Downloading virtual appliance upgrades, host patches, extensions, and related metadata is a predefined automatic process that you can modify. By default, at regular configurable intervals, Update Manager contacts VMware or third-party sources to gather the latest information (metadata) about available upgrades, patches, or extensions.

VMware provides information about patches for ESXi hosts and virtual appliance upgrades.

Update Manager downloads the following types of information:

  • Metadata about all ESXi 5.x patches regardless of whether you have hosts of such versions in your environment.

  • Metadata about ESXi 5.x patches as well as about extensions from third-party vendor URL addresses.

  • Notifications, alerts, and patch recalls for ESXi 5.x hosts.

  • Metadata about upgrades for virtual appliances.

Downloading information about all updates is a relatively low-cost operation in terms of disk space and network bandwidth. The availability of regularly updated metadata lets you add scanning tasks for hosts or appliances at any time.

Update Manager supports the recall of patches for hosts that are running ESXi 5.0 or later. A patch is recalled if the released patch has problems or potential issues. After you scan the hosts in your environment, Update Manager alerts you if the recalled patch has been installed on a certain host. Recalled patches cannot be installed on hosts with Update Manager. Update Manager also deletes all the recalled patches from the Update Manager patch repository. After a patch fixing the problem is released, Update Manager downloads the new patch to its patch repository. If you have already installed the problematic patch, Update Manager notifies you that a fix was released and prompts you to apply the new patch.

If Update Manager cannot download upgrades, patches, or extensions—for example, if it is deployed on an internal network segment that does not have Internet access—you must use UMDS to download and store the data on the machine on which UMDS is installed. The Update Manager server can use the upgrades, patches, and extensions that UMDS downloaded after you export them.

For more information about UMDS, see Installing, Setting Up, and Using Update Manager Download Service.

You can configure Update Manager to use an Internet proxy to download upgrades, patches, extensions, and related metadata.

You can change the time intervals at which Update Manager downloads updates or checks for notifications. For detailed descriptions of the procedures, see Configure Checking for Updates and Configure Notifications Checks.

Types of Software Updates and Related Terms

Update Manager downloads software updates and metadata from Internet depots or UMDS-created shared repositories. You can import offline bundles and host upgrade images from a local storage device into the local Update Manager repository.

Bulletin

A grouping of one or more VIBs. Bulletins are defined within metadata.

Depot

A logical grouping of VIBs and associated metadata that is published online.

Host upgrade image

An ESXi image that you can import in the Update Manager repository and use for upgrading ESXi 5.x hosts to ESXi 6.0.

Extension

A bulletin that defines a group of VIBs for adding an optional component to an ESXi host. An extension is usually provided by a third party that is also responsible for patches or updates to the extension.

Metadata

Extra data that defines dependency information, textual descriptions, system requirements, and bulletins.

Offline bundle ZIP

An archive that encapsulates VIBs and corresponding metadata in a self-contained package that is useful for offline patching. You cannot use third-party offline bundles or offline bundles that you generated from custom VIB sets for host upgrade from ESXi 5.x to ESXi 6.0.

Patch

A bulletin that groups one or more VIBs together to address a particular issue or enhancement.

Roll-up

A collection of patches that is grouped for ease of download and deployment.

VA upgrade

Updates for a virtual appliance, which the vendor considers an upgrade.

VIB

A VIB is a single software package.