During the Scan for Updates process of ESXi hosts to upgrade from 5.5 to 6.5, VMware Update Manager displays an incompatibility error due to conflicting VIBs using the HPE image.
When the Scan for Updates procedure is run from the Update Manager tab, processed hosts are reported as Incompatible showing the error:
The upgrade contains the following set of conflicting VIBs:
Remove the conflicting VIBs or use Image Builder to create a custom upgrade ISO image that contains the newer versions of the conflicting VIBs, and try to upgrade again.
To discover where this driver is used, we need to SSH the affected hosts and use esxcli commands.
Enable SSH in the ESXi host
Disabled by default, the SSH service must be enabled in the ESXi host 5.5 using the vSphere Thin Client. Go to Configuration tab and select Security Profile in the Software section. Click Properties in the top right of the screen to enable SSH.
Select SSH from the list and click Options. Select any Startup Policy (we just need to access the host temporarily) and click Start to enable SSH. Click OK to confirm.
SSH the first host affected by VIBs conflict and enter the correct credentials. Run the following command to check in which VIB package Mellanox driver resides:
# esxcli software vib list | grep Mell
The net-mst is the VIB package containing the Mellox driver.
Now run the following command to check drivers used on your network interfaces:
# esxcli network nic list
Looking at the drivers displayed, Mellanox driver is not in use by any NIC.
The net-mst package can be safely removed from the system through the command:
# esxcli software vib remove -n net-mst
To complete the driver removal procedure, you need to reboot the host. Right click the host to reboot and select Maintenance Mode > Entrer Maintenance Mode.
To avoid misconfiguration in the vCenter Server Inventory if something goes wrong during the driver removal, enable the option Move powered off and suspended virtual machines to other hosts in the cluster. Click OK to proceed.
When the host is in Maintenance Mode, right click the ESXi and select Power > Reboot to reboot the host.
To allow a global upgrade using VUM, you have to repeat same procedure for all other hosts to upgrade affected by this issue.
When the Mellox driver has been removed from all hosts to upgrade, click Scan for Updates button once again from the Update Manager tab. This time hosts are reported as Non-Compliant and can be upgraded.
After fixing the conflicting VIBs, the upgrade procedure has completed successfully.
For security reasons make sure the SSH service is disabled in the processed hosts.