The Network Manager at Westminster School presents solutions to sticky problems...

Friday, 3 April 2009

Updates with attitude - Exchange with Forefront and VMware

We stumbled across these. I hope you can avoid the same issues.

Firstly Exchange with Forefront Security...

When you reboot your Exchange 2007 SP1 Hub and Edge role servers where you have Forefront for Exchange installed, you find that no mail is flowing.

Some Forefront Services do not pull themselves up in time after rebooting. Consequently the Exchange Transport service which relies on Forefront being up and ready for action, fails to start. A manual start of the Exchange Transport service works with no issues.

Remember to manually start your services after rebooting! There is rumoured to be a fix for Forefront in Update Rollup 4 or SP2 or both... See
here Don't hold your breath.

Secondly VMware Whatsitcalled?

You may be aware that VI 3.5 update 4 is out since the end of March. For owners of VI 2.x or 3.x (other than 3.5 in any form) there are clear instructions on how to upgrade your infrastructure. It is worth following these to the letter. However, if, like us, you were running VI 3.5, the instructions end up being anything but clear.

First thing to note in all of this is that is that they have changed the names of their products. See
here. VMware is now being very Microsoft-esque by sticking v next to a bunch of previous used names and calling products 'server' when in fact it is just an over hungry application. Nevertheless, get used to vCenter Server instead of Virutal Server and vConverter... well you get the drift.

So how to update to VI 3.5 update 4?

The first step is to download the VMware vCenter Server 2.5 Update 4 - includes Converter Enterprise (formerly VMware VirtualCenter) from the VMware download page. After doing all possible backups, run the installation and install vCenter 2.5 update 4 along with the latest version of the VI Client and Updater.

The second step is to update the ESX Hosts. This is where the documentation breaks down. I thought that the old ways of copying binaries and using boot disks was gone... Well, it is. Stop looking for, that for VI 3.0.x. Instead, open the VIC and install and enable the updater plugin. When you scan for updates you will now see an extra dozen or so updates that you could not see previously. Once you have applied these, you will note that the build number for your ESX servers goes up to 153875. Welcome to Update 4.

The final step is now to go into each VM and update to the latest VMware tools. How do I know this is the way to go? Check out the actual update for VI 3.5 update 4. It is downloadable from the VMware Downloads site. It is simply a xml list of updates that need to be applied to make Update 4. There are no binaries with the update itself.

Happy updating!!!

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