Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4

0

Recently, I have been working on the home lab and getting various components upgraded to the latest and greatest. In working on a nested VMware vSphere vSAN 6.7 Update lab for VMware Horizon 7.7, I decided also to get NSX updated in the lab as well. In this particular environment, I had only deployed an NSX Manager and connected it to the vCenter Server for the nested lab. However, I had not installed the NSX vibs on the hosts or deployed any controllers as of yet. For this particular “upgrade” I only needed to upgrade the NSX Manager. I was coming from NSX 6.4.1 and would be upgrading to the NSX Manager version 6.4.4. In this post, we will take a quick look at what’s new in NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.4 as well as the process of upgrading a legacy NSX Manager to version 6.4.4.

What’s New in NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.4?

Before getting into the new features, the NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.4 is a release that resolves several customer related bugs. Just a few of those issues that have been resolved with 6.4.4 are issues related to GI SVM memory limits with high network throughput. High memory observed in teh GI SVM. Then, looss of connectivity to the NSX Manager may also occur. When flow collection is turned on in NSX, some customers have observed a purple screen on the host. This has resulted in the loss of VMs data. Another issue resolved is an error that is thrown when there is no port on the physical switch. If a physical switch on a hardware gateway has no port, NSX throws an error when trying to get the port from the switch. Another issue resolved is after the NSX manager reboot, NSX VIBs installation task is shown as continuously running in the UI on the Host preparation tab.

Now, what’s new? VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.4 contains new functionality updates in this release for the HTML 5 vSphere client. Now, with NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.4 and the HTML 5 vSphere client, you can now manage many of the features of Logical Switches, Edge Appliances, Edge Services (DHCP, NAT, Edge Certificates, Edge Grouping Objects, etc. What functionality still needs to be managed from the web client and not the vSphere client (HTML 5) client? Below is a listing of the functionality that still needs to be managed in the web client (flex client).

Functional AreaUnsupported Functionality in the vSphere Client
Service DefinitionsAll functionality, including:
Guest Introspection Services
Network Introspection Services
Hardware Devices
NSX EdgesEdge – Routing
Edge – Bridging
Edge – Firewall
Edge – Load Balancer
Edge – VPN
Service ComposerService Composer Canvas
Tools: Endpoint MonitoringAll functionality
Tools: Flow MonitoringFlow Monitoring Dashboard
Details by Service
Configuration
System: Users and DomainsUsers
System: EventsSNMP Events
NSX Ticket Logger
Cross-VC NSXUniversal Logical Router
NSX HomeGetting Started
License Information
Customer Experience Improvement Program

There are scalability improvements in this release as well. Static Routes per Edge Service Gateway: increases from 2048 to 10,240 static routes for Quad Large and X-Large Edge Service Gateways.

Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4

The upgrade of NSX components involve upgrading the NSX Manager, then the controllers, and then upgrading the NSX Host cluster. On vSphere 6.0 and later, once you have upgraded from NSX 6.2.x to NSX 6.3.x or later, any subsequent NSX VIB changes do not require a reboot. Below, we are logging into the NSX Manager interface.

Login-to-the-NSX-Manager-to-be-upgraded-to-NSX-6.4.4 Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
Login to the NSX Manager to be upgraded to NSX 6.4.4

To upgrade the NSX Manager appliance, choose the Upgrade button in the NSX Manager Virtual Appliance Management interface.

Choosing-to-upgrade-the-NSX-Manager-appliance-to-6.4.4 Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
Choosing to upgrade the NSX Manager appliance to 6.4.4

Under the Upgrade area of the NSX Manager appliance, you can verify the current version of the NSX Manager as well as click the Upload Bundle button to upload the upgrade bundle file downloaded from VMware for the NSX Manager appliance. The upgrade bundle is in the format of a tar.gz file.

Uploading-the-NSX-Manager-upgrade-bundle-to-the-NSX-Manager Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
Uploading the NSX Manager upgrade bundle to the NSX Manager

The Upgrade dialog box will open, allowing you to click the Choose File button to browse your local drive to choose the upgrade bundle file.

Choose-the-NSX-Manager-6.4.4-upgrade-bundle-file-from-disk Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
Choose the NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade bundle file from disk

After choosing the NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade bundle file, click the Continue button.

After-choosing-the-NSX-Manager-6.4.4-upgrade-bundle-it-will-be-uploaded-to-the-appliance Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
After choosing the NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade bundle it will be uploaded to the appliance

The upload of the upgrade bundle file for the NSX Manager 6.4.4 appliance begins. In the lower left hand corner of the browser, you will see the upload percentage as it progresses.

The-NSX-Manager-6.4.4-upgrade-bundle-is-uploaded-to-the-NSX-Manager-appliance Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
The NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade bundle is uploaded to the NSX Manager appliance

After the NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade bundle upload completes, you will be presented with the Upgrade dialog box that allows configuring a couple of settings for the upgrade as well as presents a reminder about backing up the NSX Manager before performing the upgrade. Be sure to perform this backup of the NSX Manager appliance before kicking off the upgrade. Additionally, you can choose the options for SSH connectivity as well as opting into the CEIP program. After verifying the options you want to configure, click the Upgrade button which will begin the upgrade process.

After-upload-of-the-NSX-Manager-6.4.4-choose-upgrade-to-proceed Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
After upload of the NSX Manager 6.4.4 choose upgrade to proceed

The overall upgrade status screen will appear which will show the status of the upgrade as it progresses.

The-NSX-Manager-6.4.4-upgrade-process-running Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
The NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade process running

After a while, the upgrade status will display Complete.

The-NSX-Manager-6.4.4-upgrade-completes Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
The NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade completes

After the upgrade completes, you can check the Summary tab of the NSX Manager appliance web interface and you should see the Version showing 6.4.4 Build 11197766.

Verifying-the-NSX-Manager-version-is-6.4.4-after-the-upgrade Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4
Verifying the NSX Manager version is 6.4.4 after the upgrade

Takeaways

The process of Upgrading NSX Data Center for vSphere Manager to 6.4.4 is straightforward with the NSX Manager web interface. The process simply involves backing up the current appliance via the built in backup process via SFTP. Then, you proceed with uploading the NSX Manager 6.4.4 upgrade bundle and then kick off the upgrade from the web interface. After kicking off the upgrade, it should complete successfully in a short amount of time. After upgrading the NSX Manager, you will proceed with the NSX controllers. Stay tuned for more NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.4.