As I am sure you have heard by now, VMware has released update 1 for their vSphere 5.1 products. Updates in the VMware model are considered maintenance releases. They are primarily focused around bug fixes and do not include new features. One thing I would encourage anyone using any product to do is read the release notes when new versions are released.
So why is it important to read the release notes?
Let me take one particular type of issue that should be concerning to everyone: issues that result in some kind of catastrophic ESXi error. Examples of this would include:
I decided to skim through the release notes of the latest maintenance releases for the last three ESXi products looking for catastrophic ESXi errors and here is what I found:
- 10 in 4.1.3
- 13 in 5.0.2
- 14 in 5.1.1
The point of the above numbers is not to find fault in VMware code or make some wild hypothesis that the number of major issues in VMware products is increasing. The truth of the matter is that every product has bugs and the good companies find and fix the most important ones in a timely manner. The onus is on the customer to choose to upgrade and that choose requires knowledge. The motto of, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” really doesn’t fly well with management teams when a production outage that could have prevented was not.
The vSphere 5.1 Update 1 release notes can be found here.
One final thing I would like to share is my favorite bug fix of the release: ESXi host fails with a purple diagnostic screen when you try to plug in or unplug a keyboard or mouse through a USB port. Bring back the PS/2 connectors I say! 🙂
© 2013, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.