- by ewwhite
It seems basic, but there's confusion about the patching strategy needed to manually update standalone VMWare ESXi hosts. The VMWare vSphere blog attempts to explain this, but it's still not clear. From the blog: Say Patch01 includes updates for the following VIBs: "esxi-base", "driver10" and "driver 44". And then later Patch02 comes out with updates to "esxi-base", "driver20" and "driver 44". P2 is cumulative in that the "esxi-base" and "driver44" VIBs will include the updates in Patch01. However, it's important to note that Patch02 not include the "driver 10" VIB as that module was not updated. Many of my ESXi installations are standalone and do not make use of Update Manager. It is possible to update an individual host using the patches make available through the VMWare patch download portal. The process is quite simple, and that part makes sense. The bigger issue is determining what to actually download and install. In my case, I have a good number of HP-specific ESXi builds that incorporate sensors and management for HP ProLiant hardware. Let's say that those servers start at ESXi build #474610 from 9/2011. Looking at the patch portal screenshot below, there is a patch for ESXi update01, build #623860. There are also patches for builds #653509 and #702118. Coming from the old version of ESXi, what is the proper approach to bring the system fully up-to-date? Which patches are cumulative and which need to be applied sequentially? Perhaps the download size is the confusing factor, but is installing the newest build the right approach, or do I need to step back and patch incrementally?