Since Update Manager 5.1 release, ESXi 5.x host upgrades are handled in a different way than earlier Update Manager instances.

When you perform a host scan, the target host is scanned against a set of VIBs from the upgrade image. In Update Manager 5.0 and earlier, when you scan hosts against an upgrade baseline that contains an ISO image of the same version as the target host, Update Manager displays Incompatible compliance state and remediation is not possible. In Update Manager 5.5, if you scan an ESXi 5.5 host against a base ESXi 5.5 image distributed by VMware or against a custom ESXi 5.5 image that contains the same set of VIBs as the ones already installed on the target host, Update Manager displays Compliant scan result. Update Manager 5.5 supports use of ESXi 5.5 ISO images for upgrade of an ESXi 5.5 host to ESXi 5.5 that contains additional or custom VIBs.

You might have several set of situations where you scan and remediate ESXi 5.x hosts against an ESXi 5.5 image. All 5.x versions of the ESXi hosts are binary compatible. Any third-party software modules on ESXi 5.x host will remain intact after upgrade to ESXi 5.5, regardless of whether you select the option to remove third-party modules. As different ESXi 5.x hosts are binary compatible, scanning and remediation operations to ESXi 5.5 return identical results.

The remediation process of ESXi 5.0 and ESXi 5.1 host to ESXi 5.5 image is an upgrade process. The remediation process of ESXi 5.5 host by using ESXi 5.5 image with additional VIBs is equivalent to a patching process.

Table 1. Scan and Remediation Situations for ESXi 5.x Hosts Against ESXi 5.5 Images

Action

Description

Scan and remediation of ESXi 5.x hosts against ESXi 5.5 image that contains additional non-conflicting and non-obsoleting VIBs with the target host.

Update Manager displays Non-Compliant scan result. Remediation succeeds. All VIBs on the target host before remediation remain on the host. All VIBs from the upgrade image that are not present on the target host before remediation are added to the host.

Scan and remediation of ESXi 5.x hosts against ESXi 5.5 image that contains VIBs of later version than the same VIBs on the target host.

Update Manager displays Non-Compliant scan result. Remediation succeeds. VIBs on the target host are updated to the later version.

Scan and remediation of ESXi 5.x hosts against ESXi 5.5 image that contains conflicting VIBs with the target host.

Update Manager displays Incompatible scan result. Remediation fails. The host remains intact.

Scan and remediation of ESXi 5.x hosts against ESXi 5.5 image that contains vendor-tagged VIBs.

  • If the vendor-tagged VIBs do not match the host hardware, Update Manager displays Incompatible scan result. Remediation fails.

  • If the vendor-tagged VIBs match the host hardware, Update Manager displays Non-Compliant scan result and remediation succeeds.

Scan and remediation of ESXi 5.x hosts against an ESXi 5.5 image that contains VIBs that obsolete the VIBs installed on the host.

Remediation succeeds. All VIBs that have been installed on the target host before remediation are replaced by the newer VIBs from the ESXi image.