vSphere Lifecycle Manager allows you to stage ESXi patches and updates in advance of cluster remediation.
By default, when remediating clusters using vSphere Lifecycle Manager, the patch/update payload is downloaded to the ESXi host after the host has entered maintenance mode. Maintenance mode is an unproductive state for an ESXi host because workloads cannot run on a host in maintenance mode, so we want to minimize the time a host needs to be spent in maintenance mode and reduce the overall time needed for lifecycle operations.
vSphere Lifecycle Manager staging allows you to download the patch/update payload to the ESXi hosts in advance of remediation and without entering maintenance mode. Staging also removes risk of remediation failure, that might be caused due to network transfer interruptions, by ensuring that all the necessary bits are local to the hosts.
Staging supports firmware updates with support from compatible Hardware Support Managers.
Using vSphere Lifecycle Manager Staging
Staging is a one-click activity. Simply click the STAGE ALL button to initiate the staging process for all hosts in the cluster. If you want to stage to an individual host, click Stage from the hosts Actions drop-down menu.
Completed staging is indicated by a green tick icon for each host.
In this example, we stage a new ESXi release to all 8 hosts in the cluster.
Staged payloads persist on ESXi hosts until remediated. Staged payloads cannot be un-staged but can be overwritten with newer patch/update payloads.
Staging can also be used on standalone hosts. For more on vSphere Lifecycle Manager support for standalone hosts, see vSphere Lifecycle Manager Feature Spotlight: Standalone Hosts.
vSphere Lifecycle Manager allows you to stage ESXi patches and updates in advance of cluster remediation. Staging reduces the total time hosts need to spend in maintenance mode and reduces the overall time required to complete cluster lifecycle operations.
For more on staging using vSphere Lifecycle Manager see, the vSphere documentation.