Posted by: kurtsh | November 24, 2008

RELEASE: Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool v2.0

image Looking or SCCM 2007 support for the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool to patch your “standby” Virtual Machines in Hyper-V?

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.0, now with support for Hyper-V technology. Go here to get this new Solution Accelerator:

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.0 helps organizations maintain virtual machines that are stored offline in a Microsoft® System Center Virtual Machine Manager library. While stored, virtual machines do not receive operating system updates. The tool provides a way to keep offline virtual machines up-to-date so that bringing a virtual machine online does not introduce vulnerabilities into the organization’s IT infrastructure.

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool combines the Windows Workflow programming model with the Windows PowerShell™ interface to bring groups of virtual machines online just long enough for them to receive updates from either System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Windows Server Update Services. As soon as the virtual machines are up-to-date, the tool returns them to the offline state in the Virtual Machine Manager library.

This Solution Accelerator includes the following file components:

  • Brief Overview. Available online only on Microsoft TechNet. Summary for business and technical managers that briefly explains how this Solution Accelerator can fit into an organization’s IT infrastructure management strategy.
  • OfflineVMServicing_x64 and OfflineVMServicing_x86. Setup files for the tool, for 64 bit and 32 bit versions of Windows Server® 2003.
  • Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool Getting Started Guide. Provides information about how the tool works, explains prerequisites for the tool, and describes how to install and configure the tool.
  • Offline_VM_Servicing_Tool_2.0_Release_Notes.rtf. Notes provide information about this release, describe known issues in the tool, and include feedback instructions.
  • Offline_Virtual_Machine_Servicing_Tool_Help. Help file for the tool. Provides instructions for using the tool.

Changes in this Version
Version 2.0 of the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool provides full backward compatibility with version 1.0. When this tool is installed it checks the installed version of Virtual Machine Manager and determines what components are needed. Certain functionality will only be available if Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is installed.

In addition to products supported by version 1.0, this version provides support for Hyper-V technology, Virtual Machine Manager 2008, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1, Windows Server® 2008 for installing the tool and Windows Server virtualized client operating system.

Overview of the Solution
The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.0 is built on Windows Workflow Foundation and the Windows PowerShellTM interface to manage the workflow of updating large numbers of offline virtual machines according to their individual needs. To do this, the tool works with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and software update management systems (at present, either WSUS or System Center Configuration Manager).

The tool uses "servicing jobs" to manage the update operations based on lists of existing virtual machines stored in VMM. Using Windows Workflow Foundation technology, a servicing job runs snippets of PowerShell scripts to work with virtual machines. For each virtual machine, the servicing job:

  • "Wakes" the virtual machine (deploys it to a host and starts it).
  • Triggers the appropriate software update cycle (Configuration Manager or WSUS).
  • Shuts down the updated virtual machine and returns it to the library.

The tool works with Windows Task Scheduler to determine when to run the servicing job.

For an online video demonstration of this Solution Accelerator:





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