Scanning is the process in which attributes of a set of hosts, virtual machines, or virtual appliances are evaluated against all patches, extensions, and upgrades in the attached baselines or baseline groups, depending on the type of scan you select.

You can scan a host installation to determine whether the latest patches or extensions are applied, or you can scan a virtual machine to determine whether it is up to date with the latest virtual hardware or VMware Tools version.

Update Manager supports the following types of scan:

Host patch scan

You can perform patch scans on ESX/ESXi 4.0 and later.

Host extensions scan

You can scan ESX/ESXi 4.0 and later for extensions (additional software modules).

Host upgrade scan

You can scan ESX/ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0 and ESXi 5.1 for upgrading to ESXi 5.5.

VMware Tools scan

You can scan virtual machines running Windows or Linux for the latest VMware Tools version. You can perform VMware Tools scans on online as well as offline virtual machines and templates. You should power on the virtual machine at least once before performing a VMware Tools scan.

Virtual machine hardware upgrade scan

You can scan virtual machines running Windows or Linux for the latest virtual hardware supported on the host. You can perform hardware-upgrade scans on online as well as offline virtual machines and templates.

Virtual appliance upgrade scan

You can scan powered-on virtual appliances that are created with VMware Studio 2.0 and later.

You can use VMware Studio 2.0 and later to automate the creation of ready-to-deploy vApps with pre-populated application software and operating systems. VMware Studio adds a network agent to the guest so that vApps bootstrap with minimal effort. Configuration parameters specified for vApps appear as OVF properties in the vCenter Server deployment wizard. For more information about VMware Studio, see the VMware SDK and API documentation for VMware Studio. For more information about vApp, you can also check the VMware blog site. You can download VMware Studio from the VMware Web site.

You can initiate scans on container objects, such as datacenters, clusters, vApps, or folders, to scan all the ESX/ESXi hosts or virtual machines and appliances contained in the container object.

You can configure Update Manager to scan virtual machines, virtual appliances, and ESX/ESXi hosts against baselines and baseline groups by manually initiating or scheduling scans to generate compliance information. You should schedule scan tasks at a datacenter or vCenter Server system level to make sure that scans are up to date.

For manual and scheduled scanning procedures, see Scanning vSphere Objects and Viewing Scan Results.