As virtualization.info exposed last week, upcoming VMware Infrastructure 3.1 will expose a new VirtualCenter module called Update Manager, used to manage patches of ESX Server itself (both software version and new hardware appliance one) and operating systems hosted on it.
Update Manager will allow virtual infrastructure administrators to decide which patch to install on Microsoft Windows guest operating systems (starting from Windows 2000) and see which patches are missing from Red Hat Enterprise Linux ones.
In Windows guests case, VirtualCenter 2.1 will take care to perform a virtual machine’s snapshot before applying required patches and will even perform a rollback if something goes wrong.
VMware will be able to offer updates thanks to a yet-to-be-unveiled partnership with patch management vendor Shavlik Technologies, which already licenses its technology to other top vendors like IBM, BMC and Symantec.
Shavlik will grant VMware patch management for a wide set of applications, going well beyond simple Microsoft and Red Hat operating systems patching.
Patch management is critical for current company strategy, looking at virtual appliances as building blocks of next generation datacenters. Which implies a possible acquisition in the mid-timeframe.