Software upgrade – Dell EMC VxRail vSAN Stretched Cluster

In this post we will show the software upgrade on VxRail vSAN Stretched Cluster, the details of hardware and software configuration as below. In this demo, we will upgrade VxRail software package 4.5.070 to 4.5.152.

Site A (Preferred Site) – 3 x VxRail E460 Appliance
Site B (Secondary Site) – 3 x VxRail E460 Appliance
Site C (Remote Site) – 1 x vSAN witness node

VMware and EMC Software
VxRail Manager 4.5.070
VMware vCenter 6.5 U1 Appliance
VMware ESXi 6.5 U1
VMware vSAN 6.6 Enterprise
VMware vSAN Witness Host 6.5

Software upgrade sequence:
1) VMware vCenter Server appliance to Update 1 or later
2) VMware vSAN witness appliance to Update 1 or later
3) Dell EMC VxRail Manager to 4.5.152
3) VxRail Appliance (eg, ESXi, BIOS, Disk Controller, iDRAC, iSM, Dell ptAgent, HBA driver VxRail Platform Service and VxRail VIB)

Preparation
VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 U1 upgrade package
VMware vSAN Witness 6.5 U1 upgrade package
Dell EMC VxRail 4.5.152 upgrade package “VXRAIL_COMPOSITE-4.5.152-8119822_for_4.5.x.zip”

Since it is the vSAN Stretched Cluster in our environment, first we need to upgrade vCenter Server Appliance and vSAN Witness that are running outside VxRail Appliance. When we finish this upgrade of vCenter Server Appliance and witness host, we can start software upgrade on VxRail Manager.

NOTE: The software package upgrade includes vCenter Server Appliance and Service Platform Controller (PSC) if it is using bundled vCenter Server Appliance and PSC inside VxRail Appliance.

First we make sure there are no any error on VxRail Manager, then we can upload software upgrade package into VxRail Manager. It supports the local upgrade and internet upgrade, we choose the local upgrade in this time.

NOTE: We suggest that create VM snapshot of VxRail Manager before the software upgrade.

When it finishes the uploading of software package, click “continue” button to start the software upgrade.

Input the permission of vCenter Server and VxRail Manager, then submit.

It starts to upgrade VxRail Manager after the upgrade pre-check. We need to login into VxRail Manager again when it finishes the version upgrade.

Now it starts the software upgrade on each VxRail appliance one by one. Before the software upgrade, it will migrate the VMs are running on VxRail into other node automatically, and then starts to upgrade on that VxRail Appliance and all related components. In this demo, it will upgrade six VxRail Appliance one by one.

NOTE: The software upgrade is NOT perform automatically if the vSphere license is standard edition, you need to migrate the VM into other VxRail node manually during the software upgrade.

Finally the software upgrade is completed successfully.

We can see the version of each component on VxRail Manager.

Conclusion

The service of running virtual machines on VxRail is not disrupted during the software upgrade. We don’t concern the compatibility of each hardware and software component. One software upgrade package includes all related hardware and software component. Great !!!

3 comments

  1. thanks for the article because there’s not much about VxRail

    DELL EMC says :
    “VxRail systems that are configured in a vSAN Stretched cluster cannot be upgraded by customers due to the fact that there are pre-upgrade checks that will require manual over-ride.”

    Is it just a recommendation or the upgrade is blocking if we don’t have specific access? What does “manual over-ride” mean, just click “Yes, i accept…”?

    Like

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