vRealize Network Insight 6.0 Upgrade

vRealize Network Insight, release after release has truly solved the challenges organizations have been facing around network troubleshooting (performance or packet drops), security planning and having an application centric view of datacenter objects, from a networking and security perspective. They could be On-premise workloads or across hybrid / public cloud Infrastructures.

While I intend to share each of these feature overview in detail, as to how vRNI delivers these, in this post we will specifically focus on vRNI 6.0 and the upgrade steps and considerations.

vRNI 6.0 which is the latest version as of today, was released on the 13th October, 2020 and came with some of the exciting and much awaited features as following (few key ones)-

  1. New SD-WAN (Velocloud) Edge dashboard – Visibility into the different components such as Datacenter, Hub, gateways and tunnels. This includes QoE (Quality Of experience) values for Voice, Video and Transactional metrics. Along with this, there is a newly introduced ISP dashboard and flow RTT support.
  2. NSX T 3.1 integration and Federation support.
  3. Network Assurance and Verification – This brings the integration of Veriflow features into vRNI, offering a proactive network troubleshooting, by end to end modelling of the network and defining intents. (ex : compliance, configuration, security).
  4. Enhanced visibility in VMC on AWS – RTT, Rx/Tx metrics.
  5. Introducing HCX support – vRNI Application group awareness as Mobility groups, safe network cut-overs in migration use cases.
  6. Enhanced UI with line charts, grid view (ease of troubleshooting) and Pin board sharing.
  7. Backup and Restore of vRNI (configurations) using CLI / API methods.

Upgrading to vRNI 6.0

Few of the important considerations before upgrading to 6.0 are –

  1. The only versions of vRNI that can be directly upgraded to 6.0 are 5.2 and 5.3. Hence for any version older than 5.2, it will be multi-step upgrade to 6.0. https://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide2/sim/interop_matrix.php#upgrade&solution=285
  2. It takes almost 12 – 24 hours for the data in pipeline, during the upgrade process, to be processed and reflect on the UI, based on the environment size.
  3. Since there is no roll back possible after upgrading vRNI, its important to have a backup of the setup prior to upgrading : https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55829
  4. In a vRNI setup that is clustered, the upgrade process is done only on Platform node 1.
  5. vRNI 6.0 will require a new license key, which means the previous 5.x license key needs to be upgraded from the MyVMware portal; unless or until we are using the NSX Ent Plus license keys (which entitles using vRNI ADV).
  6. While there are 3 ways to upgrade – Online, Single-Click Offline and the CLI method, in this session will focus on the Single-Click Offline method – most commonly used.
  7. Disk space on platform and collector VMs -Verify if there is free space on the following partitions : /tmp – 6 GB and /home – 2 GB
  8. Disk space on platform server : / – 12 GB (only on platform node 1, if clustered) and /var – 40 GB.
  9. To avoid, UI timeout during the upgrade process, its recommended to increase the user session time out value at least to 2 hours (Settings > System Configuration > User Session time out)
  10. Ensure all the nodes are online. (and not inactive)
  11. Take snapshots of the VMs. While this is an easy revert back option in upgrade fail scenarios (which is very uncommon) , cannot be considered as a proper backup. And these snapshots are to be deleted off these VMs within 3 days post upgrade.

Steps:

  1. From MyVMware portal, download the offline upgrade bundle

2. Check and ensure that the MD5SUM value of the downloaded bundle matches the MD5SUM value specified in the VMware website.

3. On the main vRNI UI page – Settings –

4. Under Infrastructure and Support – Click on Overview and updates

5. In the offline Update (want to update using the update package?) – ‘Click Here’ and browse to the offline upgrade bundle downloaded –

6. Initial phase is to upload the bundle and processing, which may take couple of minutes

7. Once it shows, Uploaded bundle 6.0.0 (build number) in green, click on View details and Continue.

8. Once the validation checks are completed, select the check box ‘I agree to these constraints and – Install Now.

9. The process here can take time depending on the environment size and wait for platform to be updated –

10. Once the upgrade completes successfully, the UI page will prompt for the new license key (which we need to be ready as I mentioned in the pre-requisites) while loading

and to verify the version, from the UI – Settings – About – should see 6.0

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