Looking for a way to quickly update your ESXi host? Currently, you can do this via; Update Manager, Scripted Upgrade, Auto Deploy, ESXi Installer ISO or ESXCLI. Using the CLI is awesome when only updating a few host, but I prefer Update Manager when working with a larger number of host and possibly a unattended upgrade.
Go ahead an obtain the ESXi 5.5 Update 3a Offline Bundle from VMware’s website. You may notice that I am using 3a instead of 3b. This is due to vCenter being at U3a in this customers environment. vCenter will not be able to manage ESXi 5.5 Update 3b, if you update ESXi before updating vCenter Server to version 5.5 Update 3b.
Note: Support for SSLv3 protocol is disabled by default. Refer to KB 2057795. Also note that VMware DOES NOT recommend re-enabling SSLv3 due to POODLE vulnerability. If you need to enable this for some reason, please refer to KB 2139396.
So let’s get into the steps.
Step 1: Copy the contents of the offline bundle (ESXi550-201510001.zip) to a datastore accessible by all host. I will be using WinSCP for this step. Also, I will assume that we don’t need to cover this step 😉
Step 2: SSH into the host via Putty.
Step 3: Run vmware -vl which will display the current version.
Step 4: Place host into maintenance mode | vim-cmd hostsvc/ maintenance_mode_enter
Step 5: List the updates that will be applied | esxcli software sources profile list -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ESXi550-201510001.zip
Step 6: Execute the Update to 5.5 Update A | esxcli software profile update -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ESXi-5.5.0-20151004001-standard
Step 7: Reboot host and you are done!