vSphere Lifecycle Manager – Product version sprawl

I recently got a very good question from a customer asking “Why are there so many different product versions in vSphere Lifecycle Manager?” Unfortunately, I had no answer at that moment. My answer from him was to select all required products so he won’t miss an update. For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, this is the mentioned tab and the product version sprawl.

As you can see we have esx 7.0.0, esx 7.0, and all sorts of embeddedEsx 7.* entries. You can imagine that this confuses customers. But where did these all different versions come from? I started to dig deeper and did the following. I created a new baseline and then went through all of these product entries to see which matches I got. To my surprise, most of them were 3rd party vendor drivers or management tools. But how can this happen?

The reason for that is the following files in the driver or management tool of the respective vendors.

  • vendor-index.xml
  • vmware.xml (metadata folder)

You can find these files when extracting the zip file of the driver or management tool.

Example of a vendor-index.xml file

vendor-index.xml content

Example of a vmware.xml file

vmware.xml content

In the vendor-index.xml file, there is an <version> element, which defines the version displayed in the vSphere Lifecycle Manager under Products.

There is also the vmware.xml which contains the <platform> element. If there is a version showing up in the Lifecycle Manager but it’s not anywhere found in a vendor.index.xml file then it is defined in this <platform> element.

So normally this is not a big deal but you need to be aware of it and you need to check all the versions e.g. for 7.x to make sure that you have included all of your drivers and management tools.

I hope you find this article helpful.

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