Thursday, 23 October 2008

VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 3 Upgrade Process - here we go again!

It seems the VirtualCenter upgrade process is not getting any better. I can't for the life of me understand how bugs like this got through with the Update 2 release, but they did and are one of the primary drivers for my company to roll out Update 3 asap (that and the security fixes). But lo, there are new upgrade problems afoot, notably this one which I have encountered 3 times now. Duncan called it out a few weeks back.

Now what really grinds my gears is that the most important fixes (for me anyway) are security related and of course the fix for the guest customisation bug. That is, binary patches - nothing at all to do with the database. In fact I can't find anything obviously database related in the release notes, and this is somewhat validated by the fact to get around this we need to append a "MINORDBUPGRADE=1" argument to VCDatabaseUpgrade.exe (the DSN, UID and PWD arguments don't appear to be necessary). So for anyone at VMware reading this, STOP TOUCHING THE VC DATABASE WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Minor DB upgrade? WTF? You're risking the VC database and ruining another persons saturday (now we need a Unix admin, a Windows admin _and_ a DBA to upgrade VC) for a MINOR UPGRADE?

Additionally, the jre binaries are not upgraded correctly as we found out when the Sun Ray environment in our lab broke after applying U3 (Sun have a KB article about this that I can't find at the moment). A clean install had no such problems however.

If VMware are going to continue with these monolithic style updates so frequently (Update 1 in April, Update 2 in July, and now Update 3 in October), they need to get their chi together. Tomcat and JRE security related bugs come out all the time, and if you work in a regulated environment then you have no choice but to patch ASAP. But having to touch the database in order to do so is the opposite of cool. Be cool VMware, be cool!

UPDATE: Here's that Sun KB article I was referring to... it actually mentions Update 2 but the same applies for Update 3