Using Update Manager with an HA cluster

I decided to spend part of my Saturday prepping for a rollout of VMware View at Westminster College. Desktop virtualization has been something we’ve considered for quite some time and we’re now moving on it. We’ve dedicated three Dell M600 blade servers to the initiative and all have been in place for a few months and are still running ESX 4.0. Before we deploy VMware View 4.5, I wanted to get these servers to ESX 4.1. We opted to not move to ESXi at this point but will (have to!) do so in the future.

I don’t use Update Manager a lot – only when I need to upgrade something a – so it’s not always fresh in my mind. I started out by realizing that I needed to update to vCenter 4.1’s version of Update Manager, which was easy. The Update Manager installer is included in the vCenter 4.1 download. From there, I created a new baseline that included the ESX 4.1 update file that I downloaded from VMware. I attached this baseline to each of my VDI-hosting ESX servers and, as expected, was told that not of my hosts were compliant.

Unfortunately, as you can see below, the remediation process failed.

After perusing the logs, I found that I had simply missed the checkbox that disables high availability admission control for the desktop cluster. It was a stupid mistake, but I’m willing to share my errors with the world! If you, like me, don’t use a tool all that often, it’s easy to make little mistakes like this. Obviously, if this was already a production service, I’d be handling the update a bit differently but since we’re still in pilot mode, I’m free to “play” a little.

After I corrected my error (see the screenshot above), I kicked off the remediation process again and, as you can see below, it’s running without a hitch!

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