A while ago I posted the news about vCenter Server Update 1a and the latest ESXi patch being released, and in the comments section a reader asked some questions about updating VMware ESXi specifically and other VMware products in general.
His first question was: How do you know that a vCenter/ESXi/any VMware product patch/update is released?As a VMware admin, how do you stay up-to-date on this matter? My first thought was: Now, this is easy to answer, but in the end I was not able to find a single definitive answer to this question ...
So, what options do we have?
1. VMware Update Manager (VUM): Sure, for those who can afford it, Update Manager will inform you instantly about any new update for ESX(i) (and the few Virtual Appliance based VMware products that use VUM for patching). You just need to properly set up the synchronization with the VMware Online depots and e-mail alerting for new patches. However, it is limited to these products and it requires a vCenter server.
2. Follow the VMware Blogs: At blogs.vmware.com you can find an extensive list of interesting blogs provided by VMware. There are product specific blogs (e.g. for ESXi and vCenter server) and topic specific blogs. Any of them is an excellent source of information - I highly recommend following e.g. the Support Insider Blog and the KB Digest. And you can of course subscribe to them using an RSS feed reader ..., but: None of these blogs is meant to be a source of patch alerts or news, even not for a single product. Of course you will find a lot of news about product updates and patches there, but these blogs will not give you a complete coverage (The same is true for any other "3rd party" blog BTW).
3. My VMware subscriptions: Well, while searching for other means I stumbled over this again. When you registered an account with VMware (registration is free) then you have access to the fairly new My VMware portal, and on your account's profile page there is a section "Product Subscriptions". It offers a tree view of all VMware products, lets you select any of them and promises that you will then "receive news about major releases, patches, maintenance releases, and other product-related information".
This is exactly what we are looking for, isn't it? Now, if it only would work ... I subscribed to all "Datacenter & Cloud Infrastructure" products this way (which includes vCenter) a while ago, but so far I did not get a notice about the brand new vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1b that was released on Aug 16th.
Does this work for anyone? Please tell me... also if you have any other good answers to the question of this post. Looking forward to your comments ...