NSX VIBs are specific to the version of ESXi that is installed on the host. If you upgrade ESXi, you must install new NSX VIBs appropriate for the new ESXi version.

When you upgrade to ESXi 6.5 or later with NSX 6.4 installed, vMotion of VMs to VXLAN prepared vSphere Distributed Switches on the upgraded host is blocked until the new NSX VIBs have been installed.

VMware recommends using vSphere Upgrade Manager to upgrade hosts to ESXi 6.5 or later in an NSX 6.4 environment.

Important: You must upgrade one host at a time. Do not select a cluster or datacenter to remediate when you upgrade ESXi.
Whatever method you use to upgrade ESXi, you should follow this workflow. On one host at a time, do the following:
  1. Upgrade ESXi

    Once the ESXi upgrade completes, the host exits maintenance mode, however, you cannot move VMs connected to logical switches to the host until the next step has completed.

  2. Upgrade NSX VIBs

    Once the VIBs are upgraded and the host has been removed from maintenance mode, you can move VMs connected to logical switches to the host.


  • Important: Some versions of NSX 6.4 and vSphere 6.5 and 6.7 are not interoperable. You must check the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix to verify which versions of vSphere and ESXi are compatible with your NSX Data Center for vSphere installation. See http://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide2/sim/interop_matrix.php.
  • Verify NSX 6.4 is installed.
  • Check the NSX release notes to get information about NSX and vSphere interoperability. See https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-for-vSphere/index.html.
  • Read the appropriate version of the vSphere documentation for detailed instructions on upgrading vSphere, including the vSphere Upgrade Guide and the Installing and Administering VMware vSphere Update Manager Guide.
  • Verify Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server systems are upgraded to the new vSphere version.
  • Verify vSphere Update Manager is installed and configured.
  • Make sure the fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) of all hosts can be resolved.
  • If DRS is disabled, power off or vMotion the VMs manually before beginning the upgrade.
  • If DRS is enabled, the running VMs are moved automatically during the host cluster upgrade. Before beginning the upgrade, make sure that DRS can work in your environment.
    • Make sure that DRS is enabled on the host clusters.
    • Make sure that vMotion functions correctly.
    • Check the host connection state with vCenter.
    • Check that you have a minimum three ESXi hosts in each host cluster. During an NSX upgrade, a host cluster with only one or two hosts is more likely to have problems with DRS admission control. For a successful NSX upgrade, ensure that each host cluster has at least three hosts. If a cluster contains fewer than three hosts, manually evacuate the hosts.
    • In a small cluster with only two or three hosts, if you have created anti-affinity rules stating that certain VMs must reside on separate hosts, DRS might fail to move the VMs during the upgrade. Either add additional hosts to the cluster or disable the anti-affinity rules during the upgrade and reenable them after the upgrade is finished. To disable an anti-affinity rule, go to Hosts and Clusters. In the Navigator, right-click the cluster, and click Settings. Navigate to Configure > Configuration > VM/Host Rules. Edit the rule and deselect Enable rule.


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to Update Manager > Update Manager Object > Manage.
  2. Follow the instructions in Import Host Upgrade Images and Create Host Upgrade Baselines to import a host upgrade image and create a host upgrade baseline.
    1. Click the ESXi Images tab, click Import ESXi Image and browse to the image you want to upload.
    2. Click the Host Baselines tab and click New Baseline. Use the New Baseline wizard to create a new Baseline, selecting Host Upgrade as the Baseline type.
  3. Upgrade one host at a time. Repeat these steps for each host.
    1. Navigate to Hosts and Clusters and select a host to upgrade. Do not select a cluster or datacenter.
    2. Right click the host and select Update Manager > Attach Baseline.... Use the Attach Baseline or Baseline Group wizard to select a baseline. See Attach Baselines and Baseline Groups to Objects in the vSphere documentation for full instructions.
    3. Right click the host and select Update Manager > Remediate.... Use the Remediate wizard to select a baseline. See Remediate Hosts Against an Upgrade Baseline in the vSphere documentation for full instructions.
    4. If the host has status Not connected after the reboot, connect the host. Right click the host and select Connection > Connect.
    5. To verify the upgrade is complete, right click the host and select Update Manager > Scan for Updates.... Select the Upgrades check box to scan for upgrade compliance. If the Compliance Status is Compliant, the upgrade is complete.
      See Manually Initiate a Scan of ESXi Hosts in the vSphere documentation for full instructions.
    6. Navigate to Networking & Security > Installation and Upgrade > Host Preparation.
    7. Locate the host on which you upgraded ESXi. The Installation Status or NSX Installation column displays Not Ready.
      Click Not Ready to see more information.
    8. Select the host and click Actions > Resolve to trigger NSX VIB installation.

      If the cluster has DRS enabled, DRS will attempt to put the host into maintenance mode in a controlled fashion that allows the VMs to continue running. If DRS fails for any reason, the Resolve action halts. In this case, you may need to move the VMs manually and then retry the Resolve action or put the host into maintenance mode manually.

      Important: If you manually put a host into maintenance mode to install the host VIBs, you must verify that the host VIB install has completed before you take the host out of maintenance mode. The Host Preparation page will display Installing even though the install is complete.
      1. Check the Recent Tasks pane in the vSphere Web Client and verify all Install tasks have completed.
      2. Connect to the host command line and run the esxcli software vib list command. The first part of the VIB version displays the version of ESXi for the VIB.

        After upgrade to ESXi 6.5 with NSX 6.4:

        [root@host-2:~] esxcli software vib list
        esx-nsxv    6.5.0-0.0.XXXXXXX    VMware  VMwareCertified   2018-01-16