Patch Management for VMware Infrastructure 3
VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5
This page has the following sections:
ESX Server 3.5 Patch Terminology
The following information is available on the download page for ESX Server 3.5 patch bundles:
- Bundle Name: The names of all bundles for versions of VMware ESX Server version 3.5 and later are based upon the following pattern:
For example, patches for ESX Server 3.5 are of the format ESX350-<BundleID>-<Classification><SupportLevel>. If the bundle name does not follow this format, you might have downloaded a bundle for another version of ESX Server software.For more information about what each of these portions of the name signify, see Patch Management for ESX Server 3.
Bundles named after the pattern ESX350-Updatexx (where xx is the update number)are meta bundles with no binary content. They are used to install and verify all bundles in the update release for which they were created. If the ESX350-Updatexx bundle is installed using VMware Update Manager, or using an esxupdate depot, the installer will check that all of the bundles for that update are present, install them, and verify that the host has been brought up to the update release level. ESX Server hosts updated using these bundles are equivalent to hosts upgraded using the ISO image.
Use the update bundles as follows:
- For installation using the esxupdate utility, ensure all patch bundles listed in the "Requires" column are downloaded to the esxupdate depot.
- For installation using Update Manager, ensure the "ESX350-Updatexx" bundle is added to the baseline for remediation.
- Size: This is the download size of the patch, not the installed size of the patch. The actual installed size of the patch can depend upon the configuration of the system upon which you are installing the patch. In order to prevent installation failures due to space limitations, the esxupdate utility can check to make sure that there is sufficient room on the server to install the patch before installation.
- md5sum: The md5 checksum value for the download is provided so that you can verify the integrity of your download. For more information, see KB 1537.
- Description: Offers a short description of the patch. For detailed information, view the associated KB article by clicking on the patch name.
- System Impact: Provides brief information about the system or virtual machine downtime required to install the patch. Some patches require no downtime and can be installed on active systems. Other systems require only that virtual machines on the host be either shut down, or moved to another VMware ESX Server host using VMotion. Some patches require a complete reboot of the VMware ESX Server host on which the patch is being installed.
- Supersedes: Indicates that the bundle completely supersedes another patch and contains all fixes contained in any patches listed in this column. If you install the patch, there is no need to install the superseded patch.
- Depends Upon: Indicates the name of a bundle which must be installed before the current bundle can be installed. The esxupdate utility and VMware Update Manager will not allow the current bundle to be installed unless the bundle indicated in the Depends Upon field has already been installed upon the host.
- Type: Provides the patch classification of the patch. See Patch Classifications for more information.
Patch Management Documentation
Each version of VMware Infrastructure has a different set of documents to help you to manage patches and upgrades to your software. It is important that you use the correct documentation for the versions of software in your VMware Infrastructure installation.
For VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5, use the following documents:
- The VMware Update Manager Administration Guide describes how to use Update Manager to automate patch management for ESX Server hosts and select Microsoft and Linux virtual machines. For more information on Update Manager, see the Update Manager product page.
- The document ESX Server 3 Patch Management Guide describes how to manage and install using the esxupdate utility at the command line of an ESX Server 3.5 host.
- The Upgrade Guide describes how to upgrade your software using ISO images or upgrade tarballs.
- KB 1001179 describes how to view the build number for different components in ESX Server 3.5 installations.
- KB 392 describes how to determine the version number and build number of other products in your installation.
For VMware ESX Server 3i Installable, VMware ESX Server 3i Installable, and VirtualCenter 2.5, see the patch management information page for those versions.
For VMware ESX Server versions 3.0.x and VirtualCenter 2.0.x, see the patch management information page for those versions.
Additional Information on Past Patches
Occasionally, information regarding patches becomes dated and inappropriate for the download page. Older information from the download page is retained here for your information.
- VMware has discovered an issue that, under very specific conditions, might inhibit certain patches from being applied to ESX Server 3.5 hosts. The issue is fixed in the patch release for March 10, 2008. All the bundles released January 17 have been superseded by the bundles released for March 10, 2008 and the bundles for January 17, 2008 are no longer available.