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Patching VMware ESX4 hosts? Best practise way

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  • Patching VMware ESX4 hosts? Best practise way

    Hopefully this is an easy question for all you VMware admins.
    I am running a 3 host esx4 cluster and very soon I want to look at patching these hosts up to a later level as I am having a few issues with our 2008R2 VM's and I think its because we are on our hosts the version which has 2008 R2 in is classed as experimental mode.
    1 Host is running 175625 and the other 2 are running 164006 and want to get them all onto ESX4U2 (basically the one that before the latest one which doesnt require a 64bit vCenter server (we are running vcenter on a 32bit server and need to wait a while till we can order a newer server).
    What is the best way to patch these hosts up? I was thinking of moving all VM's to 2 hosts, patch 1 host fully, reboot the host once its upgraded and then move all VM's onto the host just patched and then do the other one and so on.
    Is it worth waiting a while between upgrading each host or can this be done one after the other just moving VM's from one host to another? All servers are identical and are HP DL380G5 with all of them having 32gb RAM. We have enough capacity to run all VM's on 2 servers if one went down for maintenance or other.
    Our vcenter server as the update module installed, am I right in saying I can just roll the rollup package for esx4u2 onto each host through the update module?

    Any advice will be most appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Patching VMware ESX4 hosts? Best practise way

    The methodology you mention above is correct - vacate one host, patch, and so on...

    This can be done very easily with Update Manager
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    • #3
      Re: Patching VMware ESX4 hosts? Best practise way

      I was about to attempt to update the hosts when I noticed that different version of ESX were installed on each host.

      In vcenter it was saying 1 host was on version 164009 and the other 2 were on 175625.

      That was odd because I have never done any updating and I know for certain they were all on version 164009 when we upgraded to vsphere.

      I doubled checked this on each host using SSH and can confirm that all version were on 164009.

      Does anyone know why vcenter is giving me different information? Could it be a bug?