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Installing Async Drivers On VMware ESXi 5.x And ESXi 6.0.x

Async drivers are being developed by a third-party vendor and sometimes might be exposed to the VMware esxi 5.x and ESXi 6.0.x process of certification. They are not confined to VMware esxi 5.x and ESXi 6.0.x software package known as vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB).

One can install async drivers on an already existing ESXi host through a particular VIB file or from a depot URL. Some use an offline bundle or an image profile too.

The offline bundle zip file is copied onto the ESXi host through the datastore browser. Then it is installed through the esxcli utility in the ESXi shell.

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Installation of an async driver:

  1. Extract all the contents of an async driver zip file.
  2. Identify all the offline-bundle.zip file or files.
  3. Log into the ESXi host through the vSphere Client with administrator privileges, like root.
  4. With the help of the Datastore Browser, upload all the offline-bundle.zip file(s) into an ESXi hosts data store.
  5. Enter the host in to the maintenance mode.
  6. Log in as root to the ESXi console via SSH or through iLO/DRAC.
  7. Copy the offline-bundle.zip to a datastore which is accessible through the ESXi host with the use of this command:cp offline-bundle.zip /vmfs/volumes/datastore_name
  8. Run the command below for installing drivers with the offline bundle. It needs an absolute path:esxcli software vib install –d /path/offline-bundle.zipFor example:esxcli software vib install –d /vmfs/volumes/datastore_name/offline-bundle.zipIf this command fails, unzip the file and make an attempt to run the same command. Use localcli than using esxcli if the hostd isn’t responding.For example:localcli software vib install –d /vmfs/volumes/datastore_name/offline-bundle.zip
  9. Restart the ESXi host.
  10. One can run this command for confirming whether the VIB is installed or not:esxcli software vib list | grep -i <vib_name>
  11. Finally, exit the maintenance mode.

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One can install async drivers too on an existing VMware esxi 5.x and ESXi 6.0.x host through a VMware vCenter Update Manager.

To install these async drivers:

  1. Extract the contents of the async driver zip file.
  2. Identify the offline-bundle.zip file(s).
  3. From vCenter Server, go to Home > Update Manager.
  4. Click the Patch Repository tab.
  5. Click the Import Patches link at the top right of the screen.
  6. Click Finish. The async driver is added to the patch repository.
  7. Create a Host Extension baseline and remediate the ESXi host.

The Update Manager automatically restarts the ESXi host post the remediation is complete.

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