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vWorld v.3

Little tips on updating hosts using vCLI

Today I make some time free to update my home lab from “VMware ESXi 4.1” to “VMware ESXi 4.1 Update 1”.
Well, This may look outdated topic or old version as VMware already announced “VMware vSphere 5.0” but I face an “Error”, I thought it may be good to share here.

Quick Note: Full process of updating hosts using vCLI (generally upgrading VMware vSphere vCenter/ESX/ESXi) is written in the “vSphere Upgrade Guide” and also there is post with title of “How to update the ESXi 4.1 Free version to ESXi 4.1 Update 1” on “vladan.fr” site but here I’m posting about Error I get.

Condition:

Having hosts which running ESXi 4.1

Goal:

Updating Hosts from “ESXi 4.1” to “ESXi 4.1 U1”

Process:

First of all, host(s) which target of this update should be in “Maintenance Mode” and it means their VMs should be powered off, for preventing any problem in providing service if there is more than one host, VMs can be migrated to them instead of shutting down.
Putting hosts in the “Maintenance Mode” can be done by GUI using “VMware vSphere Client” or using “vim-cmd hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter” in the Console/TSM/SSH.

As no one wants to lose any data or more important any configuration (and I don’t want too) I start backing up each hosts configuration using “vicfg-cfgbackup.pl” which comes with “VMware vCLI“.
This command can be run like stated below and shown in the following screen shot.
vicfg-cfgbackup.pl –server SERVER_NAME/IP –username USERACCOUNT –password PASSWORD -S LOCATION_AND_FILENAME



These backup files can be used in case of unsuccessful update or losing configuration after update and I’m sure no one want to use them in these case 😉 any way, after taking backup from my hosts configuration, I intended to start updating hosts one by one by running “vihostupdate.pl” command which came with “VMware vCLI” again.
This command will help admins to update or check their hosts for update process, for updating hosts this command can be run like below and as it stated in the screenshot.
vihostupdate.pl –server SERVER_NAME/IP –username USERACCOUNT –password PASSWORD -i -b LOCATION_AND_BUNDLEFILE

I ran the same command as I mentioned before and just as it stated in the “vSphere Upgrade Guide” but I received “This operation is NOT supported on 4.1.0 platform.” Error and the updating process stopped after that.

I tested the same command with the second host on my lab.

But no chance of getting update process.

I checked the web for this error and came across “Dell Support Post” which pointed to the version of “VMware vCLI” which is used for update process.
I checked my version by running “vihostupdate.pl –version” and get following answer.

As I downloaded new version of “VMware vCLI” for other project, I lunched the setup file and replace the old version with new one.

After installing and checking new version of “VMware vCLI” I went back to the old command of “vihostupdate” which I used earlier, so I entered same command and waited for the result.


This time the update process finished successfully with prompting me to reboot the host for using this update effectively as shown in above screenshot.

Summary:

Update process can’t be started just because of having the vCLI or any other tools which is needed, their version and compatibility should be checked as it can take times searching around nothing, like about 20 minutes in my case 😉

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