Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

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With the release of vSphere 6.5, most will be thinking about upgrading hosts and vSphere infrastructure to 6.5.  Let’s take a look at the process of upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 on a ESXi 6.0 U2 host.  As mentioned in the preceding post on a new install of vSphere 6.5, there are considerations before upgrading to ESXi 6.5.  The following products are not yet compatible with version 6.5 so proceed carefully:

  • VMware NSX
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack
  • vCloud Director for Service Providers
  • vRealize Infrastructure Navigator
  • App Volumes
  • Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode
  • Integrated OpenStack
  • vCloud Networking and Security
  • vRealize Business for Cloud
  • vRealize Configuration Manager
  • vRealize Hyperic
  • vRealize Networking Insight

Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

Below is the process of booting from the downloaded ESXi 6.5 ISO and performing the upgrade process.

esxi65up_01 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

esxi65up_02 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

esxi65up_03 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

Here we select the disk that contains our existing ESXi 6.0 install.

esxi65up_04 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

After we have selected the ESXi 6.0 disk, we get the message that states the selected storage deivces contains an installation of ESXi.  We have the option then to choose Upgrade.

esxi65up_05 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

Next, we confirm the Upgrade process by pressing F11.

esxi65up_06 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

The upgrade of our host begins.

esxi65up_07 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

Not long after, we have the message stating the Upgrade is complete and we simply need to reboot the host to instantiate the 6.5 install.

esxi65up_08 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

After a reboot, the host boots up and displays that it is now on version 6.5 Build 4564106.

esxi65up_09 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

HTML5 UI and vSphere Client

Surprisingly, you CAN still connect to the ESXi 6,5 host directly with the vSphere fat client.

esxi65up_10 Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5

However, you cannot connect to vCenter 6.5 with the vSphere client.  You only have the option of the flash based web client and the new HTML5 UI.  Unfortunately, it still seems like the HTML5 client has partial functionality and you won’t be able to do everything you want to do there and will have to still utilize the flash based client.

Thoughts

Make sure to read the considerations before proceeding with upgrading to ESX 6.5 as many of the other VMware products, notably NSX especially is not compatible as of yet with version 6.5   No doubt these will be updated very soon to integrate with VMware’s flagship hypervisor.  There is a lot of goodness baked into this release of vSphere and many will be looking at Upgrading VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.5 in the near future.  Stay tuned for our post on upgrading vCenter 6.0 to 6.5 VCSA appliance as there is much awesomeness in this release of vCenter server!