -> 4.0.1.1 upgrade (VxRail 7.0.010)

One of the great advantages of a VCF On VxRail solution is the ability to LCM your entire SDDC stack in an automated fashion driven through a single user interface (SDDC Manager). The following post details how you step through this LCM process.

By expanding the Current Versions tab within SDDC manager it is possible to view the full list of components deployed as part of VCF and their respective current running code versions. The following is a very useful VMware kb article detailing the BOM for each VCF release:

Correlating VMware Cloud Foundation version with the versions of its constituent products

It is also advisable to read the release notes of the target version prior to performing the upgrade:

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0.1 on Dell EMC VxRail Release Notes.

In relation to this particular example upgrade of VCF 4.0.1.0 -> 4.0.1.1 we can correlate from the above kb & release notes that the components being upgraded are as detailed below. This upgrade consists of a 5x BUNDLE upgrade process executed in the following sequence:

  1. VMware Software Upgrade contains VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0a update (7.0.0.10300-16189094 5GB)
  2. VMware Software Upgrade contains VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0b update (7.0.0.10400-16386292 5GB)
  3. VMware Cloud Foundation Upgrade contains configuration changes which will be applied to components of VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0.1.1 (4.0.1.1-16660200 11GB)
  4. VMware Software Upgrade contains VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0c update (7.0.0.10600-16620007 5GB)
  5. VXRAIL UPGRADE BUNDLE VERSION 7.0.010-26590399  9GB

The sequence of the upgrade is defined within SDDC Manager itself. SDDC Manager presents the next available upgrade bundle throughout the procedure which makes the overall procedure quite easy and seamless to the end user performing the upgrade. In an effort to incrementally speed up the process of upgrading it is advisable to download all the required bundles in advance (bundles marked as available/future apply), as some of the bundles can be quite large in size for example the 4.0.1.1 bundle is 11GB. After each of the bundles have been downloaded click View Details, which details the version changes that will be applied as part of the bundle upgrade. The update bundles can be applied manually or scheduled for a preferred time window. Note that the update 3. VCF bundle applies only to the management WLD.

Ensure to run the upgrade Precheck task from within SDDC Manager in order to validate VCF is in a healthy state before proceeding with each of the upgrades and view the health status of each component by expanding their respective results. If the precheck has failed, fix the issue and then retry the precheck task to repeat the validation process.

Important: Before proceeding with the upgrade ensure to take snapshots of your management virtual machines. Do not perform any SDDC workflows such as VI WLD creation or WLD expansions during the upgrade and confirm no failed workflows or errors are displayed in SDDC manager.

While proceeding with the updates, click on View update activity to monitor progress and track progress via the lcm log:

tail -f /var/log/vmware/vcf/lcm/lcm.log

It is also possible to confirm a successful update via the SDDC manager ssh console:

cat /var/log/vmware/vcf/lcm/lcm.log | grep “reached final state COMPLETED_WITH_SUCCESS”

All of the above steps/guidelines are displayed as part of the walk-thru series detailed for each of the 5 upgrades below.

Stepping through each of the 5 upgrade bundles:

1. VMware Software Upgrade contains VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0a update

In order to check the availability of Update/Patches from within the SDDC manager console navigate to Inventory->WLD->Update/Patches. In this example we see that VC 7.0.0a update is the first available bundle to be applied:

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2. VMware Software Upgrade contains VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0b update

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3. VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0.1.1 (4.0.1.1-16660200)

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4. VMware Software Upgrade contains VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0c update

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5. VXRAIL UPGRADE BUNDLE VERSION 7.0.010

It is highly recommended that you run the VxVerify tool before proceeding with a VxRail upgrade; more details on how to download and run VxVerify can be found here:

https://support.emc.com/kb/536801

Note: Upgrading VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail from 4.0.1.0 to 4.0.1.1 fails on VxRail Manager. (VMware KB77007) This is a known issue and expected behavior as part of the upgrade, the steps in the slides below detail how to handle the failure. The upgrade of VxRail actually continues which you can monitor through the VxRail VC plugin and once complete simply return to SDDC Manager and click on ‘RETRY’ which then proceeds to validate all versions on the VxRail end and update SDDC Manager with the updated VxRail version.

Please also refer to the Release Notes for these 2 known issues:

  1. Upgrading VxRail Manager to 7.0.010 fails with message VxRail component upgrade failed with error Auth Fail
  2. Upgrading VxRail Manager to 7.0.010 fails with message VxRail component upgrade failed with error HostKey has been changed

This completes the VCF 4.0.1.0 (VxRail 7.0.000) -> 4.0.1.1 upgrade (VxRail 7.0.010) for the Management WLD. I hope this helped to provide some guidance during your upgrade of VCF On VxRail!

Thank you for reading! Please let me know if this was of benefit in the comments below.

Regards David

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