As part of its renovation plan, in October 2008 PHD Virtual (formerly PHD Technologies) acquired the software division of a popular UK consulting firm, Xtravirt.
The company rebranded the Xtravirt tools and offered part of them for free in March, hoping to attract a large number of prospects that could be also interested in its flagship backup product called esXpress.
After a break to release a long overdue new version of esXpress, PHD is back on its plan to distribute for free the Xtravirt tools and launches Patch Downloader 6.0, a product that automates the download of VMware ESX patches in a file repository of choice.
There’s a number of similar tools and scripts out there and, like Patch Downloader, all of them are free.
One, called VMTS Patch Manager, was released by Massimiliano Daneri, of VMBK.pl fame, before he joined VMware.
Another one, called esxPatcher, was released by the German consulting firm Mightycare.
And of course there’s the VMware Update Manager (VUM) which is part of VI3.x and vSphere 4.0.
PHD Virtual says that their new tool is an alternative to VUM when the VMware customer doesn’t have a license to use it or can’t access the Internet from vCenter or the ESX hosts.