Installing VMware Update Manager Download Service

Before getting into installing, let’s take a second to talk about what the Update Manager Download Service (UMDS) is and when you’d use it. As the name implies, UMDS is a service that will go and fetch patch notifications, metadata, and binaries that is separate from your VUM install.

When would that be useful? In a few scenarios, the first is in highly secure environments, where your VUM server may not have direct internet access, but can access other network segments, like this:


In this case UMDS would download the patches, and then share them back out over HTTP/HTTPS to your VUM installation. The above scenario is also useful when you have multiple VUM installs, yet only want to download the patches once. In that case, you would configure your VUM installs to use the UMDS server as a shared repository.

You can also use UMDS in an “air gapped” network scenario, the difference to the above, is instead of exporting the patch data over http, you would instead export it to an external drive and sneaker net it to the VUM server for import.

Installing the VMware Update Manager Download Service

Now that you know why you would use UMDS (and chances are, you should), let’s take a look at how to get that bad boy installed.


UMDS requires a few things to get going:

  • Either:
    • 32bit DSN to a database to store metadata
    • SQL2008 Express (at install time)
  • .NET 3.5
  • Database (either external or 2k8 express)
  • vSphere Installation Media


To find the install, open your vSphere Install folder (or mount the ISO, etc) and browse the CD. Then look for the VUM install folder and launch vmware-umds.exe. The install is mostly a bouncing ball type install, the only call-outs I’d make are choosing the DSN you create in the prerequisites and choosing the location to download patches:




Ok, so you have it installed, now what? You will still need to run a few CLI commands to tell UMDS what patches you need as well as get them to download. To do this, open a command prompt, and cd to “C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Update Manager”

Configure Where to Download Patches To

To change the location you chose during the installation for patch downloads, the following command will work:

vmware-umds -S –patch-store <location of patch store>

Configure Which Patches to Download

Use this command to configure both host and vApp patches to be pulled down:

vmware-umds -S –enable-host –enable-va

You can execute vmware-umds without any parameters to get a list of all options to download.

Download the Patches

You’ll want to go fetch lunch after firing this one off, least for me it seemed to take AGES to run. However, it’s quite verbose, so it at least looks busy.

vmware-umds -D

Export the Patches

This one also took a long while (hours) but that’s likely due to a lack of spindles on my part.

vmware-umds -E –export-store <export folder>


The following materials were used but not harmed in the production of this post:

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