VMU importance in VMWare.

I am starting off with VMWare now , so far its fun learning ESXi , vCenter configuration. Now I have few questions on installating VMU for vCenter.

Below are my question

1. Is it mandatory to install VMU if we have vCenter ? If no , then do we have any other alternative to patch/upgrade the Esxi or VM's?

2.what are the best practice to install VMU in VMWare enviornment . Right now I have only 1 ESxi , 1 vCenter server . So , Shall I use my vCenter server to install VMU in it ? If yes about the database configuration for VMU?i.e I need to install 2 separate instanaces , 1 for vCenter and 1 for VMU?

Please help me in understanding this


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Prashant GirennavarAsked:
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
1. No...not required at all. You can use VUM (not VMU :)  ) to upgrade hosts or VMs & Appliances (VMware Tools & Virtual Hardware only...not OS patches), or you can do a reinstall, which is what I do. Of course, the downside of that is reconfiguring your Host(s). You can use PowerCLI to create custom ISOs with updated ESXi versions and place it on a CD to do your installs, or even run it from a SAN. You have a host of choices.

2. Yes, as @hanccocka mentions, VUM does require a separate DB from vCenter. But, if your environment is small, which to this point it looks like it is, you can simply use the local DB install that each software (vCenter Server & VUM) provides. But, the downside to using the local DB is you only can have up to 50 VMs; you can have up to 5 Host, but really the limiting factor are the VMs. It's fairly simple to create a remote (SQL or Oracle) DB for them though if you intend to 'grow' your environment beyond those limits in the coming years.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. No you do not have to install Update Manager. You can patch ESXi manually, and use WUS for patching Windows VMs.

2. Yes, install Update Manager on your vCenter Server, it will need another database.
Karthik RajasekaranConsultantCommented:

There are two method you can patch

 using update manager.
Using cli interface.

We have some clients go on patch on update level that time we use cli interface...big clients use update manager top patch large esxi servers at a single time.

Karthik rajasekaran
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Prashant GirennavarAuthor Commented:
So that means I can manually update my Esxi servers using PowerCLI , and this is not a frequent update that I can understand.

When I see my enviornment , I dont think there is a VUM in place.

Most of the organisation dont use it I think ? AM I right here?


Karthik RajasekaranConnect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
In our organization we use update level only. So cli option is ok for us... But you have concern on each patch then vum comes in the picture....

But one advantage is that you can set baseline and patch the esxi servers based on that in your environment....

Karthik rajasekaran
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
it depends, upload the offline bundle to your ESXi server, using WinSCP, to a datastore, and then use the esxcli command to update it.

make sure server is in maintenance mode

esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/[PATCH_FILE].zip
Prashant GirennavarAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys , That helped me understand the concept.

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