Updating the vCenter server appliance using VAMI (vCenter Appliance Management Page)

Updating the vCenter from the VAMI (vCenter Appliance Management Page) is widely used option since most of the vCenter servers are connected to internet and has been the easiest way to update the vCenter server appliance in the recent times.

How to Patch the vCSA using VAMI?

In Order to patch the vCenter server appliance login to the vCenter Appliance management page, use your web browser and connect to “https://<vCSA IP Address or hostname>:5480” and log in as root. We’re accessing the appliance management and not the vCenter Server. Note the port number (5480), which is a specific port destined for management of the vCenter Server appliance.

Once you login you will see the VAMI homepage,

VAMI homepage

Perform the below four steps to update the vCenter:

  1. Click on Update
  2. Select Check CD-ROM+URL
  3. Select the latest patch in the list.
  4. Select Stage and Install.
Steps to update vCenter

Accept the Licence Agreement and click NEXT

Accept License Agreement

Check the box Join the VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) and click NEXT

VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program

Now confirm that you have backed up the vCenter server and it’s databases. (Offline or Memory snapshot of the vCenter will suffice) and Click FINISH

Please ignore the Estimated Downtime it will maximum take 15 -20 minutes to complete the entire update process.

Now the process Staging and the Installation of the patch will begin

Installation of Patch

Verify that the vCenter is updated from the Homepage,

By the above process we have successfully updated the vCenter.

Updating the vCenter server appliance Command line

The offline method of updating the vCenter server appliance is useful for the enviroments which does not have direct internet to avoid security risk and also to update the vCenter where the update fails when using the VAMI page. It’s very important that we may need to update or patch these environments to protect them from vulnerabilities.

How to download the patch iso?

We can download the patch from the VMware product patches page.

Once you reach the VMware product patches page, Select VC from the drop-down Menu VC -> Select the version of your vCenter 6.5, 6.7 or 7.0. Download the patch that is the latest in the list for the version of the vCenter that you are using.

Note: when downloading the iso make sure that the tag FP on the iso, when you want to patch the vCenter server. (Refer the image below)

Important: You only need the latest patch because the updates are cumulative, which contains all the patches.

After downloading the iso from the Product Patches page.

Now connect to your vSphere Client and upload this ISO to a data store which is accessible vCenter server appliance. Then select the vCenter server appliance VM and connect the ISO to the VM and select the option connected.

Please connect take an SSH session (PuTTY for example)of the vCenter appliance using the root account and follow the below steps,

software-packages stage --iso --acceptEula
Stage the patches by mounting it to the machine
software-packages list --staged
Show the patch which is staged to the vCenter
 software-packages install --staged
Command installs the patch to the vCenter

This method is very useful where you can stage the patches prior to the update to reduce downtime.

Also, VMware patch does not require a reboot. You can confirm if the reboot is required or not from the release notes of the particular patch.

Updating the vCenter server appliance using iso

The offline method of updating the vCenter server appliance is useful for the enviroments which does not have direct internet to avoid security risk. It’s very important that we may need to update or patch these environments.

How to download the patch iso?

We can download the patch from the VMware product patches page.

Once you reach the VMware product patches page, Select VC from the drop-down Menu VC -> Select the version of your vCenter 6.5, 6.7 or 7.0. Download the patch that is the latest in the list for the version of the vCenter that you are using.

Note: when downloading the iso make sure that the tag FP on the iso, when you want to patch the vCenter server. (Refer the image below)

Important: You only need the latest patch because the updates are cumulative, which contains all the patches.

After downloading the iso from the Product Patches page.

Now connect to your vSphere Client and upload this ISO to a data store which is accessible vCenter server appliance. Then select the vCenter server appliance VM and connect the ISO to the VM and select the option connected.

Lets login to the vCenter Appliance management page, use your web browser and connect to https://<vCSA IP Address or hostname>:5480 and log in as root. We’re accessing the appliance itself and not the vCenter Server. Note the port number (5480), which is a specific port destined for management of the vCenter Server appliance.

Click on the update menu and click Check Updates > Check CD‑ROM. Based on the FP iso attached, the update will show up, select Stage and Install

Once you Click the stage and install link, follow the assistant, which will guide you through the patch process.

You have to accept the end-user license agreement, then you might want to join the CEIP (customer experience improvement program). Click -> Next

In the next screen you must check a box saying “I have backed up vCenter and its associated databases.” and then click on Finish.

Once it’s complete the vCenter will be updated to the patch as per the iso attached.