Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool released

The good news for Windows Virtualization keeps coming :) 

 

The increasing use of virtual machines creates new challenges for IT. Virtual machines that are left offline for extended periods of time do not automatically receive operating system, anti-virus, or application updates that would keep them compliant with current IT policy. An out-of-date virtual machine poses a risk to the IT environment. If deployed and started, the out-of-date virtual machine may be vulnerable to attack or may be capable of attacking other network resources.

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool provides a way to automate the process of updating virtual machines with the latest OS patches.

 

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 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 Microsoft® System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 (VMM) and with software update management systems (at present, either Microsoft Windows Server® Update Services 3.0 (WSUS) or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007).

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.

You can obtain the release of Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool through TechNet on the following page:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc501231(TechNet.10).aspx.