After a couple of months in beta testing, a new virtualization tool from Microsoft is ready for RTM: the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool.
This product allows the update of large-scale deployments of virtual machines, leveraging PowerShell, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2007 and WSUS 3.0 (or Configuration Manager 2007).
The user can configure virtual machine groups and multiple jobs for each one to schedule different updates at pre-defined times.
Exactly like the VMware Update Manager (VUM) included in VI 3.5 does, this tool isn’t able yet to inject a new patch into an offline virtual machine passing through its virtual disk.
It just automates the VM power-on, updates deploying through virtual network access, and VM shutdown.
While it remains a valuable solution to keep the virtual machine library healthy, it may raise a number of technical issues (e.g.: Windows Product Activation triggering in sysprepped VMs) that should be carefully evaluated.
Download it here free of charge.