VMware SDDC VCF LCM Upgrade to 4.3.0

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3.0 went GA on Aug 24th 2021 and it comes with some pretty big new features, please check out the official VMware VCF 4.3.0 release notes cause I’m not going to copy&paste them here, no point.

The Bill of Materials (BOM) for VCF 4.3.0 is a following

Please note: some of the considerations that will follow in this article are only applicable to a lab environment, more specifically a nested VCF setup. On this note, if you are looking to deploy VMware Cloud Foundation nested I highly recommend you use VMware Cloud Foundation Lab Constructor (aka VLC). I already wrote an article about this in the past (see Building nested VCF using VCF Lab Constructor VLC) but since then there have been a few new VCF releases therefore a newer associated VLC version. As it might be tricky to know which version is which, here’s the list:
Current version (4.3) available at https://tiny.cc/getVLCBits
Older versions of VLC
– 4.20 – http://tiny.cc/getVLC420bits
– 4.10 – https://tiny.cc/getVLC410bits
– 4.0.1 – https://tiny.cc/getVLC401bits
– 4.0 – http://tiny.cc/getVLC40bits
– 3.91/3.10 – http://tiny.cc/getVLC310bits
– 3.8.1/3.9 – http://tiny.cc/getVLC38bits

Make also sure to read properly the guide, because there are some gotchas to be aware of, reading the guide will save you time trust me!
Last but not least, there’s a great community of VLC at vlc-support.slack.com so if you need help join us and provide feedback, ask for support or just come say hi 🙂

That said, the purpose of this article is to demonstrate how to perform a VCF LCM upgrade for a Management Workload Domain (WLD) from Cloud Foundation 4.2.0 to 4.3.0

Precheck the system

Always start prechecking the system

Select the target version. Note that while it is possible to uprade to 4.2.1 this is not required and you can go straight to 4.3.0

Here you can you see the 4.3.0 selected as target version

SDDC Lifecycle Manager (LCM) will force you to follow a very specific order so there’s no need to worry about upgrading components in the wrong sequence; it simply would not let you do it.

1) 4.3.0 SDDC Manager

First we need to upgrade SDDC Manager to 4.3.0. Head over to the MGMT WLD select the target 4.3.0 and start with the SDDC bundle

This is usually the easiest part for a nested setup because it’s only upgrading the SDDC Manager services.

Precheck again before moving to the next bundle.

2) 4.3.0 SDDC Configuration Drift

As always after the main SDDC bundle we have to apply the configuration drift which takes care of several internal cleanups and fixes.

Precheck again

3) vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRSLCM) 8.4.1

Coming up next, the vRSLCM bundle has been tricky in my lab. I had to reboot vRSLCM and fix an expired account which was causing the bundle to constantly fail. Eventually it worked

4) NSX-T 3.1.3

This also gave me a lot of troubles to fix. I had to reset all the users passwords on both NSX-T Manager and the Edge Transport Nodes (ETN) and that’s purely because this VCF 4.x environment was left power-off for some time so all accounts had the default 90 days expiration.
I used the following CLI commands to reset admin, audit and root users on both NSX-T Manager and ETN VMs

set user admin password VMware1!VMware1!
set user root password VMware1!VMware1!
set user audit password VMware1!VMware1!

I also had to suppress several times the annoying alert “NSX-T Edge NIC Out Of Receive Buffer” on the two ETN VMs that kept on popping up. This is apparently only happening on nested environments and to date I have not yet found a fix…

My advise is: altough SDDC Manager performs the prechecks for NSX-T, I generally found that the GUI output error messages aren’t that clear and you need to either look into lcm-debug.log (not the faint-hearted folks) or alternatively it’s much easier by going directly on NSX-T Manager. It’s simpler to see what is/isn’t in good state and what needs fixing. Here’s a screenshot:

so here’s the NSX-T bundle kicking off

 

What I said earlier about precking from NSX-T Manager also applies to monitoring the upgrade.
Here you can see the edge transport nodes upgrading:

here the hosts

and it’s done!

5) vCenter Server 7.0 U2c

Precheck again and kick the VC bundle off.

LAB PRO-TIP: disable SDDC Manager from taking a in-memory snapshot and take a manual snapshot of VC without memory. It will save a lot of time! Set to false the following entry at /opt/vmware/vcf/lcm/lcm-app/conf/application-prod.properties

lcm.vc.primitive.snapshot.skip=false

6) ESXi

Make sure that you don’t have red alert or anything weirdly broken on vSAN else the ESXi upgrade won’t even start.

And here we have it, a management workload domain completed upgrade to 4.3.0 in all components

I hope you find this useful!

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