Step-by-Step: How to Update vCenter Appliance [2 Ways]
For vSphere 6.7 and later versions, vCenter Server Appliance is the only way to deploy vCenter Server. Sometimes you may want to update vCenter Appliance to try the new features as the new versions release. This article shows 2 different ways to safely update vCenter Appliance.
What is vCenter Server Appliance
If you want an efficient tool to manage a large number of virtual machines created on multiple ESXi hosts, VMware vCenter Server is exactly what you need. As you may know, there were 2 options available for vCenter Server installation, Windows-based installation and vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) deployment. However, for vSphere 6.7 or later versions, vCenter Server for Windows has been deprecated, leaving vCenter Server Appliance as the only available option.
The vCenter Server Appliance is a preconfigured virtual machine that is optimized for running vCenter Server and the associated services. The vCenter Server appliance package contains the following software:
- Photon OS
- The vSphere authentication services
- VMware vSphere Lifecycle Manager Extension
- VMware vCenter Lifecycle Manager
vCenter Server Appliance contains all the vCenter required services, and provides simpler vCenter Server installation, patch updates, and monitoring via the VAMI management interface.
As VMware releases its new vSphere 8, you may also want to update your vCenter Appliance to try the new version. This article will show you how to update vCenter Appliance 6.7 to later versions as an example. These steps also apply for other versions.
How to update vCenter Appliance 6.7 to later versions
VMware regularly releases patches for the vCenter Server Appliance that can be used to update vCenter Appliance packages, or related to the core product functionality.
You can choose to directly use a remote repository URL default pre-configured to VMware repository, this requires Internet access for the appliance, or manually attach an ISO image to the appliance's local repository.
This part will show you the step for both the 2 ways to update vCenter Server Appliance. Before you start, please backup vCenter Server Appliance and the virtual machines it managed in case of data loss.
Method 1. Update vCenter Appliance using the URL
1. Log in to the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface (https://appliance-IP-address-or-FQDN:5480) as root.
2. Click on Update tab.
3. Click CHECK UPDATES button and select Check CD ROM + URL option.
4. Select the target patch of vCenter, and click STAGE AND INSTALL.
Note: you can also stage the patches for install at a later time by selecting STAGE ONLY.
5. Follow the wizard, accept the End user license Agreement, and wait for the system pre-check.
6. Sign in using vSphere SSO Administrator password, for the [email protected] by default.
7. Confirm that you have backed up the vCenter Server Appliance, then you can click Finish.
Method 2. Update vCenter Appliance using CD
1. Download the patch ISO image from VMware’s official website, and upload it to a datastore.
2. Right-click on the Appliance VM and select Edit Settings…
3. Expand CD/DVD Drive and select Datastore ISO File. Click Browse to select the uploaded ISO file.
4. Log in to the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface (https://appliance-IP-address-or-FQDN:5480) as root, and click on Update tab.
5. Click CHECK UPDATES and select Check CD ROM.
6. Wait for the target updates show up, select it and click STAGE AND INSTALL. Follow the pop-up wizard.
Necessary data protection: Batch backup VMs managed by vCenter
You may already know that it is necessary to perform image-based backup of large amounts of VMs managed by vCenter Server, however, vCenter Server does not provide the feature of virtual machine backup. And that makes backup software a commonly accepted choice.
Here I introduce you to a VMware backup software AOMEI Cyber Backup, it enables you to backup multiple VMs either managed by vCenter Server, or on a standalone ESXi host.
✦ Agentless Backup: create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs.
✦ Flexible vSphere Backup: batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server, or multiple VMs on a standalone ESXi host.
✦ Multiple Storage Destinations: backup to local drive, or network destinations like NAS.
✦ Automated Execution: create backup schedules to automate backups daily, weekly, monthly.
✦ Restore Entire VM: restore instant available VMs from any selected restore points to an original or new location.
AOMEI Cyber Backup supports both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Next, I will show you how to batch backup VMs managed by vCenter Server with AOMEI Cyber Backup in 4 simple steps.
You can click the following button to download the 30-day free trial.
*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.
4 Steps to batch backup VMs managed by vCenter Server
1. Bind Devices: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > VMware > + Add VMware Device to Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click … > Bind Device.
2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and select VMware ESXi Backup as the Backup Type.
3. Set the Task Name, Device, Target, Schedule and Cleanup as needed.
- Task Name: you can change the task name or use the default name with an ordinal.
- Device: batch select large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server for centralized backup.
- Target: select to back up to a local path, or to a network path like NAS.
- Schedule (optional): perform full, differential, or incremental backup, and automate execution according to the frequency you specified.
- Cleanup (optional): automatically delete the old backup copies that exceed the retention period you specified.
4. Run Backup: Now you can click Start Backup and select Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.
Created backup tasks will be listed and monitored separately for restoring, progress checking and schedule changing.
When restoring, you can also restore to new location to create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.
If you use vSphere 6.7 and later versions, you may install vCenter Server Appliance on ESXi host to optimize virtual machine management. Also, as later versions release, you may need to update vCenter Appliance to try the new features.
This article showed the steps on how to update vCenter Appliance 6.7 to higher versions in 2 different methods. Except for VM management, VM data protection is also of great importance. You can try the software AOMEI Cyber Backup to help you develop a good VMware backup schedule.