VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5 went GA on Oct 11th 2022 and it comes with some pretty big enhancements, please check out the official VMware VCF 4.5 release notes for full details, however the following are what I think are the biggest improvements.
Migration enablement: This release introduces support for Mixed Mode migrations and supports new topologies for migration from VCF 3.x through 4.x
Support for VCF+: This release introduces support for subscription cloud services including vSphere+ and vSAN+. If you’re not familiar with vSphere+ read more here
SDDC Manager Onboarding Workflow: The SDDC Manager UI provides an easy, wizard-like interface for new users to configure their VCF deployment.
Operational improvements: Users can now rename clusters and apply user-defined tags to objects.
Storage improvements: With HCI Mesh, a cluster can mount a remote vSAN datastore that has been configured with another cluster (two or more clusters can share the same vSAN datastore).
The Bill of Materials (BOM) for VCF 4.5 is a following
In this article I’m going to demonstrate how to performa a skip level upgrade from VCF 126.96.36.199 to 4.5 (therefore skipping 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 as releases in between) and what was my experience doing so in a nested enviroment.
SDDC Manager 4.5
As usual, we need to start from a system precheck. Once we know it’s all looking healthy, we can start with the SDDC Manager upgrade from 220.127.116.11 to 4.5
So, after the SDDC Manager upgraded to 18.104.22.168 I started getting a new precheck warning which I had never seen before, about folder permissions checks on the filesystem. Interesting!
seems like we need to fix some permissions problems under /nfs/vmware/vcf/nfs-mount/bundle from vcf as owner to vcf_lcm
and… sorted 🙂
and here we go, prechecks are all happy now.
SDDC Manager 4.5 Config Drift Bundle
Configuration drift is a set of configuration changes applied to a brownfield VCF deployment undergoing BOM upgrade, in order to bring its configuration on par with a greenfield VCF deployment. Configuration drift includes configuration changes required to BOM component/s (like VC, NSX-T, NSX-T Edge and ESXi) for example changing a property in HA configuration on a cluster, altering the relocation-standby mode for an NSX-T edge cluster or modifying overlay transport zone name for NSX-T. The application of a configuration drift bundle on the management domain silently applies drift on all domains. The configuration drift bundle is always sequenced as the second bundle to be the applied on the management domain after the application of the VCF service upgrade bundle and before applying any VMware software bundle (VC, NSX-T, ESXi).
which is usually very fast, in my nested lab it completed in just 5 minutes
Coming up next are the NSX-T upgrades, in this order:
- NSX Upgrade Coordinator
- NSX Edges
- ESXi hosts
- NSX=T Manager(s)
In my setup, I had edges with password closed to expiring but not actually expired. The first time I run the bundle, it failed trying to upgrade the edge cluster. To fix that, I had to either to mark as Resolved the expiring password warning in NSX-T Manager or perform an actual password reset.
So overall, it took 2 hours and 8 minutes, not bad considering I’m running everything in a single physical host.
vCenter Server 7.0 U3h
With VCF 22.214.171.124 there’s now a new warning message popping up in SDDC Manager before starting the vCenter bundle. It’s a reminder to backup the vCenter Server with the file-based method (see documentation).
so this was fairly quick and painless 🙂
ESXi 7.0 U3g
It’s time for ESXi 7.0 U3g see full release notes https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/7.0/rn/vsphere-esxi-70u3g-release-notes.html
I do like to upgrade clusters in parallel so here’s it is:
overall, 7 nested hosts across 2 clusters took only 1 hour to upgrade.
vRealize Suite LifeCycle Manager
Just when I thought I was done, I noticed SDDC Manager was displaying the Management Workload Domain still being at 4.4.1 when in fact all the SDDC Manager services were at 126.96.36.199
Oh actually, it wasn’t the case! I forgot about vRSLCM appliance. As per VMware Cloud Foundation 4.5 release notes you must upgrade the vRSLCM to 8.8.2 or higher (following screenshot is from the release notes link)
In my setup, vRSLCM isn’t connected to internet so I’m going to follow the steps for offline installation.
Head over to https://customerconnect.vmware.com/patch and get the following patch:
Upload it to the vRSLCM VA under Settings > Product Support Pack and then Apply Version
and now that each BOM (part of the VCF deployed setup) is in line with VCF 188.8.131.52
That’s it! I hope you found this step by step article useful.