Dell PowerEdge (VRTX) and VMware ESXi maintenance

Release date: April 28th 2020

Welcome to my Dell Series. In this quick session I will describe how I updated BIOS, fw etc. and VMware ESXi on a Dell PowerEdge (VRTX) server. This info might be redundant for some, but useful for others. Therefore I decided to create this session anyhow. Prior to making this session, I have already updated the vCenter using the procedure described here: VMware vCenter – Update VCSA

The first thing I do, is to go to Dell support and download the Platform Specific Bootable ISO, PEM640. A very useful utility that identifies the hardware in the server and existing versions, and automatically updates the necessary versions.

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Next, in VMware vSphere, I put the host into Maintenance Mode. I now log into Dell VRTX CMC and launch the iDrac GUI of my host

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Inside iDrac, I launch Virtual Console

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First I attach the PEM-ISO by clicking Connect Virtual Media

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I browse to my ISO file and map this device

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Once the PEM ISO is mapped, Close…

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Next, I will change the boot order to boot the attached virtual image. I select Boot from the top menu and modify the Boot Controls

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Now I power down and power up the server in order to boot up using the PEM ISO file

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The server now boots up using the Virtual CD I mapped above

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I select Dell Bootable ISO (UEFI Mode) from the menu

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The Dell Bootable ISO runs validation and installation

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After completion, I hit Enter to reboot

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When the host has booted up and reported back in vSphere, I will update it using VMware Update Manager. First I check Compliance

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I click Remediate

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Confirm to install 10 updates, Remediate…

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Prior to updating my host, it is at build VMware ESXi, 6.7.0, 15018017

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After the hosts has been patched and automatically restarted, it is at build VMware ESXi, 6.7.0, 15820472

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I can now exit maintenance mode and let DRS run and rebalance the cluster. With that done, this update task is finished. I proceed using this same procedure and update my remaining hosts in my cluster.

 

Other miscellaneous Tips & Tricks

 

Disclaimer: Every tips/tricks/posting I have published here, is tried and tested in different it-solutions. It is not guaranteed to work everywhere, but is meant as a tip for other users out there. Remember, Google is your friend and don’t be afraid to steal with pride! Feel free to comment below as needed.