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Microsoft updates servicing tool for offline VMs

Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Servicing Tool (VMST) 3.0 is now available for download, an update to the previous 2.1 version of the utility. The tool is designed to let admins keep their offline virtual machines up-to-date with the necessary patches and system updates without having to bring them online (thus exposing your network to out-of-date machines). The tool can be used to service offline VM templates and VHDs as well.

VMware’s vCenter Update Manager for vSphere is designed for this exact same purpose, but it doesn’t work with Microsoft’s VM management product, as vCenter Server is required to run the tool. Microsoft’s VMST is similarly platform-specific, with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 or R2 being a prereq. You are also required to have either WSUS 3.0 SP1/SP2 or some version of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to apply the updates.

VMTS 3.0 supports Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 (naturally), and the Windows Task Scheduler can be used to schedule servicing jobs, according to Microsoft.

Earlier this month, VirtualizationAdmin.com published an extremely detailed breakdown by Janique Carbone of the installation process for VMST 2.1, which has now been completely replaced by this latest version. I’d expect the process has changed somewhat with 3.0, but the piece does include a lot of configuration tips and how-tos, so it still might be worth a read. Users also have the option to upgrade from version 2.1 if it’s already installed.

For more information of the latest server virtualization tools and utilities, visit SearchServerVirtualization.com.

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