The management domain in your environment must be upgraded before you upgrade VI workload domains.

To upgrade to VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3, the components in a VI workload domain must be upgraded in the following order:
  1. NSX-T Data Center.
  2. vCenter Server.
  3. VxRail Manager and ESXi.
  4. Workload Management on clusters that have vSphere with Tanzu. Workload Management can be upgraded through vCenter Server. See Working with vSphere Lifecycle Manager.
The upgrade process is similar for all components. Information that is unique to a component is described in the following table.
Component Additional Information
NSX-T Data Center
Upgrading NSX-T Data Center involves the following components:
  • Upgrade Coordinator
  • NSX Edge clusters (if deployed)
  • Host clusters
  • NSX Manager cluster

VI workload domains can share the same NSX Manager cluster and NSX Edge clusters. When you upgrade these components for one VI workload domain, they are upgraded for all VI workload domains that share the same NSX Manager or NSX Edge cluster. You cannot perform any operations on the VI workload domains while NSX-T Data Center is being upgraded.

The upgrade wizard provides some flexibility when upgrading NSX-T Data Center for workload domains. By default, the process upgrades all NSX Edge clusters in parallel, and then all host clusters in parallel. Parallel upgrades reduce the overall time required to upgrade your environment. You can also choose to upgrade NSX Edge clusters and host clusters sequentially. The ability to select clusters allows for multiple upgrade windows and does not require all clusters to be available at a given time.

The NSX Manager cluster is upgraded only if the Upgrade all host clusters setting is enabled on the NSX-T Host Clusters tab. New features introduced in the upgrade are not configurable until the NSX Manager cluster is upgraded.
  • If you have a single cluster in your environment, enable the Upgrade all host clusters setting.
  • If you have multiple host clusters and choose to upgrade only some of them, you must go through the NSX-T upgrade wizard again until all host clusters have been upgraded. When selecting the final set of clusters to be upgraded, you must enable the Upgrade all host clusters setting so that NSX Manager is upgraded.
  • If you upgraded all host clusters without enabling the Upgrade all host clusters setting, run through the NSX-T upgrade wizard again to upgrade NSX Manager.
vCenter Server

If your VI workload domain contains Workload Management enabled clusters, ensure that Workload Management is at version 1.17 or higher. If Workload Management is at a lower version, upgrade Workload Management to at least version 1.17 before upgradingvCenter Server.

vCenter Server upgrades now use APIs instead of CLIs, so snapshots are not supported. Back up the vCenter Server appliance before starting the upgrade.

ESXi By default, the upgrade process upgrades the ESXi hosts in all clusters in a domain in parallel. If you have multiple clusters in the management domain or in a VI workload domain, you can select which clusters to upgrade. You can also choose to upgrade the clusters in parallel or sequentially.

If you are using external (non-vSAN) storage, updating and patching is a manual task and falls outside of SDDC Manager lifecycle management. To ensure supportability after an ESXi upgrade, consult the vSphere HCL and your storage vendor.


  1. Navigate to the Updates/Patches tab of the VI workload domain.
  2. Click Precheck to validate that the component is ready to be updated.
    Click View Status to see the update status for each component and the tests performed. Expand a test by clicking the arrow next to it to see further details.
    If any of the tests fail, fix the issue and click Retry Precheck.
    The precheck results are displayed below the Precheck button. Ensure that the precheck results are green before proceeding. A failed precheck may cause the update to fail.
  3. Click Update Now or Schedule Update next to the relevant bundle.
    If you selected Schedule Update, select the date and time for the bundle to be applied.
  4. The Update Status window displays the components that will be upgraded and the upgrade status. Click View Update Activity to view the detailed tasks.
    After the upgrade is completed, a green bar with a check mark is displayed.