ESXi patches - My Response to Jeff Woolsey

Jeff Woolsey posted a comparison of disk footprint of ESXi and Windows 2008 Hyper-V server. Not getting into what I think of it yet, just a few facts and misconceptions before I start.

Since then these patches have been released for Windows 2008. I could not find a list of specific patches for Microsoft Hyper-V server 2008 R1 - because it is not listed as a product under Microsoft's Security site - not under Microsoft Hyper-v Server, Hyper-V, Windows Hyper-V, the only thing that I could find which was remotely was for Windows Server 2008.

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I assume that the security patches that Jeff spoke about here in this paragraph were patches that were released for Windows 2008, seeing the lack of anything else that Microsoft defines as a product called Microsoft Hyper-V server 2008 R1 I looked for patches that released for Windows Server 2008 and that were applicable to Core Edition (because as I understand, Hyper-v runs on a version of Core edition). So if Hyper-V server is a product - then define it as such, if not then it is still windows and need to be patched like windows

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It is very nice that Jeff started to compare all patches from January 1, 2008 for both Systems but he forgot to mention that Hyper-V RTM'ed on June 26, 2008. Seeing that So I think it should be fair that you should start comparing from July 1, 2008 for both products.

Below is a list of patches that were released for Windows 2008 and were applicable to core Edition.

MS08-040 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 39.8 MB - 82.3 MB

MS08-038 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 7.1 MB

MS08-037 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 428 KB

MS08-047 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 447 KB

MS08-049 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 330 KB

MS08-067 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 417 KB

MS08-061 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.2 MB

MS08-062 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 475 KB

MS08-063 - This update does not require a restart. 375 KB

MS08-064 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 2.4 MB

MS08-068 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 327 KB

MS09-001 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 371 KB

MS09-004 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 39.8 MB

MS09-006 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.2 MB

MS09-007 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 363 KB

MS09-013 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 427 KB

MS09-012 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 3.7 MB

MS09-015 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.9 MB

MS09-022 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 612 KB

MS09-026 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 768 KB

MS09-025 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.2 MB

And let us not forget Windows Server 2008 SP2 with the size of 577.4 MB

Below on are the Patches released for ESX3i Starting from February 2008 (Yes I gave ESX and extra month)

ESXe350-200904401-O-SG   Download Size: 221M    System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200904201-O-SG     Download Size: 221M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200901401-O-SG -Download Size: 212M    System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200811401-O-SG - Download Size: 213M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200810401-O-UG - Download Size: 211M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200809401-O-SG - Download Size: 203M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200808501-O-SG - Download Size: 203M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200805501-O-SG - Download Size: 192MB System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot

ESXe350-200907401-O-SG Download Size: 223M     System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot

ESXe350-200906401-O-BG - Download Size: 222M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot

ESXe350-200905401-O-BG - Download Size: 221M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200903201-O-UG - Download Size: 221M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200903411-O-BG - Download Size: 212M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200807812-O-BG - Download Size: 209M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot

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So here is what I found:

  • 22 Patches for Windows 2008 (including Service Pack 2) - totaling a size of 0.722 GB
  • 14 patches VMware ESXi 3.5 - totaling a size of  2.984 GB

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According to my math - ESXi 3.5 has a 4.13 greater patch footprint - nowhere near anything you posted above

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That could be but it does not change the fact that the size of the installation base is still practically the same and has not grown by 3.3 GB, as it is replaced each time with the patch that is installed.

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Hmm. Why did you neglect to mention the reboots needed for the Hyper-v patches. Ah! I know why!

If you look at the list above you will see that out of the 22 Microsoft patches that were released - 21 of them needed a reboot.

So according to my math Microsoft Hyper-v Server was rebooted 7 times more over the past 12 Months, a 50% increase in comparison to ESX3i

I am pretty sure that some of these could be consolidated into one reboot, but for arguments sake, let us say each one was installed separately

And yes, until now Hyper-V did not have this functionality - it is only available in R2 which is not completely publicly available yet (we have to wait until October 22, 2009)

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And yes muck-ups happen - even with Microsoft as you can see here 

Enough with details. Microsoft has developed a strategy. Since Hyper-V cannot compare with ESX regarding maturity, Market Share, complimentary products and feature set, they are continuously trying to find small little points and magnify them out of all proportion.

Patches, Core Tax, Pricing, Extra Layer, VMware Myths

It is my personal opinion that they are succeeding in certain markets, because not everyone needs all these features, but that is a whole different post.

And Jeff, if you compare something - compare it correctly!

This was not posted on your blog as a comment, because they are moderated, and I did not know if this would show up as a comment on your blog.

I hope you enjoyed the ride, I am going on vacation!