Update Manager consists of a server component and a plug-in component. You can install the Update Manager server and Update Manager Client plug-in on Windows machines only.

You can install the Update Manager server component either on the same computer as vCenter Server or on a different computer. To improve performance, especially in large-scale environments, install the Update Manager server component on a different computer. After you install the Update Manager server component, to use the Update Manager application, you must install the Update Manager Client plug-in and enable it on the vSphere Client.

Starting in version 5.1 Update 1, Update Manager provides an Update Manager Web Client plug-in for vSphere Web Client. After you install the Update Manager server component, the Update Manager Web Client plug-in is automatically enabled on vSphere Web Client. The Update Manager Web Client plug-in appears as an Update Manager tab under the Monitor tab in vSphere Web Client.

You can use Update Manager with a Update Manager instance installed on a Windows machine or with the VMware vCenter Server Appliance.

The Update Manager 6.0 installer generates a 2048-bit key and self-signed certificate. To replace the self-signed SSL certificate after installation, you can use the Update Manager Utility.

You can install vCenter Server and the Update Manager server in a heterogeneous network environment, where one of the machines is configured to use IPv6 and the other is configured to use IPv4. In this case, to install and enable the Update Manager plug-in, the machine on which vSphere Client is installed must be configured to use both IPv6 and IPv4.

To run and use Update Manager, you must use a local system account for the machine on which Update Manager is installed.

VMware uses designated ports for communication. Additionally, the Update Manager server connects to vCenter Server, ESXi hosts, and the Update Manager Client plug-in on designated ports. If a firewall exists between any of these elements and Windows firewall service is in use, the installer opens the ports during the installation. For custom firewalls, you must manually open the required ports.

You can run Update Manager in deployments that you protect using SRM. Use caution before connecting the Update Manager server to a vCenter Server instance to which the SRM server is connected. Connecting the Update Manager server to the same vCenter Server instance as SRM might cause problems when you upgrade SRM or vSphere, and when you perform daily tasks. Check the compatibility and interoperability of Update Manager with SRM before you deploy.