Upgrading Prism Central from 4.0.1 to Newer Code

This article details the steps to upgrade a Nutanix Prism Central 4.0.1 instance to (or future releases). There are a couple of different methods that can be used, all are covered below.

For those not familiar with Prism Central, it is the Nutanix centralized management platform, and is targeted at environments with 2 or more Nutanix 4.0+ clusters. Prism Central is literally the same Prism HTML5 GUI our customers have come to love, but with the ability to manage multiple clusters, at once in a scale-out fashion.

Prism Central gives administrators and operators the ability to see aggregated stats/alerts/info for all connected clusters, and it gives the ability “hop into” any cluster, using seamless pass through authentication. Prism Central was introduced in 4.0.1, and can manage any cluster running NOS 4.0+. Note that Pro or Ultimate Edition licensing is required on a cluster level, but there is no license file that gets applied to Prism Central itself.

NOTE: This article assumes Prism Central 4.0.1 is already deployed, and does not cover the initial install of the OVA. Installation is covered in detail by Baz Raayman’s Blog, as well as in the portal.nutanix.com documentation library.

NOTE: This blog is for informational and educational purposes only. While I have validated this upgrade process several times in my team’s lab, this may not cover your particular implementation situation. For production deployments, it is always a good idea to consult Nutanix Support. Nutanix SRE’s should be the sole source of truth for target code guidance and related upgrade steps. As with literally every enterprise software, DO NOT randomly apply new code to your production environment, without first consulting the proper resources.

There are two primary ways that a system administrator can apply an update to Prism Central.

  1. Upgrade via Auto Update in the GUI
  2. Upgrade via CLI

Method 1: Upgrade via Auto Update (GUI)

In 4.0+, both Prism and Prism Central give administrators the ability to upgrade apply upgrades via the GUI. If your CVM’s have Internet access, they can pull the upgrade binaries directly from the Nutanix Releases API, which means no manual download / transfer process is required. Optionally, you can have the clusters periodically poll the releases API and automatically download new bundles as they are published.

NOTE: Configuring Auto Download does not automatically apply updates. Applying updates always requires “1 click” by a cluster admin.

To access to Auto Update feature, click the “Actions” gear in the top right hand corner, then select “Upgrade Prism Central”. This will bring up the “Upgrade Software” context window.


Click “Upgrade Prism Central”

As mentioned previously, if you have Internet access on the CVM, the CVM will poll the releases API and check for a compatible upgrade. If there is an upgrade available, the option(s) will be presented to you, with a big “Download” button to the right of the proposed software release. Optionally, you have the ability to “Enable Automatic Download” via the check box in the lower left hand corner.


Upgrade Software Window

If your CVM’s don’t have Internet access, you will have to download the target code from the Nutanix Support Portal.

This is where you get the BITZ, yo!

Nutanix Releases Download

NOTE: If you have to manually download a NOS release, you will need both the Binary File and the Metadata File. The Binary file, delivered as a tarball, contains all of the actual NOS code. The Metadata file, delivered as a JSON, and is the descriptor for the associated Binary file. This contains, among other things, the expected file size and MD5 hash. These are used together to ensure valid and accurate Binary file delivery.

Making sure your bitz ain't junk, yo!

Contents of Metadata JSON File

To use the Binary and Metadata file, choose the “upload a NOS binary” in the “Upgrade Software” window, select the appropriate files, and then click “Upload Now”. Just like the “Automatic Download” function, this will not apply the upgrade until a cluster admin selects “Install”, after the upload (or download) is complete.

all ur bitz are belong to cluster

Manual Binary/Metadata Upload

Once the files are uploaded (or downloaded), an “Install” button will appear (not pictured), which will kick off the rolling upgrade. In the case of Prism Central 4.0.1, this will apply the code, and reboot the VM upon success.

After clicking “Install”, you will see a blue circle up in the top left hand corner, which will indicate the progress of the upgrade.

Prism Central: Pre-Upgrade Progress

Prism Central: Pre-Upgrade Progress

Prism Central: Upgrade In Progress

Prism Central: Upgrade In Progress

After the upgrade is complete, and the VM has been rebooted, you will be kicked back to the Prism Central login screen. After re-authenticating, you can check the “About Nutanix” screen, located under the “User” menu in the top right hand corner.

About Screen: Upgrade Success!

About Screen: Upgrade Success!

Method 2: Upgrade via CLI

If you are glutton for hard work, or just enjoy the peace and quiet of a black and white command prompt, you can also upgrade Prism Central via CLI, utilizing both SSH and SCP.

Upload the Binary and Metadata files (described in the previous method) to /home/nutanix using your favorite SCP client (I like WinSCP).

Second, log into the Prism Central VM via SSH, and execute the following commands:

tar -zxvf nutanix_installer_filename_here
/home/nutanix/install/bin/cluster -i /home/nutanix/install upgrade

This will kick off the upgrade process, just like in the GUI. You should immediately see the effect in the GUI, which is the blue progress circle. In the CLI, you will see console output of whats actually going on.

It's like the matrix, wowweeee

CLI Upgrade Console Output

After that console output ceases, the upgrade will continue to process in the background. To check status, use the “upgrade_status” command.

upgrade_status command output

upgrade_status command output

As with the GUI method, this will take a few minutes, then reboot the VM upon success.

If you want to check the version/upgrade history, run “cat /home/nutanix/config/upgrade.history”.

Tee Hee, you get to use cat.

Upgrade History, note date and version!

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