VMware Cloud on AWS regularly performs updates on your SDDCs. These updates ensure continuous delivery of new features and bug fixes, and maintain consistent software versions across the SSDC fleet.
Updates to the SDDC software are mandatory and must be done in a timely manner. When an SDDC update is upcoming, VMware sends a notification email to you. Typically, this occurs 7 days before a regular update and 1-2 days before an emergency update. Delays to upgrades could result in your SDDC running an unsupported software version. See Supported SDDC Versions.
You also receive notifications by email when each phase of the update process starts, completes, is rescheduled, or is canceled. To ensure that you receive these notifications, whitelist email@example.com.
Upgrade Process for SDDCs Using NSX-T
The figure below shows the upgrade process for SDDCs with networking based on NSX-T.
The impact of the upgrade on different elements of the SDDC infrastructure is shown in the figure below.
- Do not perform hot or cold workload migrations. Migrations fail if they are started or in progress during maintenance.
- Do not perform workload provisioning (New/Clone VM). Provisioning operations fail if they are started or in progress during maintenance.
- Do not make changes to Storage-based Policy Management settings for workload VMs.
- Ensure that there is enough storage capacity (> 30% slack space) in each cluster.
Maintenance is performed in three phases.
Phase 1: Control Plane Updates. These are the updates to vCenter Server, NSX Edge. A backup of the management appliances is taken during this phase. If a problem occurs, there is a restore point for the SDDC. A management gateway firewall rule is added during this phase. There is an NSX Edge failover during this upgrade phase, resulting in a brief downtime. You do not have access to NSX Manager and vCenter Server during this phase. Otherwise, your workloads and other resources function as usual subject to the constraints outlined above.
When Phase 1 is complete, you receive a notification. After Phase 1 is complete, there is a waiting period until Phase 2 starts. Phase 2 is initiated at a designated start time.
Phase 2: Host Updates. These are the updates to the ESXi hosts and host networking software in the SDDC. An additional host is temporarily added to your SDDC to provide enough capacity for the update. You are not billed for these host additions. vMotion and DRS activities occur to facilitate the update. During this time, your workloads and other resources function as usual subject to the constraints outlined above. When Phase 2 is complete, the hosts that were temporarily added are removed from each cluster in the SDDC.
When Phase 2 is complete, you receive a notification. After Phase 2 is complete, there is a waiting period until Phase 3 starts. Phase 3 is initiated at a designated start time.
Phase 3: These are the updates to the NSX-T appliances. A backup of the management appliances is taken during this phase. If a problem occurs, there is a restore point for the SDDC. A management gateway firewall rule is added during this phase. You do not have access to NSX Manager and vCenter Server during this phase.Otherwise, your workloads and other resources function as usual subject to the constraints outlined above.
When Phase 3 is complete, you receive a notification.
For more information on estimating the duration of each phase, see Estimating the Duration of SDDC Maintenance.
When an SDDC upgrade for your SDDC is scheduled, you can see information about upcoming or ongoing maintenance in the Maintenance Tab of the VMC Console. For more information, see View an SDDC Maintenance Schedule Reservation.
Updates for VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX)
- The VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension (HCX) for the SDDC managers will not be upgraded as part of this release.
- Avoid starting HCX migrations that might overlap with the SDDC upgrade window. HCX bulk migration processes might be halted, and HCX vMotion migrations might fail.
- For more details, see the VMware HCX User Guide at https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-Hybrid-Connect/index.html.
Updates for the VMware vCenter Cloud Gateway
- The VMware vCenter Cloud Gateway will be updated to the latest release.
- The user interface for the VMware vCenter Cloud Gateway might be inaccessible during the upgrade of the appliance.
- For more information, see the documentation for the vCenter Cloud Gateway Appliance at https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-on-AWS/services/com.vmware.vsphere.vmc-aws-manage-data-center.doc/GUID-58C1AC46-3F99-4F93-BB1F-FD1878B49374.html.
Updates for Horizon Enterprise
For information about the impact of an SDDC upgrade on a Horizon Enterprise installation running on VMware Cloud on AWS, see https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/74599.