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VCAP-DCA Study notes–5.2 Complex Update Manager environments

Most people have used Update Manager to some degree so this objective is probably one of the easier ones to cover. The VUM Administration Guide covers pretty much everything on the VCAP-DCA blueprint and should be your first stop for study (apart from this blog obviously!).

Not listed in the blueprint (at least in this section) is the PowerCLI cmdlets for using Update Manager. Section 8 only lists ‘Installing the Update Manager PowerCLI cmdlets’ but if you have time it’s probably worth giving them a spin.


  • Identify firewall access rules for Update Manager

Skills and Abilities

  • Determine use case for, install and configure Update Manager Download Service
  • Configure a shared repository
  • Configure smart rebooting
  • Manually download updates to a repository
  • Perform orchestrated vSphere upgrades
  • Create and modify baseline groups
  • Troubleshoot Update Manager problem areas and issues
  • Generate database reports using MS Excel or MS SQL
  • Upgrade vApps using Update Manager

Tools & learning resources

Update Manager basics (VCP revision)

The exam topics assume a certain amount of knowledge as Update Manager is on the VCP syllabus. A quick recap;

  • Installs as a plugin to vCentre
  • Downloaded as part of the vCentre package
  • Once the server component is installed you have to add the plugin to any VI client installations you use.
  • Distinguishes between ‘patches and security updates’ vs ‘product upgrades’.NOTE: With the recent release of vSphere v4.1 U1 it’s clear that the distinction between a ‘patch’ and an ‘upgrade’ is rather hazy. Upgrading a host from v4.0 to v4.1 requires a ‘host upgrade’ baseline whereas upgrading a host from v4.1 to v4.1 U1 requires a ‘patch’ baseline.  You can read more in this article at Jason Boche’s website.
  • Patching guest OSs requires an agent to be installed to the guest. This is done automatically the first time a guest is scanned for patch compliance or can be done manually if required.
  • Patches are downloaded accordingly to a defined schedule (default once a day)

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