Am working on a VMware 5.5 environment at the moment and am trying to get it up to date as it's been lying dormant for about 6 months. So one of the first tasks I had on my to-do list was to update the vCenter server to the latest version so I could update the ESXi hosts.
Stumbled across a problem, one being the vCenter server was running the appliance version of the product which is Linux/web based (never seen before) and second when I tried to apply the update it hung and killed the server.
After much reading about how the vCenter server appliance worked, familiarising myself with the console layout/settings and how to update it's version I duely starting the update process.
So I took a snapshot of the VM so that I had a rollback plan. Logged into the vCenter web console, went to the Update tab and hit Install updates.
At this point it started to install vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2e - Build 2646482... I could see from the vSphere performance tab the server was downloading content and working away, unfortunately there was no progress bar to indicate completion status etc.
So I left it be, got on with some other tasks and went for my lunch. Nearly an hour and a half had passed and the install hadn't completed, I started to get suspicious and did some digging round the forums.
I opened a SSH console and logged in and typed the command:
_tail -f /opt/vmware/var/log/vami/updatecli.log_
Which showed the current state of the log files and the Log Browser service was stopping.... It was stuck in that state. I tried to restart the server to resolve the issue but that completely broke the install so I had to revert to the snapshot that I had taken earlier.
On investigation I found this article in relation to server times - http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.install.doc%2FGUID-9FD3A5E3-6C2D-4161-9270-4BF57FADCE6D.html
When I checked the time of my vCenter server and the ESXi hosts they were all out. The vCenter server was out by two hours and the ESXi hosts were out by 16 hours!!! I corrected all those settings so they were as they were supposed to be and the upgrade to 5.5 Update 2e - Build 2646482 completed successfully.
Ensure your servers are all at the correct/same time. It's the simple things that can catch you out.
vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2e - Build 2646482 - Release Notes: https://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-vcenter-server-55u2e-release-notes.html