Let's take a look at the new lifecycle management process for vCenter.
The old process via the VAMI was easy to execute - the industry is upping the ante with automated pre- and post-testing. Cisco's NX-OS installer is another example - complex procedures (in Cisco's case, sequential PGA or microcode updates) invite problems and escalate a "simple" process to something only the senior-most engineer can safely operate.
vSphere 8 seeks to improve on vSphere 7's upgrade planner by including a "vCenter Lifecycle Manager" to administer package upgrades in an integrated, reliable fashion that includes available pre-checks and reduce "update anxiety".
Then navigate to Updates -> vCenter Server -> Update:
Under Select Version, it's now possible to view eligible updates, along with the type and Release Notes :
For those of us that use NSX Data Center or other integrated products, interoperability checks are part of the wizard
Unfortunately, the vCenter backup step is not included as part of the wizard at this time. (Note: You can back up directly to a filer with vSphere 7 or newer)
Looks like we're not quite ready to use this feature to its fullest potential yet. some notable limitations still exist and should be compensated for:
- The "Go button" still requires the VAMI installer for execution
- The Lifecycle checker isn't aware of everything (NSX ALB was missing from the matrix), so trips to the Interoperability Matrix are still a good idea
You can subscribe to get release information from VMware using RSS by visiting the product documentation page and copying the RSS link:
- Most collaboration platforms (like Teams) can support attaching an RSS feed to a channel
Establishing processes and automatic patch notifications (RSS is a powerful tool for that) will go a long way toward making a New Year's resolution to keep our systems up to date!
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