Having just upgrade our VMware vCenter to 5.5U1b without issue, it was time to attack the Hosts. Given that they are HP DL380 G7’s (on the edge, but not too old) but still on the VMware HCL list I figured that the sensible option would be to download the HP Custom ISO for 5.5U1 (VMware-ESXi-5.5.0-Update1-1746018-HP-5.74.27-Jun2014) and use that.
As this is not a task that you do very often, I did my usual Googleing and found a few useful tips
Tip 1 – I used the HP iLO to get a ‘real’ view of the Host so that I could monitor it’s Build number and the power cycles. Many different manufacturers offer a Headless connection to their servers, I just like to be sure
Tip 2 – I shut down any non essential VM servers to give myself a little more head room on the remaining Hosts.
Tip 3 – Put the Host into Maintenance Mode manually – I have never had much luck doing the whole thing with the Remediate button.
To make things interesting
As part of this upgrade we are also removing the Physical Domain Controller from the Data Centre (more of this later). So one of the changes is to edit the DNS settings for each Host – this setting can be found under the “Configure Management Network”.
This is where things got very messy.. no matter what I did the HP ISO image would not install, it just kept saying ‘Incompatible’ and complained about conflicting VIBS. After a lot of head scratching and trying different options I finally gave up at 1am and went to bed.
As these things often do, the next morning I woke to a whole load of new thoughts.. one of which was a winner. Someone else must have come across this issue, and indeed they have https://communities.vmware.com/thread/482105
The general opinion is that the 5.5U1 ISO is faulty and the recommend method is to use the HP Custom 5.5GA ISO (VMware-ESXi-5.5.0-1746974-HP-5.72A.3-Jun2014) from here.
So thaks to Larry Smith for a nice set of instructions with screen shots, I imported the 5.0GA ISO into Update Manager and things proceeded much smoother. Once the Hosts have rebooted, then can then be patch upgraded to the latest level. Hopefully someone at HP will realise that the ISO is useless and produce a new version next time – but too late for me and the many others who have tried.
Don’t forget that you have to use the Windows vCenter Client, as Update Manager has not been converted to run in the Web Client (I believe that there are a number of dependencies on 3rd party products which may mean that this is re-written completely).
Also, install update manager if it’s not already installed or up to date.