Upgrading HCX post 4.9 release

HCX 4.9 brought some licensing changes as well as offline/dark site support. Whilst it is still possible to upgrade using the well-known approach in the UI, you are now able to download the upgrade bundles. Whilst this is the only option for Local sites, it’s possible to use it for Connected sites, which might be favourable to those who have many Managers to upgrade, or those who want a more predictable time window for an upgrade. One customer I work with has over 50 HCX Managers and as you might imagine, at times of upgrade it can be quite a challenge due to different site internet speed, proxy capabilities etc. Now you can simply download the upgrade bundle from the Broadcom portal and distribute internally.

First, log into your Broadcom account, and if you haven’t already change to VCF on the dropdown next to your name, then head to HCX.

In here select standard, then 4.9.1

Previously it was only possible to download the Cloud OVA, and once deployed you were able to get a Installer link. I’m going to create a short blog post covering what the difference is but in short:

Cloud OVA – this is the OVA to deploy into your target environment. This in most cases would be your new VCF Workload domain where you are migrating to.

Installer OVA (now deprecated, 4.9 and before – This is an OVA file which you get a link to once you have deployed the Cloud Manager. It is a minimal appliance and stripped down, then as part of the deployment process it would download the full Connector OVA parts and upgrade to the latest version. This was problematic for some customers who didn’t always want to upgrade to the very latest version, or weren’t able to. It would traditionally be deployed in your source environment, which is where you are migrating from.

Connector OVA – this is the full blown Connector OVA, and it will not upgrade automatically during the deployment. That means as an example if you download the 4.9.1 Connector OVA, it will be 4.9.1 and will not self upgrade. Which means if in the future (as an example!) 4.9.2 is released but you want to install 4.9.1, you can just use the 4.9.1 Connector OVA.

Cloud Upgrade Bundle – this is an offline bundle that you can use to upgrade to the specific version of the bundle. You must use the Cloud bundle for the Cloud side, and the Connector bundle for the Connector side. Snapshots are still taken, but it will only upgrade to that version. Again, using 4.9.1 and 4.9.2 as an example, the 4.9.1 bundle can only be used to upgrade to 4.9.1, and if 4.9.2 is released in the future, then you must download the 4.9.2 bundle. There won’t be any version drop down like you get with the Connected method of upgrading.

Connector Upgrade Bundle – this is the offline Bundle to upgrade the Connector appliance only. It will not be able to upgrade the Cloud Manager. The same caveats and limitations as the Cloud Upgrade Bundle also apply.

In this case, I want to upgrade my Cloud Manager from 4.9 to 4.9.1, therefore I would choose VMware HCX Cloud Upgrade Bundle.

With the Bundle downloaded, log into the HCX Manager Admin page (https://hcx-ip-or-fqdn:9443) and head to Administration > Upgrade. Then press upgrade, choose your file and wait for the process to complete.

In my case, the upgrade took around 15 minutes, but this will vary depending multiple factors in an environment.

Post upgrade of the Cloud Manager, the next step would be to upgrade the Connector, then finally the fleet appliances.

Thanks for reading.

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