Last week I started to setup a VUM – VMware vSphere Update Manager 5.5 to get my ESXi hosts updated and some 3rd party software installed. If you have multiple ESXi hosts and you need an easy way to keep your vSphere environment current, VUM is the way to go.
Additionally, VUM plays quiet nicely with DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) to avoid any downtime to your VMs, while applying patches to the hosts. DRS will migrate all active VMs from the host and then put the host into maintenance mode, one at a time.
For the people who do not know where to get VMware Update Manger from, it is part of the VMware vSphere 5.5 ISO. It took me a while to find it. Once you load the ISO you can find the VMware Update Manager under VMware vCenter Support Tools.
The installation is pretty straight forward.
Once you have launched the installation wizard, click Next and then accept the EUL – End User License Agreement.
On the next screen, you can select whether you want updates to be automatically downloaded from the default sources after the installation. By default, this option is enabled but can be disabled if you prefer to review the default sources, first.
Next, you have to specify your vCenter server address, port and credentials in order to register VUM with it.
Note: VCSA – vCenter Server Appliance is also supported since VUM 5.0. However VUM needs to be installed on a Windows Server.
After you have specified your vCenter credentials, you have to choose if you want to install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express instance or to use an already existing database/use a different database type. For smaller vSphere deployments it is ok to use the Microsoft SQL Server. However, if you plan to have more than 5 hosts or 50 VMs, you will be better off with a different database, more information can be found here.
On the next screen, you can specify whether VUM will be identified by IP address or DNS name. Personally, I always chose IP since VUM would still be accessible even if the DNS server is down. Additionally, you can make changes to the default ports for SOAP, Web and SSL.
Next, specify the installation folders for the VMware vSphere Update Manager and location for downloading patches.
Note: The patch location should have at least 20 GB free space.
Now, VUM will start to extract the executable for the Microsoft SQL Server.
For the actual Microsoft SQL Server installation, you do not need to do anything and it is automated by VUM.
Last but not least, click Finish to complete the installation.
Before you can start using VUM, log into your vCenter Server and click on Home. Under Solutions and Appliances, you should be able to see Update Manager.
If the Update Manager does not show up, go to Plugins -> Manage Plugins and verify that the VMware vSphere Update Manager is enabled. You will need to install the VUM client on your local machine through the Plug-in Manager.