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Methods for upgrading to VMware ESXi 6.0 (2109711)

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Purpose

This article provides high-level information that may be useful while upgrading to VMware ESXi 6.0.

This article assumes that you have read the documentation for the update you are applying. For more information, see the VMware vSphere 6.0 Release Notes and the vSphere 6.0 Upgrade Guide. The documentation contains definitive information. If there is a discrepancy between the guide and this article, assume that the guide is correct.

Resolution

VMware provides several ways to upgrade ESX/ESXi hosts: You can upgrade an ESXi 5.0.x, ESXi 5.1.x, or ESXi 5.5.х host directly to 6.0, using any of these methods. For more details, see the Supported Upgrades to ESXi 6.0 section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

vSphere Update Manager

vSphere Update Manager is a software for upgrading, migrating, updating, and patching clustered hosts, virtual machines, and guest operating systems. Update Manager orchestrates host and virtual machine upgrades. If your site uses vCenter Server, VMware recommends that you use Update Manager.

Using vSphere Update Manger, you can perform an orchestrated upgrade. Orchestrated upgrades allow you to upgrade the objects in your vSphere inventory in a two-step process: host upgrades, followed by virtual machine upgrades. For more information, see the Using vSphere Update Manager to Perform Orchestrated Host Upgrades section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

Upgrade or migrate interactively using an ESXi installer ISO image on CD/DVD or USB flash drive

You can run the ESXi 6.0 installer from a CD/DVD or USB flash drive to do an interactive upgrade or migration. This method is appropriate for deployments with a small number of hosts. The installer works the same way for a fresh installation, but if you select a target disk that already contains an ESXi 5.x installation, the installer upgrades the host to ESXi 6.0 and gives you the option to migrate some existing host settings and configuration files and preserve the existing VMFS datastore.

For more information, see the Upgrade Hosts Interactively section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

Scripted upgrade

You can upgrade or migrate ESXi 5.x hosts to ESXi 6.0 by invoking an update script for an unattended upgrade. Scripted upgrades provide an efficient way to deploy multiple hosts. You can use a script to upgrade ESXi from a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, or by PXE-booting the installer. You can also call a script from an interactive installation.  
 
For more information, see the Installing or Upgrading Hosts by Using a Script section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

vSphere Auto Deploy

If you have hosts deployed using vSphere Auto Deploy, Auto Deploy can be used to reprovision the hosts with a new ESXi 6.0 image profile. Use the ESXi Image Builder PowerCLI to create and manage image profiles as required. For more information, see the Using vSphere ESXi Image Builder section in the vSphere Installation and Setup guide.

Note: After the host is deployed using an ESXi 6.0 image, it is deployed with certificates that are signed by the VMCA. If you are using custom certificates, you can set up the host to use the custom certificates again after the upgrade.

For more information, see the Using vSphere Auto Deploy to Reprovision Hosts section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

ESXi Command-line interface - esxcli

Using the vSphere Command Line Interface (CLI), you can upgrade ESXi 5.x hosts to version 6.0.

For more information about upgrading ESXi 5.x hosts using  esxcli commands, see the Upgrading Hosts by Using esxcli Commands section in the vSphere Upgrade Guide.

Note: The esxupdate and vihostupdate command-line utilities are not supported methods to upgrade to ESXi 6.0.

Tags

upgrade esxi 5.5 to 6, upgrade to esxi 6, upgrade esxi from 5.5 to 6.0

See Also

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