By enabling VMware vSphere® vSphere Lifecycle Manager on a cluster, you can ensure that all ESXi hosts participating in a cluster are prepared using a single ESXi image and a single NSX-T image. The vSphere Lifecycle Manager functionality minimizes errors and lowers cluster and host maintenance cycles.

Starting from vCenter Server 7.0 U1, ESXi 7.0 U1, and NSX-T 3.1.0 onwards, a vSphere Lifecycle Manager-enabled cluster can manage installation of ESXi and NSX-T VIBs.

With Sphere Lifecycle Manager, you can manage lifecycle of a cluster of ESXi hosts using a single ESXi and NSX-T image.

vSphere Lifecycle Manager requires two images: one for ESXi and another one for NSX-T. It retrieves the ESXi image from the image directory in vCenter Server. Ensure the ESXi image is uploaded to vCenter Server. vSphere Lifecycle Manager gets the NSX-T image only when a cluster is prepared for NSX-T networking, which is possible from the NSX Manager user interface. The NSX-T image is automatically uploaded to vCenter Server when NSX-T cluster preparation begins. For other clusters in the vCenter Server, vSphere Lifecycle Manager references the already uploaded NSX-T image. vSphere Lifecycle Manager refers to NSX-T as a solution, as it does with other solutions such as HA, DRS and so on.

For more information on the usage of the terminology, such as images and solutions in vSphere Lifecycle Manager, refer to the Managing Host and Cluster Lifecycle guide in the VMware vSphere® Documentation center.

The following clusters can be enabled as vSphere Lifecycle Manager clusters:
  • Clusters with ESXi hosts that are prepared for NSX-T networking using a transport node profile.

  • Clusters with ESXi hosts that are not prepared for NSX-T networking.