VMware VCSA 6.7a Released – Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

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It seems like vSphere 6.7 just dropped but VMware is continuing with their blistering pace of patching and updating products. VMware vCenter VCSA Appliance 6.7a has been released as a “full patch” delivery. When saying it is a full patch, it is a 2094.5 MB download package containing various software fixes applying to the VCSA appliance and the Platform Services Controller Appliance. What are the specific issues addressed in this release? How is this upgrade applied? Let’s take a look at VMware VCSA 6.7a Released – Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a.

VMware VCSA 6.7a Released – Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

The specific information related to the VCSA 6.7a upgrade version, download size, and checksum are found below.  This is taken from the official VMware KB article found here:  https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/54740

Download Filename VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.7.0.11000-8546234-patch-FP.iso
Build 8546234
Download Size 2094.5 MB
md5sum 3b95789b6ed40140b42b1ee7d26fcdf4
sha1checksum ef3fabfc4f2d395cde1ec0a206edda933f2d62e2

There are three areas that are addressed with this full patch release to VCSA 6.7a.  They include:

  • Installation and Upgrade issues
    • Error Failed to check the status of VMware Directory Service.  This is due to port 11711 no longer being used.  Certain upgrade paths may still check and attempt ot bind vmdir to port 11711.  The fix updates the port to 389 if an LDAPPort registry is present
    • Error the installation of vCenter Server failed due to an internal errorThis issue dows not allow unique messages to propagate to the UI if the upgrade fails on first boot.
    • Error Failed to register Auto Deploy during firstboot – Duplicate versions of OpenSSL in the system environment path variable might cause Auto Deploy firstboot to fail
  • vSphere web client and vSphere client issues
    • vSphere Web Client might stop responding when logging in – This is due to any plugins that may have been installed before upgrading to vSphere Web Client that have been upgraded to vSphere 6.7
    • Inability to disable the deduplication and encryption features by using the Allow Redundancy option in the configure vSAN wizard.  Remove cached plug-ins, remove the working directory of the vSphere client, restart the vsphere client when upgrading to vSphere 6.7a.
  • vSAN issues
    • If vSAN is deployed in an environment without Internet connectivity, the VMware vSAN health service might alert the HCL database is out of data

Upgrading VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

To upgrade to VCSA 6.7a you can either download the ISO or pull the update from the online patch repository.  In the example below, we will simply connect to the patch repository and pull down the update.  Login to the VAMI interface via port 5480 and navigate to the Update menu.  We will then select the Check Updates button.  Notice the current version of VCSA 6.7 is 6.7.0.10000.

Upgrading-VCSA-6.7-via-the-VAMI-interface VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

Upgrading VCSA 6.7 via the VAMI interface

Select the Check CD ROM + URL option.

Choose-the-Check-CDROM-URL-VCSA-6.7-upgrade VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

Choose the Check CDROM + URL VCSA 6.7 upgrade

The 6.7.0.11000 version is showing as available from the patch repository.  Select the radio button for the patch.  You can either select to stage only or stage and install which is the option I will be doing.

The-latest-VCSA-6.7a-patch-is-shown-as-available VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

The latest VCSA 6.7a patch is shown as available

The three-step Stage and Install Update wizard begins.  First, we agree to the EULA.

Stage-and-Install-Update-Wizard-VCSA-6.7a-update-begins VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

Stage and Install Update Wizard – VCSA 6.7a update begins

Next, select to either join the CEIP or not.

Step-2-Stage-and-Install-Update-VCSA-6.7a VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

Stage and Install Update Wizard – VCSA 6.7a update begins

Finally, probably the most important to the upgrade itself is to select either to go to backups and initialize a backup of your appliance before upgrading, or check the box that I have backed up vCenter Server and its associated databases.  After selecting Finish, the upgrade begins…

Step-3-Stage-and-Install-Update-VCSA-6.7a VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

Step 3 Stage and Install Update VCSA 6.7a

Installation of VCSA 6.7a begins.

VCSA-6.7a-Installation-Begins VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

VCSA 6.7a Installation Begins

Services are started.  Interestingly, I didn’t notice a reboot of the appliance, however, I did leave it for a few minutes.  The interface and workflow of the update seems to definitely be smoother as we all remember in previous updates via the VAMI it leaves the rebooting to you.

Installation-of-VCSA-6.7a-continues-services-started VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

Installation of VCSA 6.7a continues services started

Installation of VCSA 6.7a is successful.

Installation-of-VCSA-6.7a-finishes-successfully VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

Installation of VCSA 6.7a finishes successfully

After the installation wizard is closed, going back to the Update section, the version is now displaying 6.7.011000 which is the VCSA 6.7a version number.  Also, in the screen clip below, I went ahead and checked for updates again and as shown, none are available.

VCSA-6.7a-version-is-now-displaying-in-VAMI VMware VCSA 6.7a Released - Upgrade VCSA 6.7 to VCSA 6.7a

VCSA 6.7a version is now displaying in VAMI

Takeaways

VMware vSphere 6.7 is a great new vSphere version that proves itself to be a worthy upgrade from previous versions (no 6.5 U2 path as of yet). With the release of VCSA 6.7a, VMware has fixed some upgrade, web client, and vSAN related bugs that may be encountered with the GA version of VCSA 6.7, so it is a critical upgrade for those who may have already upgraded or are contemplating upgrading to vSphere 6.7.  The new VAMI interface with vSphere 6.7 sporting the clarity UI is extremely quick and easy to work with especially for the update workflow.  I was impressed with how the update process feels even more streamlined when compared to even 6.5 releases.  It will be interesting to see if patches are released for ESXi 6.7 and also when support for 6.5 U2 will be included.  Stay tuned!