How to Upgrade to ESXi 8 from ESXi 7 | 3 Ways

With the ESXi 8.0 release now available for download, many may consider upgrading their ESXi 7.0 servers to the latest and greatest ESXi version. Let’s look at the ESXi 8.0 upgrade in three ways to see different ways you can upgrade your ESXi 7.0 or older ESXi server to ESXi 8.0.


By Crystal / Updated on September 14, 2023

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Introducing the new vSphere 8

If you use vSphere 7 and follow IT news closely, you may have heard that VMware released the stable new version of vSphere 8.0 on October 11, 2022.

upgrade to esxi 8

vSphere 8.0 supports up to 8 vGPUs per VM – a 2x increase compared to vSphere 7 U3, allowing you to run more and more powerful virtual machines, and perform tasks faster. In addition, there are more new vSphere 8 features.

  • vSphere Distributed Services Engine
  • Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0
  • Lifecycle Management
  • ...

So, do you need to upgrade to vSphere 8 from vSphere 7 immediately? It depends. But in order to avoid accidents, it is always essential to be prepared to upgrade to ESXi 8 and vCenter 8 in advance. Next, this article will provide 3 ways to upgrade from vSphere 7 to vSphere 8, and answer some common questions.

Preupgrade for vSphere 8

Before you initiate an upgrade to vSphere 8, there are some maintenance and management activities you should perform to your vSphere environment.

✓ Check compatibility: vSphere 8 does not support any components of version 6.5 or older. Therefore, you may first need to upgrade some components to the minimum version 6.7 and check for these incompatibilities before the upgrade continues.

✓ Health check: If an environment is not in a healthy state, errors can occur which might require a rollback.

✓ SSO Domain Topology reconfiguration: You can choose to automatically perform external Platform Services Controller convergence, or to manually perform converge or domain repointing tasks prior to upgrade.

✓ Remove vCenter HA: deactivating and removing vCenter HA simplifies the upgrade workflow and makes things easier to troubleshoot in the event the upgrade fails.

✓ Backup your environment: It is critical to back up your vSphere environment before upgrading, including ESXi VMs, ESXi and vCenter configurations, Platform Services Controller, distributed virtual switches, etc.

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How to upgrade vSphere 7 to 8

Before you upgrade the ESXi 7 host to ESXi 8, you should first check the ESXi requirement of ESXi 8 including hardware, Compatibility requirements etc. I will upgrade to ESXi 8 in the following 3 ways:

  • Using the ISO
  • Using vSphere Lifecycle Manager
  • Using ESXCLI command

Note: If you upgrade hosts managed by vCenter Server, you must update vCenter Server before you upgrade the ESXi hosts. If you do not upgrade your environment in the correct order, you can lose data and lose access to servers.

vSphere 8 upgrade sequence

Upgrade to ESXi from ESXi 7 using the ISO

First, you should download ESXi 8.0 ISO image before upgrading ESXi 7 to 8.

1. Access to your VMware ESXi web client (ESXi 7.0), right-click Manage from the left inventory and select Enter maintenance mode.

2. You could mount the ISO in your remote console, configure the boot to boot from ISO and reboot your server.

The ESXi 8.0 boot begins, booting into the installer/upgrader. Then follow the menu and select the disk where ESXI is installed.

boot into installer

3. After the upgrading process completes successfully, the installer will ask you to remove installation media and then reboot.


Use vSphere Lifecycle Manager to upgrade ESXi 7 to 8

You can use vSphere Lifecycle Manager as part of vCenter Server for hosts managed at the cluster level by vCenter.

1. Launch vSphere Client and log in to the vCenter Server, then navigate to the properties for your vSphere cluster, click the Updates tab. Then click Image > Setup Image.

Setup image

2. Select the ESXi 8.0 version from the drop-down list on the ESXi version. Click SAVE.

use vsphere lifecycle manager

3. Confirm to continue finish image setup.

Finish image setup

4. Check compliance at the cluster level. We need to Remediate the hosts. Here, I am clicking the Remediate All button.

remediate all hosts

5. The Review Remediation impact dialog will pop up. Click the Start Remediation button.

The hosts begin remediating. After a few minutes, you will see the ESXi host reboot and will boot into ESXi 8.0 after the upgrade process from vSphere Lifecycle Manager.

Use the command line to upgrade to ESXi 8

Next, we can upgrade our existing ESXi host using the command line. This is easily accomplished with only a couple of commands, including the following:

esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
esxcli software profile update -d -p ESXi-8.0.0-20513097-standard

use command line to upgrade to esxi 8

When you see "The update completed successfully”, you need to reboot ESXi host.

The process of upgrading to ESXi 8 is simple. For the most part, many will try doing this in lab environments as most will probably be holding off in their production environments. However, if you want to upgrade your ESXi host to 8.0 version, you must backup VMware ESXi in case of disaster.

Q&A: frequently asked questions about upgrading to vSphere 8


Upgrading your existing ESXi hosts to ESXi 8.0 is fairly straightforward and can be accomplished in various ways, including using the ISO, command line, and vSphere Lifecycle Manager. Hopefully, this quick tutorial on the processes involved with each method will help to quickly get your lab environment up to date, running the latest ESXi 8.0 release.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.