VMware vCenter Update Manager had an unknown failure


Scenario, VMware environment, based on a VMware vCenter 4.0 Update 1 Server and a few ESX 3.5 hosts. It is time to install the latest patches, the preferred approach is the VMware Update Manager. You attach a baseline, Scan for updates and receive a confirmation it is about time. Next step is Stage your hosts and a few moments later you receive this message: “VMware vCenter Update Manager had an unknown failure. Check Tasks and Events tab and logs for more details”.

Just before I was going to deep dive into this, my colleague Ronald pointed me to VMware KB 1026140, subject: Unable to stage updates on ESX 3.5 hosts using VMware Update Manager 4.x. As the subject already suggests, “VMware Update Manager 4.x supports patches and extensions staging only for ESX/ESXi 4.x hosts. You cannot stage patches to ESX 3.5 hosts and PXE booted ESXi hosts.”

So, skip over Staging and go directly to Remediate to install the patches.

VMware, Versions, Updates and Builds


Last Update: May, 29th 2011.

Just an example, a customer has VMware Data Recovery version 1.1. However, you experience that version 1.1 is not always doing the job as expected and consider upgrading to the latest version 1.2. The release notes tells you that VMware Data Recovery 1.2 can be used with VMware vSphere 4.0 Update 2 or vSphere 4.1. First you check the ESX host, which reports: ESX 4.0.0 Build 208167 and you have no idea, whether the ESX host is ESX 4.0, 4.0 Update 1 or Update 2.

Another useful VMware document, vSphere Software Compatibility Guide is entirely based on the Version and Update strategy.

I know, a lot of blogposts have been dedicated to this subject. I have once seen an excellent overview of all VMware products, versions, updates and build. Unfortunately I can’t retrieve it. If anyone knows what I mean, please respond.

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VMware, keep your environment up-to-date


VMware offers several tools to maintain your virtual environment. Sometimes it is hard to determine which tool is the best choice to do the job. In this post an overview of available tools and other useful information about updating and upgrading. So if you want to know the difference between the updatemanager, vihostupdate, esxupdate or esxupgrade? Please read on.

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