You can use Update Manager to perform orchestrated upgrades of the ESX/ESXi hosts in your vSphere inventory by using a single upgrade baseline, or by using a baseline group.

This workflow describes the overall process to perform an orchestrated upgrade of the hosts in your vSphere inventory. Update Manager 5.x supports host upgrades to ESXi 5.x for hosts that are running ESX/ESXi 4.x.

You can perform orchestrated upgrades of hosts at the folder, cluster, or datacenter level.


The last two steps in this procedure are alternatives. Choose one or the other.

Make sure your system meets the requirements for vCenter Server 5.x, ESXi 5.x, and Update Manager 5.x. See Update Manager Hardware Requirements

Install or upgrade vCenter Server to version 5.x. See Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1.

Install or upgrade vSphere Update Manager to version 5.x. See Upgrading Update Manager.


ESX/ESXi host updates might require that the host enters maintenance mode before they can be applied. Update Manager puts the ESX/ESXi hosts in maintenance mode before applying these updates. You can configure how Update Manager responds if the host fails to enter maintenance mode.


For ESX/ESXi hosts in a cluster, the remediation process can run either in a sequence or in parallel. Certain features might cause remediation failure. If you have VMware DPM, HA admission control, or Fault Tolerance enabled, you should temporarily disable these features to make sure that the remediation is successful.


You can configure Update Manager to let other software initiate remediation of PXE booted ESXi hosts. The remediation installs patches and software modules on the hosts, but typically the host updates are lost after a reboot.


You can create upgrade baselines for ESX/ESXi hosts with ESXi 5.1 images that you import to the Update Manager repository.


You can combine one host upgrade baseline with multiple patch or extension baselines, or combine multiple patch and extension baselines in a baseline group.


To view compliance information and remediate objects in the inventory against specific baselines and baseline groups, you must first attach existing baselines and baseline groups to these objects.


Before remediation, you should scan the vSphere objects against the attached baselines and baseline groups. To run a scan of hosts in the vSphere inventory immediately, initiate a scan manually.


You can review compliance information for the virtual machines, virtual appliances, and hosts against baselines and baseline groups that you attach.


You can remediate ESX/ESXi hosts against a single attached upgrade baseline at a time. You can upgrade or migrate all hosts in your vSphere inventory by using a single upgrade baseline containing an ESXi 5.1 image.


You can remediate hosts against attached groups of upgrade, patch, and extension baselines. Baseline groups might contain multiple patch and extension baselines, or an upgrade baseline combined with multiple patch and extension baselines.