Tuesday, 8 April 2008

VirtualCenter 2.5 & ESX / ESXi 3.5 Update 1 imminent - what caveats will there be?

I must admit, I'm a bit sceptical that VMware will really deliver on it's new naming convention. My understanding is that they want to move away from dot-dot releases and go to 'updates' in order to imply a common code base or something, kind of like Microsoft are doing with their 'no new functionality in service packs' mantra. But like Windows Service Packs, I have no doubt 'updates' will still have all the hardware vendor re-certification requirements of dot releases. Here's hoping they can at least do away with forking patches based on 'update' level... otherwise, what is the bl__dy point?

Dot-dot releases have long been called 'maintenance' releases by VMware, but somehow they are considered significant enough to have serious interop requirements. For example, managing ESX 3.0.2 hosts with VC 2.0.1 is an unsupported configuration. If updating VirtualCenter to a new 'maintenance release' level wasn't tantamount to a full uninstall and reinstall of VC (kissing goodbye to your database in the process if you're not careful), it wouldn't be such a big deal... but we all know that is not the case! I really hope the same upgrade pain and support requirements don't carry through with the new 'update' nomenclature, guess we'll know in a couple of days ;-)