Upgrading ESXi to HP Specific 5.1 Image Using VMware Update Manager


You manage a VMware ESXi 5.0 cluster, using only HP servers. You want to upgrade to the latest version (5.1) but would also like to install HP-specific “extras” to expose more information and provide more features such as VAAI. HP provide a customised image for VMware ESXi 5.1, and it’s possible to use VMware Update Manager to make the upgrade process as smooth as possible.


First, you need to make sure you update VMware vCenter from 5.0 to 5.1.

Download the HP Custom Image for ESXi 5.1

  1. Navigate to the following URL: https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/details?downloadGroup=HP-ESXI-5.1.0-GA-10SEP2012&productId=285
  2. Enter your login details to VMware’s website.
  3. Download the .ISO file to your computer.

Import HP ESXi Image into Update Manager

  1. Open the vSphere Client (the Web Client does not currently support Update Manager.
  2. Navigate to Home > Solutions and Applications > Update Manager > ESXi Images tab.
  3. Click Import ESXi Image…
  4. Navigate to the downloaded .ISO file.
  5. Choose a Baseline Name, then click Finish.

Update all Hosts in the Cluster

  1. In Hosts and Clusters view, select your cluster.
  2. Select the Update Manager tab.
  3. Click Attach…
  4. Select your newly created Baseline under Upgrade Baselines, then click Attach.
  5. Click Scan… to check which hosts need upgrading.
  6. Once the scan of your cluster is complete, click the Remediate button.
  7. Select Upgrade Baselines type, select your Baseline.
  8. Accept the terms and license agreement; after reading it word for word, of course! 😐
  9. Choose whether to remove installed third-party software that’s incompatible with the upgrade.
  10. Choose to start the process immediately, or schedule for a time in the future.
  11. Disable cluster features like High Availability (HA). A message says “Update Manager does not remediate hosts or clusters on which the features remain enabled. I disabled HA because of this.
  12. Click Generate Report to display current issues and recommended changes.
  13. Click Finish to start the process.

Confirm VAAI is Enabled on ESXi Hosts

  1. Login locally to the Host > F2 > Enter login credentials.
  2. Navigate to Troubleshooting Options > Enable ESXi Shell.
  3. Go back to the main screen and press Alt + F1 to enter the ESXi Shell.
  4. Run these commands separately:
    1. esxcfg-advcfg -g /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedMove
    2. esxcfg-advcfg -g /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedInit
    3. esxcfg-advcfg -g /VMFS3/HardwareAcceleratedLocking
    4. Each command above should return “1“.
  5. …or, run this single command for a datastore:
    1. esxcli storage core device vaai status get –d
  6. Navigate to Troubleshooting Options > Disable ESXi Shell.

Even if VAAI is enabled on your hosts, VAAI must also be configured on your SAN. In this instance, an HP P2000 was used. More info can be found here:


  1. rortegaba says

    I tried to use the customized HP ESXi to upgrade my hosts, from Update Manager, but it isn’t work, it marks Incompatible error.

  2. Hi.. for me it wont work. got following error.

    hardware configuration of host is incompatible