Update Host Extensions using VUM

Have you ever wondered what happened to management agents the major server vendors provided in the past for VMware ESX? (e.g. HP Management Agents for VMware ESX) They have been moved into a more standardized framework within ESXi – the so called extensions. Those extensions are bundled with the regular ESXi installation media by most server vendors. If such a media kit was used for ESXi installation, some additional software is most likely installed. You can verify this is Tech Support Mode (TSM) with the command esxupdate query.

If an ESX farm grows, it can become quite an issue to keep track of the extensions installed when going forward upgrading to the latest VMware update pack. As there are sometimes hard dependencies you might want to postpone the upgrade until a certified extension package is ready.

You can apply extension updates using esxupdate or vihostupdate.pl for each host, but a much more comfortable way is the usage of VMware Update Manager (VUM).

Grab the latest extension from the server vendor (check the name of the currently installed ones as mentioned above) and import them into your VUM. Just click the Import Patches link…

In my example the HP ESX4i offline bundle version 1.2-25 will be uploaded into the VUM repository. This version is necessary for ESXi 4.1 Update 2 when running on HP Proliant servers. The hp-nmi-driver is also relevant for proper Purple Screen of Death (PSOD) handling when running on Proliant hardware.

Just confirm the version uploaded and you’re ready to apply the patch.

With the new patch in the repository it should show up when checking the host for new updates. In our case here, the host was just upgraded to ESXi 4.1 U2 and only the offline bundle is missing.

When the Remediate process has completed the new versions are reported by esxupdate command.

Some external links related to the topic:

HP ESXi Offline Bundle for VMware ESXi 4.1 U2

HP NMI Sourcing Driver for VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1

VMware Compatibility Guide – CIM Providers

VMware Compatibility Guide – ESXi Tools Readiness

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