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How to Patch vCenter Server in VCHA Cluster

In our previous posts we were working on how to setup VCHA Cluster & how to do failover testing of vCenter High Availability. Once you configure VCHA then you don’t need to worry about the vCenter Server failure. Everything can be taken care by the vCenter High Availability feature & you will get your vCenter Server back in few minutes.

There is a time when you need to patch your vCenter Server for the security reasons or any other reasons. In VCHA Cluster there is an step by step procedure for patching the vCenter Server which is configured for High Availability.

For patching the VCHA Cluster first you need to patch the Witness Node then you can patch your Passive vCenter Server node then perform failover for using the Passive node as active and then you can patch your active node which is currently in passive mode easily.

Before starting the patching first we have to move VCHA cluster into maintenance mode. Follow below steps for that.

Step 1:
Login to vSphere Web Client.
Select vCenter Server & go to your vCenter HA Cofiguration.
Click Edit to modify the vCenter HA settings.

vcha-patch-1

Step 2:
Choose the Maintenance Mode. (It is mandatory step before start the patching.)
Click OK to save.

vcha-patch-2

Now you can see that your vCenter HA Cluster nodes are in maintenance mode. Keep track of the nodes which is active & which is passive. This information will be required later.

vcha-patch-3

Now we have moved our vCenter HA cluster nodes into maintenance mode. So we can start the patching process now.

Before start patching download the correct patch from VMware Website.

Patching process includes of 3 stages. In first stage we will patch the witness node first, In second stage we will patch the Passive node & at last we will patch the Active node.

Before wasting time let’s start the patching process.

Patching the Witness Node:

Mount ISO to the Witness Node.

Step 1:
Connect to Active vCenter Server node using SSH.

Step 2:
From Active node do SSH to the witness Node.
For e.g.

#ssh [email protected] node IP address.

Step 3:
Run the below command in shell to install the patch.

software-packages install --iso --acceptEulas

Once the Installation completed. Disconnect the ISO from the Witness Node.

vcha-patch-4

Step 4:
Reboot the witness node. You can use below command.

shutdown reboot -r "VCSA patching"

We have successfully patched the witness node. Now we will patch the Passive node.

Patching the Passive node:

Mount ISO to the Passive Node.

Step 1:
Connect to Active vCenter Server node using SSH.

Step 2:
From Active node do SSH to the Passive Node.
For e.g.

#ssh [email protected] node IP address.

Step 3:
Run the below command in shell to install the patch.

software-packages install --iso --acceptEulas

Once the Installation completed. Disconnect the ISO from the Witness Node.

Step 4:
Reboot the Passive node. You can use below command.

shutdown reboot -r "VCSA patching"

We have successfully patched the Passive node. Now we will patch the Active node. Before patching the active node first perform the manual failover to the passive node. For start failover follow below steps:

  • Log in to the vCenter Server with the vSphere Web Client and click Configure.
  • Under Settings, select vCenter HA and click Initiate Failover.
  • Click Yes to start the failover.

Now you can see that your Passive node has become the Active node & Active node become the passive node. Now we can easily patch the remaining node.

Patching the New Passive node:

Mount ISO to the remaining node.

Step 1:
Connect to Active vCenter Server (Previously Passive)node using SSH.

Step 2:
From Active node do SSH to the Passive Node.
For e.g.

#ssh [email protected] node IP address.

Step 3:
Run the below command in shell to install the patch.

software-packages install --iso --acceptEulas

Once the Installation completed. Disconnect the ISO from the Witness Node.

Step 4:
Reboot the Passive Node . You can use below command.

shutdown reboot -r "VCSA patching"

Now you can perform the manual failover again for going back to your previously active node. This step is based on your requirement. It is an optional step.

If you have not configured the vCenter HA then check below links for more:

What is vCenter High Availability & how it works ?

How to setup network for vCenter HA ?

How to configure vCenter HA Step by Step ?

How to do vCenter HA Failover Testing ?

That’s it for Today Friends. I Hope you liked reading this post & If you find anything more to be added or removed feel free to write it in our comments. If you find it useful You are Feel free to share this on social media to help others & spread knowledge.
If you have any query on any thing you are free to write it in our comments section & we will make sure to provide you the better solution as soon as possible.

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About Mayur Parmar

Hi I am Mayur Parmar. Independent Author & Founder of Mastering VMware. I am working in IT industry for more than 2 Years with knowledge of VMware , Microsoft Server’s, Linux Server’s.

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