Upgrading ESXi on Nutanix by CLI

Firstly, you MUST check requirements for any changes as per your Nutanix hardware model and what the Nutanix upgrade guide (for the version you are using) says to check.

The advantage of the Nutanix platform is that even when the local controller VM (CVM) is offline, the Nutanix NFS datastore is still visible to the host on which that CVM resides.

The below is just for the upgrading ESXi part. If you also need to upgrade the Nutanix NOS software version, consult the appropriate Nutanix Upgrade guide.

  1. Download the vSphere depot zip file (offline bundle) from vmware.com
  2. Put it on the NTNX NFS datastore (Here it is named : NFS1)
  3. Shut down the CVM on the node you want to upgrade, make sure all guest VMs are off or migrated off that host. “ha.py” will kick in so the NFS is still visible on that host despite the CVM being off.
  4. Upgrade the host by doing the following (example below is upgrading to 5.1u1):To get the “profile” name, SSH to a host and run:esxcli software sources profile list -d=[NFS1]update-from-esxi5.1-5.1_update01.zipand use the ‘standard’ name for the upgrade commandlet below.
  5. Run the upgrade on the ESXi host:esxcli software profile update --depot=[NFS1]update-from-esxi5.1-5.1_update01.zip --profile=ESXi-5.1.0-20130402001-standard…wait about 30 seconds or so for the upgrade to complete. A whole lot of garbage fills the screen about vibs etc. Scroll up a bit and it says “reboot required” or similar.
  6. Reboot the host and it should be upgraded. Once the host restarts, the CVM will power on and then re-join the Nutanix cluster. Make sure you check all is ok with a cluster status on any CVM before repeating the above procedure on the next ESXi host.

Do the same sort of thing for ESXi 5.5 upgrades of course – change the filenames/depot files/profile name as appropriate. Remember to fully check your hardware model and other Nutanix specific requirements from the upgrade guide steps before kicking off the upgrade or things may end badly for you :)

The Nutanix support team is happy to walk you through the above as well.

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