Before you go ahead and update VMware Tools on ESXi, I would suggest that you first try this out in a testing environment.You should also have a good look at the release notes of the VMware Tools version you wish to upgrade just so you can gauge if it’s worth the hassle and risk, no matter how small.In particular, I suggest having a look at VMware Tools Troubleshooting on Windows and Learn how to deploy VMware Tools to a Linux Virtual Machine.
As always, have a look around the VMware website if in doubt. This simple process is illustrated in this next video.
As it turns out, the process is not that difficult as I explain next.
Note: This latest vmtools 10.1.7 release includes an improved VMXNET3 network driver and added support for new operating systems. Sometimes you’ll find yourself stuck trying to install vmtools on a VM because of some missing file or similar.
I shut down all the other VMs and use the Update Manager (installed on a Windows server not on the ESXI server) to scan for available patches. The offline updates, do not do this, they just patch the existing runtime code/files. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP OF ANY PRODUCTION HOST, BEFORE ANY CHANGES ARE MADE!
After the scan is complete, I am concerned about what will happen after I click on "Remediate" as the Update Manager will need to shut down the v Sphere appliance in order to complete the update process. I did not follow your instructions to update the host via SSH. I have updated our other VMWare server this way with no issues- no destruction of datastore. Will the SSH manual method give me warning if it cannot 'preserve the datastore?