EMC PowerPath/VE Installation with vSphere 5 and Update Manager

Installing updates, extensions, and upgrading esx is very easy with vSphere Update Manager and here is one way how it can be used to install EMC PowerPath/VE. The same process can be used to install other extensions but lets stay focused. PowerPath/VE is used to optimize storage i/o and automate path failures. It  aids in making your environment more robust for those business critical applications. As I write this, I’ll assume that you vSphere Update Manager and plugin has already been installed and setup.

First thing is to download the latest compatible version of power path/ve from EMC’s Powerlink website. Once your logged into the website your going to want to hover over and browse to “Support” -> “Software Downloads and Licensing” -> “Downloads P-R” -> “PowerPath for VMware” as shown below.

Find the appropriate software bundle then download it to your local system. Once the software bundle is downloaded upzip the file. Browse the unzipped folders for the correct zip and in this case the PowerPath/VE 5.7 for VMware is “EMCPower.VMWARE.5.7.b173.zip“. This is what you’ll need to upload into the repository for vSphere Update Manager. Using the vSphere client log into the vCenter Server then open up vCenter Update Manager.

From Update Manager select the “Patch Repository” tab then click the “Import Patches” link. The “Select Patches File” window will appear. Browse to and double click the “EMCPower.VMWARE.5.7.b173.zip” file then click Next. Accept the Certificate Warning if prompted by clicking “Ignore”.

Now that the “Host Extensions” have been uploaded it’s time to create a what is called a baseline. So change to the “Baselines and Groups” tab in Update Manager. Once in the “Baselines and Groups” click the link to create a new baseline. The “Baseline Name and Type” window appears. Give it a name at minimum, select the type as “Host Extension” and then click Next to continue.

Find the appropriate host extension then click the down arrow to add it to the baseline and then click Next.

Take the defaults for the rest until your finished creating the baseline. Just note that you could just add the host extension to an already created baseline if you’d like. So now that the baseline is created we’re in the final stretch. Now all that needed is to “Attach” the baseline to the ESXi host, “Scan” it to verify whether the host is compliant or not, then Remediate the host if it does. This is done from the “Host and Clusters” view, click on the ESXi host, then select the “Update Manager” tab if your unclear on where to start. In this case the host extension is only supported for vSphere 5 so if you attach and scan a ESXi4 host it would not work. So be careful to read the software version notes. One more key note is to make sure that in the Remediate wizard choose to “Disable High Availability admission control if it is enabled for any of the selected clusters” if HA is enabled on your cluster or the installation will fail.

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