I have always been a big fan of the Cisco UCS product line so when it came time to dive into the hyper converged world Cisco Hyperflex was the obvious choice! The product just keeps getting better with every new release and the latest version of HX Connect makes upgrading your environment even easier.

Previous versions of the HX Connect UI would guide you through upgrading the UCS Server Firmware and the HX Data Platform but the ESXi host upgrades were initially done via command line. Now from version 3.5(1a) onwards it will also upgrade the ESXi hosts for you.

The ESXi host upgrade process once started is automated so it will take care of migrating the VMs, putting the host into HX Maintenance mode, upgrading and rebooting. Then once upgraded it will take the host out of HX Maintenance mode and bring the storage node back online before continuing with the next host.

Also from 3.5(1a) onwards the manual bootstrap process for upgrading the HX Data Platform is no longer required and the upgrade file can be added in from the HX Connect UI during the upgrade process.

I have covered the overall upgrade in a previous post so I want to focus just on the ESXi upgrade process in the HX Connect UI.

First lets log into the HX Connect UI

Then once you have logged in click on Upgrade in the left hand menu

You can select all 3 of the options below and run through the entire process but for this example we are just going to upgrade ESXi. I have already completed the UCS Server Firmware and HX Data Platform upgrades so now it’s time for the hosts.

Click on the ESXi checkbox

Then click to browse for the ESXi Upgrade Image you would like to upgrade too. You can also just drag and drop the file into the box. In this example I am upgrading from ESXi 6.5 to ESXi 6.7.

One thing to note before you kick this off is if you have any VM rules in place pinning VMs to hosts it would be a good idea to disable them while you perform the upgrade. You want the hosts to be able to enter maintenance mode without any issues.

Once the file has uploaded it’s time to enter your vCenter credentials and click Upgrade

Let’s recap here, all you have had to do is select the upgrade file, enter your vCenter logon details and click Upgrade…

Then the Validation process will start

Hyperflex Connect will take care of the upgrade automatically, moving its way through the cluster one host at a time. This is the part when you lean back in your chair and put your feet up, let the software take care of the rest!

When the upgrade is complete you will be prompted in the HX Connect UI

As part of your final checks I would now click back to the HX Connect Dashboard and have a look at the overall cluster status and then log into the vCenter and check each of your hosts.

It’s as simple as that!

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