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VMware pros unamused as vSphere 5.1 patches keep on coming

VMware has issued yet another patch – the fourth in the last week — to correct problems in vSphere 5.1. This time, it’s for vSphere Replication.

The fix in vSphere Replication is twofold, according to a VMware blog post: correcting installation problems, and allowing the software to actually recover virtual machines at a secondary site when the primary machine is down, disconnected from the network or loses access to storage.

The fix for the recovery feature addresses syncing recent changes to a VM over to the secondary site in the event of a failure. When vSphere Replication 5.1 is used as a standalone product, outside of VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) deployments, the sync fails, and so the entire recovery fails, according to a VMware Knowledge Base article.

This fix follows patches issued last Monday that finally allowed compatibility between vSphere 5.1 and VMware View 5.1, as well as compatibility between vCenter Converter Standalone and vSphere 5.1, and then another issued last Thursday which addressed widespread issues with single sign on and custom SSL certificates in vCenter Server.

VMware pros say the number of patches required for this release is unusual.

“5.1 was hugely rushed. Quality was non-existent,” said Derek Seaman, a vExpert working for a major telecom, whose blog has been a source for corrections to SSL certificate documentation.

Some partners say the serial nature of these patch releases has only aggravated users’ frustration.

“I realize that these were important patches and updates, but a few days’ delay and simultaneous release would have been viewed in a better light,” said Tim Antonowicz, senior architect at VMware partner Mosaic Technology in Salem, NH. “A coordinated effort, where the patches were bundled into a single release event covering several products, would make much more sense to customers.”

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