Install and Configure Update Manager Download Service

by admin

Update Manager Download Service (UMDS) is an optional component when you are deploying update manager. It is generally deployed in environments where it is undesirable for the server where update manager is deployed to have internet access, or where network restrictions are in place.

UMDS can be deployed on another server, which does have internet access, and will download all the upgrades, patches and metadata and then pass that data to update manager. The downloads can either be exported automatically to the update manager server, or they can be moved using external media or a network share.

Installing UMDS

There are a number of pre-requisites that must be in place before installing UMDS. These are:

  • Internet access available on the server where you install UMDS
  • Remove any earlier versions of UMDS before installing
  • Create a database instance for UMDS to use.

The UMDS install is started by running VMware-UMDS.exe, which is found on the vCenter media, in the UMDS folder. Select the language for the installer and click OK:


Review the usual Welcome and License agreement screens, before reaching the database configuration options:


As the screen states, you can use a SQL Express instance for smaller scale deployments, or use an existing database, by selecting the correct ODBC link. For this example, I’ll continue by using SQL Express.

On the next screen, you can enter the proxy server settings (if required to allow UMDS to access the internet):


The next screen allows you to configure the patch download locations on the UMDS server:


Once configured, click next, then click Finish to begin the install.

Configuring UMDS

UMDS doesn’t have a GUI. All configuration and usage is done via the Windows command line. To begin configuration, open a command prompt and browse to the directory where UMDS is installed:


There is an executable in this directory called vmware-umds.exe, which is what we will use to interact with UMDS. To list the current configuration run ‘vmware-umds -G’:

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager>vmware-umds -G
[2014-04-05 14:21:58:831 '' 3532 ALERT]  [logUtil, 265] Product = VMware Update Manager, Version = 5
.1.0, Build = 782803
Configured URLs
URL Type Removable URL
VA       NO

Patch store location  : C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Update Manager\Data\
Export store location :
Proxy Server          : Not configured

Host patch content download: enabled
Host Versions for which patch content will be downloaded:

Virtual appliance content download: enabled

We can see a lot in the output, including the patch store location, the proxy settings and which downloads are enabled. By default it is configured to download host patches for ESX(i) 4 and 5. The ESX 4 downloads can be disabled by running:

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager>vmware-umds -S -d esx-4.0.0-INTL embedde
[2014-04-05 14:33:08:273 '' 3620 ALERT]  [logUtil, 265] Product = VMware Update Manager, Version = 5
.1.0, Build = 782803
Setting up UMDS configuration
Host update downloads for platform esx-4.0.0-INTL: Disabled
Host update downloads for platform embeddedEsx-4.0.0-INTL: Disabled

To enable or disable all host patch downloads you can run:

vmware-umds -S --enable-host
vmware-umds -S --disable-host

You can change the patch store location using:

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager>vmware-umds -S --patch-store c:\Patches
[2014-04-05 14:44:00:371 '' 3612 ALERT]  [logUtil, 265] Product = VMware Update Manager, Version = 5
.1.0, Build = 782803
Setting up UMDS configuration
Directory for storing downloaded updates: c:\Patches
Directory C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Update Manager\Data\ is no longer used as the patch store. Yo
u may want to delete its contents or move it to the new location c:\Patches

New URLs can be added, or existing ones removed by using:

vmware-umds -S --add-url
vmware-umds -S --remove-url

This can be used to allow UMDS to connect to the websites of third party software vendors, to download their host patches.

Downloading and Exporting Patches

‘vmware-umds -D’ is the command to use to tell UMDS to download patches:


Once you have your patches downloaded, the next step is looking at how to make them available to Update Manager. There are a couple of ways you can do this depending on your environment. If you wish to export all the downloaded patches to an external drive, for transfer to the Update Manager server, you can do so by running, for example:

vmware-umds -E --export-store e:\patchstore

Another way to give Update Manager access to the patches downloaded by UMDS is to publish the patch location using IIS, running on the UMDS server. I’ll not go into installing the IIS feature on the UMDS server, but once you have it installed, create a virtual directory pointing to your patch location. To do so, in IIS Manager, right click the Default Web Site, then select ‘Add Virtual Directory’:


After creating the virtual directory, the .vib and .sig file extensions need to be added as MIME types. Use the ‘application/octet-stream’ for both entries:


You should also enable directory browsing for the virtual directory.

At this point, you can test it’s working by attempting to access the website/virtual directory using a browser from another server (update manager):


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