How to upgrade to VxRail™ 7.0

In this blog you will see how we upgrade your VxRail™ cluster to version 7.x. The pre-requisites and approach to upgrade to VxRAIL 7..x has quite few changes when compared to previous versions/releases.

Note: VxRail upgrades is usually done through VxRail support over a remote session or thru onsite VxRail Systems Engineer from DELL-EMC or through Dell-EMC partners. Ensure to read thru the DELL-EMC Solve procedure before attempting an upgrade or contact DELL-EMC support for assistance.

Consideration before Upgrade

  1. Download and Read through the official VxRail-7.0.00-Release notes and Support-Matrix (DELL-EMC portal login required)
  2. Internet/online upgrade from the VxRAIL plugin on the VC is not supported for this release.
  3. All Quanta based VxRail hardware are not supported for upgrade to version 7.x
  4. VMware Update Manager or the new VMware Life Cycle Manager is not supported during upgrade or post upgrade.
  5. Upgrade from VxRail version 4.7.411 and all versions below 4.5.211 to version 7.0.000 is not supported.
  6. Certain VxRail environments using nVIDIA GPUs are not supported for upgrade to 7.0.000

VxRail -7.0 upgrade Pre-Requisites

The following pre-requisites applies to most of the VxRail appliances, however as discussed earlier, you will need to access DELL-EMC Solve Desktop to generate all the steps for your upgrade to version 7.0.

  1. First step is to run the VxVerify scripts from KB:536801(**portal auth required), this will run multiple scripts on the VxRailManager, VxRail Nodes, vCenter server** and the platoform services controller**. (** if they are not external to VxRAIL appliance), if there were any errors during this pre-check verify scripts you will need to address them run the script again to verify before starting the upgrade. In this below example, I was performing an upgrade of VxRail version 4.7.410 on E560F VxRail four node cluster to version 7.0.000, pre-upgrade script completed with few warnings, which were not a blocker for upgrading this cluster.

  2. Make sure you have all required credentials with administrator and root privileges to all management vms
  3. check Monitor > Issues and Alarms > All issues and similarly Check vSAN health plugin once again. Ensure all of them are in a healthy state and address any issues before attempting upgrade.
  4. Download the Upgrade Composite bundle from the recommended link in the DELL-EMC solve procedure, in my case it was: which was around 6.9GB.
  5. Take snapshots of all the management VMs: VxRail Manager VM, VMware vCenter Server Appliance,VMware vCenter Server Platform Services Controller,VMware vRealize Log Insight VM and ESRS VE. If the Vcenter was external it must be already upgraded to version 7.0 GA and snapshot is not required if its external VC.
  6. Start the Local upgrade from VxRail plugin on the HTML-5 vCenter server UI and the bundle downloaded using DELL-EMC Solve Desktop. The upgrade may take around 6 hours to complete.

7. After Upgrade is complete,ensure you delete all the snapshots on the management appliances after monitoring the cluster for a day or two, running VMs on snapshot will lead to performance issues and un-necessary space consumption on vSAN datastore.

Dont miss out to read about the biggest release of vSAN 7 Update 1 , a lot of features announced with this release check out article on vSAN 7 Update 1-Technical Overview

Note: the upgrade procedure/steps to VxRail 7.0.100 (vSAN 7 U1) and later releases will remain same, make sure to read thru respective release notes and support matrix

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