Upgrading NSX to 6.4 using the new Upgrade Coordinator

 
As of NSX 6.4 we added a new feature called the Upgrade Coordinator. It allows you to upgrade your entire NSX platform via one click, or you can plan out your upgrade accordingly. Before you get started, make sure to read the Upgrade Coordinator Guide to ensure that all bases are covered. For example, Upgrade Coordinator doesn’t support some services like partner security virtual appliances.
 
Some important prerequisites that I wanted to highlight before starting.

  • Make sure to back up your current configuration
  • Uninstall Data Security before upgrading NSX Manager if you are using this service
  • Make sure to have a proper understanding of all operation impacts of NSX Upgrades
  •  
    The first step is to upgrade the NSX Manager to 6.4. If you are running cross-vCenter NSX you will want to upgrade all NSX Managers prior to starting.
     
    Step 1. Download the NSX for vSphere 6.4 Upgrade Bundle.
     
    Step 2. Log into the NSX Manager UI and click the Upgrade button. Select your bundle file and click Continue.
     

    Step 3. Once the upload is complete, select the Begin Upgrade button. You will be asked a few questions about enabling SSH and the CEIP program.
     

     
    Step 4. Navigate to the vSphere client and open the Networking and Security Plugin. In NSX 6.4 we added some functionality to the HTML5 client including the dashboard, packet captures, support bundle downloads, and the Upgrade Coordinator functionality. Which means I finally get to use the HTML5 client for NSX management at some level! I will be proceeding with the upgrade via the HTML5 client and not the web client. 🙂 Once you are ready to proceed, click on the Plan Upgrade button and navigate through the wizard.
     
    Note: I did have to re-register my NSX/vCenter plugin in order for it to show up in the HTML5 plugin, maybe I just wasn’t patient.
     

     
    It’s possible to either plan the upgrade, or do a one-click upgrade. In this post I will be using the one-click upgrade since this is something a lot of my customers have been asking for. If you choose the plan you can select components (clusters, edges, service vms), pause between upgrade options or on error, and even select specific clusters and the order they are upgraded.
     

     
    When ready to proceed, review the plan, and click Start Upgrade.
     

     
    The Upgrade Coordinator will pause on errors and allow you to fix them, and then either resume or replan the upgrade. Mine failed out because I only had two controllers due to this being a lab, when the requirement is three.
     

     
    To view the status of the upgrade, you can click on View details.
     

     
    I also only had two ESXi hosts so I got an error that one wasn’t in maintenance mode when upgrading. I had to manually put each host in maintenance mode to continue the upgrade. Thinking back, I should have manually planned it out, and upgraded one host at a time through the wizard in a rolling upgrade fashion. I went back through the options and noticed there was a Parallel and Serial option to upgrade the ESXi hosts. This is a good lesson learned for the next time I upgrade.
     

     
    Once the upgrade is complete, all the circles should go green and say “Last Upgrade was successful.” I am really glad they decided to add this feature because it makes it so much easier to upgrade all the components, especially the edges which used to have to be upgraded individually.
     

     
    Please comment below on any feedback you might have for the Upgrade Coordinator, good or bad! So far my experience has been very positive and hope my customers have the same experience.
     

Posted by:

Sean Whitney

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