When you manage a cluster or host with a single image, you can change the image at any time. You can edit the image by changing the software that it includes, for example, you can add or remove components, and you can also change the version of the included components. You can also reuse an image by exporting it and importing it into a different cluster or a standalone host.

Using vSphere Lifecycle Manager images starts with setting up an image for a cluster or a host. After you start managing a cluster or a host with a single image, you can edit the image at any time. You can validate the image before saving it to verify that it includes no conflicting components or missing dependencies.

Setting Up an Image for a Cluster or a Host

You can set up an image during the creation of the cluster or when you add a standalone host to a data center or a folder or later. During the creation of a cluster or the addition of a standalone host to a data center or a folder, you can only define the ESXi version and, optionally, a vendor add-on to be included in the image for the cluster or host. You can later edit the image to include additional components or a firmware add-on. For detailed information about creating a cluster and adding hosts to it, and about adding a standalone host to a data center or folder, see the vCenter Server and Host Management documentation.

Note:

When you set up an image, you select an ESXi version and a vendor add-on from the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot. If no ESXi base images and vendor add-ons are available in the vSphere Lifecycle Manager depot, you must populate the depot with software updates by synchronizing the depot or uploading updates to the depot manually. For detail information about the corresponding procedures, see Synchronize the vSphere Lifecycle Manager Depot and Import Updates to the vSphere Lifecycle Manager Depot.

If you do not set up an image during the creation of the cluster or the addition of the standalone host to a data center or folder, the cluster or the host use baselines, but you can switch to images at any time. When you set up an image during the transition workflow, you can define the full stack of software to run on the hosts in the cluster or on the standalone host. For more information about switching from baselines to images, see Convert a Cluster or a Host That Uses Baselines Into a Cluster or a Host That Uses vSphere Lifecycle Manager Images.

Whereas switching from baselines to images is possible, the reverse operation is not. If a cluster or a host use a single image, regardless of whether you set up the image during the cluster creation or the host addition to the data center or folder, you cannot switch to using baselines for that cluster or standalone host.

Viewing Details About the Image of a Cluster or Host

You can view the software elements that the image for a cluster or host contains on the Updates tab for that cluster or host.

The Image pane consists of two cards.

The Image card contains information about the image that the cluster or host uses. In that card, you perform all image-related operations. You edit the image, you export the image, you validate your selections, and so on. You can also check and view the recommendations that VMware provides.

The Image Compliance card contains compliance information about the hosts in the cluster or the standalone host. In that card, you perform host-related operations. You check the compliance of the hosts in the cluster or the standalone host, you run remediation pre-checks, you remediate the hosts in the cluster or the standalone host, and so on.

In the Image Compliance card, you edit remediation settings for that cluster or host and manage depot overrides.