vSphere Lifecycle Manager baselines and baselines groups were already available in previous vSphere releases. You use baselines and baseline groups for host patching and upgrade operations.

Using baselines and baseline groups to manage the updates and upgrades of ESXi hosts is a multi-stage process.

  1. You populate the vSphere Lifecycle Manager repository with patches, extensions, and updates.

    The vSphere Lifecycle Manager repository contains software updates that you can use with both vSphere Lifecycle Manager baselines and vSphere Lifecycle Manager images. On the

    Updates tab of the vSphere Lifecycle Manager home view, you see all software updates available in the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot as bulletins.

    Updates get into the vSphere Lifecycle Manager local depot through synchronization with configurable download sources. By default, vSphere Lifecycle Manager is configured to synchronize updates from the official VMware depot.

    You can also import updates into the depot manually.

    For host upgrade operations through baselines, you use ESXi ISO images, which you must also import to the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot manually.

    For more information about working with the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot, see Working with the vSphere Lifecycle Manager Depot.
  2. You create baselines by combining bulletins from the depot and using manually uploaded ESXi ISO images.

    You can also combine several non-conflicting baselines to create a baseline group. Baseline groups can contain different types of baselines. If a baseline group contains both upgrade and patch or extension baselines, the upgrade runs first.

    For more information about creating baselines and baseline groups, see Creating and Working with Baselines and Baseline Groups.
  3. You attach the baselines to individual ESXi hosts or container objects for ESXi hosts.

    For more information, see Attach Baselines and Baseline Groups to Objects.

  4. You check the compliance of ESXi hosts against a selected baseline or baseline group.

    You can run a compliance check on an individual ESXi host or a container object.

    For more information about compliance checks against baselines and baseline groups, see Checking Compliance Against vSphere Lifecycle Manager Baselines and Baseline Groups.

  5. You review the compliance status of the scanned object.

    For more information about compliance states, see Viewing Compliance Information About ESXi Hosts and Updates.

  6. You stage the patches and extensions to ESXi hosts before remediation. Staging is not a mandatory step, it is a step that you can skip.

    For more information about staging updates before remediation, see Staging Patches and Extensions to ESXi Hosts.

  7. You remediate the non-compliant objects. After remediation, you can review the compliance status again to make sure that the updates are installed.

    For more information about remediating objects against baselines and baseline groups, see Remediating ESXi Hosts Against vSphere Lifecycle Manager Baselines and Baseline Groups.