Using vSphere Lifecycle Manager images provides a simplified and unified workflow for patching and upgrade of ESXi hosts. You can also use vSphere Lifecycle Manager images for bootstrapping purposes and firmware updates.
An image defines the exact software stack to run on all ESXi hosts in a cluster.
Using images to apply software and firmware updates to ESXi hosts is a multi-stage process.
- Software updates must become available in the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot.
To set up and use an image, you use the software updates that are available in the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot. The depot contains base images, vendor add-ons, and additional components.
Updates get into the vSphere Lifecycle Manager local depot through synchronization with configurable download sources. By default, vSphere Lifecycle Manager is configured to synchronize with the official VMware depot. You can also import updates into the depot manually.
You can see the contents of the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot in the vSphere Lifecycle Manager home view.
For more information, see Working with the vSphere Lifecycle Manager Depot.
- Start using vSphere Lifecycle Manager images.
vSphere Lifecycle Manager provides you with the option to start using images with the very creation of a cluster. If you do not set up an image during the creation of a cluster, you can switch from using vSphere Lifecycle Manager baselines to using vSphere Lifecycle Manager images at a later time.
Even when you save the image, no software is installed on the ESXi hosts during image setup.
- Check the compliance of the ESXi hosts in the cluster against the image specification.
The compliance check compares the current image on the ESXi hosts in the cluster against the desired image that you specified during the setup process, and defines compatibility status of the hosts.
For more information, see Check Cluster Compliance Against an Image.
- Review the compliance statuses of the hosts in the cluster.
- You can run a remediation pre-check on an ESXi host to ensure software and hardware compatibility with the image.
Running a remediation pre-check is optional. The remediation pre-check ensures that all requirements for successful remediation are met. For more information, see Run a Remediation Pre-Check for a Cluster.
- Remediate the non-compliant ESXi hosts in the cluster.
Remediation is the process through which the software specification defined by the vSphere Lifecycle Manager image that you use for a cluster is actually applied to the hosts in the cluster.For more information about remediating hosts against an image, see Remediate a Cluster Against a Single Image.
- When you set up and save an image for a cluster, the image is not applied to the hosts in the cluster unless you remediate the hosts. The mere action of changing the management method does not alter the hosts in the cluster.
- After you set up an image for the cluster and remediate the hosts in the cluster against the image, standalone VIBs are deleted from the hosts.
- After you set up an image for the cluster and remediate the hosts in the cluster against the image, non-integrated solution agents are deleted from the hosts.