What is UMDS?

The Update Manager Download Service is an optional module of Update Manager. UMDS downloads upgrades for virtual appliances, patch metadata, patch binaries, and notifications that would not otherwise be available to the Update Manager server. Like WSUS in the Windows world, UMDS is particularly useful in environments with multiple vCenter to centralize the patches and download them only once.

What is great is that it also supports patch recalls and notifications so you don’t end up deploying rotten patches in production. The other main use case for UMDS is, in a secure environment that has no access to the internet. UMDS allows you to configure a proxy to fetch the patches from VMware.

You can check my blog post on how to setup UMDS 6.7 in a secured environment for more info.

In the latest release of UMDS version 6.7 update 1, I was pleasantly surprised to see that VMware is still putting some effort into improving this tool which is, in my opinion, underrated.

What’s new in UMDS 6.7 U1?

In vSphere 6.7 Update 1, VMware removed requirements for a database to run UMDS.

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Installing and setting up a database is no longer a prerequisite and the installation procedure has been simplified.

Now it was already fairly simple to install in earlier versions, the blog linked above testifies, however installing UMDS on Linux Red Hat is a lot trickier.

VMware provided close to no documentation about it and the package dependencies and versions were a total mess. So removing this requirement will make it a lot easier to deploy UMDS on Red Hat.

Requirements

There are still requirements to meet for UMDS 6.7 Update 1:

  • Internet connection or access via proxy to *.vmware.com/* or other public repositories you may need (Dell, HP…)
  • Windows OS:
    • OS requirements are the same as vCenter’s
    • Microsoft .NET framework 4.7
  • Linux OS:
    • create a PATH variable to the vmware-umds service (optional)
    • Ubuntu 14.0.4
    • Ubuntu 18.04
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5
  • vSphere Update Manager 6.7 Update 1
  • Uninstall any 6.5 or earlier instance of UMDS if it is installed on the machine. If such a version of UMDS is already installed, the installation wizard displays an error message and the installation cannot proceed

Conclusion

If you manage an environment with a lot of vCenter servers or secured with no access to internet, UMDS is the solution you want to be looking at. With this new release, the implementation has been made a lot easier and will take you next to no time.

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UMDS 6.7 update 1 – Simplified installation and requirements
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