VMware NSX 6.2.1 upgrade

Please read the preparation before upgrading. The official manual states the upgrade procedure is as follows:

  1. NSX Manager
  2. NSX Controller
  3. Host Clusters
  4. NSX Edge
  5. Guest Introspection

There is only 1 download, as everything is contained within the Manager.

NSX 1

Stage 1: NSX Manager Upgrade

To update the NSX Manager, login to its UI as Admin. Click on the Upgrade button.

NSX 2

Choose the file that you’ve downloaded earlier.

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It will upload the file. It should only take a few minutes. If it’s taking >10 minutes, just cancel it and repeat. Once done, it will show you the following screenshot.

NSX 4

Notice it gives you the choice to enable SSH. Click on Upgrade, and the following progress window appears. Again, this should only take a few minutes.

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Once done, it may log you out (it could be due to time out). Login, and you will see 6.2.1 as the version.

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Repeat the same step for all your NSX Managers instances. They are upgraded independently.

Stage 2: Controller Upgrade

The next step is upgrading the Controller. What a pleasant surprise! The official manual has screenshot! Please read it first.

Login as the NSX Administrator. That’s the ID you used to deploy the NSX Manager. I normally maintain a separation between the Network admin and the Server admin, so I use different accounts in the lab so I can experience what it will be in actual environment. As you can see here, I login as Server Admin (vCenter) and I do not even see the Manager.

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I normally use 2 browsers. Here, I login as the NSX Manager. Can you spot that Upgrade Available button? Essentially, the controller upgrade is a 1-click operation. The Manager will automatically detect that there is a new version, and provide an upgrade button. Thank you Ray and team!

The VMware ASEAN lab has 2 NSX Managers in primary-secondary setup. You do not have to upgrade the secondary controller. Notice the status is Imported Controller Cluster.

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Don’t worry if you click the button accidentally. There is a prompt, defaulted to No 🙂

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I clicked Yes, and you can see the status changed to In progress.

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The entire process takes around minutes, not hours. Along the way, you see update such as below

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When it is done, it will show the software version. Notice it has upgraded the Secondary Manager’ Controllers too.

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I notice that vCenter recent tasks do not show any activity. I was thinking that VM reboot would show up in the vCenter. If you know why, let me know.

You might notice that the Peers column has issue. It’s showing red, and Controller 3 has no status. Just wait for a few minutes. It will look like this after a while

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Stage 3: VMkernel VIB Upgrade on Cluster

Once the controller is upgraded, your next step is to upgrade the cluster. Once again, the manual has screenshots, so I do not have to repeat it. Please take note that ESXi is rebooted.

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Again, clicking the Upgrade available button will prompt a dialog box, giving you a chance to confirm. Once you confirm, the UI will show the progress, as shown below.

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This time around, vCenter recent tasks shows the progress.

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There seems to be 2 pair of Scan + Uninstall for each host. I think this is installing the VIB.

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I hit some issue due to my DRS setting, so I will need to spend some time on it. The manual said that ” If hosts require manual intervention to enter maintenance mode (for example, due to HA requirements or DRS rules), the upgrade process stops and the cluster Installation Status displays Not Ready

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That’s what I hit, so I will need to fix that first. I manually entered the host into maintenance mode. Once done, I click the upgrade again. I did it on one of the host first, and you can see the status is now showing 6.2.1

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I continued on the remaining of the hosts in the cluster.

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Stage 4: NSX Edges and Router Upgrade

Once the hosts are upgraded, the next stage is to upgrade the NSX Edge (if you have any). Once again, the manual has the screenshot and it’s a pretty straight forward process. The manual said that “NSX Edges can be upgraded without any dependency on the NSX Controller cluster or host cluster upgrades. You can upgrade an NSX Edge even if you have not yet upgraded the NSX Controller cluster or host clusters.”

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You get a warning that there will be service disruption, that’s why it’s important to know the operational impact of the upgrade.

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Here is what the activities look like in vCenter recent tasks.

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The upgrade was fast, each was less than a minute. The result was below. Notice the version is now 6.2.1

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That wraps up the basic upgrade steps of NSX.

NSX Monitoring with Log Insight

BTW, it’s a good practice to have NSX logs analysed. As you can see below, Log Insight captures the errors that I encountered during the upgrade.

NSX 40

Roie Ben Haim, a PSO Consultant in Israel, brought up to me (Thanks Roie!) that NSX 6.2.1 release notes has the following info:

NSX 6.2 does not support Log Insight reporting
Due to an incompatibility in the vRealize Content Pack for NSX, NSX 6.2 does not support vRealize Log Insight Reporting.

It has no workaround.

I’m not sure what “reporting” means. As you can see in the above screenshot, the dashboards got populated. The screenshot below shows that both NSX Managers are sending syslog regularly. In fact, hundreds of syslog messages.

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Log Insight has specific knowledge on NSX, and below is one such example.

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Below is one of the out of the box dashboard provided by the Content Pack.

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BTW, if you want to know how to enable syslog in NSX, this is a great how-to by Steven.

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