I’m in the process of deploying updates to a number of VMware ESXi hosts and came across an interesting fault today. When attempting to deploy updates through VMware vCenter Update Manager (VCUM) I was greeted with the following error message –
Cannot download software packages from patch source. Check the events and the Update Manager log for download details.
I checked the recent tasks and also found an error indicating VCUM had failed to download patch definitions –
At this point I think it is important to mention we predominantly use Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) servers, both blade and traditional rack mount. You will see the URL in the status message relates to the HPE VIBs (vSphere Installation Bundles – see ‘What is in a VIB?’) depot. HPE provide repositories which can be added to VCUM to allow one to update HPE servers with the relevant drivers and ESXi updates specific to their hardware.
Having confirmed the virtual machine running VCUM had Internet connectivity and was healthy I moved to the ‘Download Settings’ menu in VCUM to see if the server could communicate with the HPE download source. As you can see in the screenshot below VCUM is not connected to the HPE repositories and the ‘Update Type’ and ‘Component’ fields are ‘Unknown’ –
If we right click on one of the HPE sources and select ‘Edit Download Source’ a new menu will open –
Clicking on the ‘Validate URL’ button resulted in an error for both of the HPE repositories –
Now you may or may no be aware of the fact Hewlett Packard recently went through a split – notice I have been calling them HPE or Hewlett Packard Enterprise. If you have been paying attention to the errors and screenshots you will have noticed the URL has the format of x.hp.com.
I figured it would be worth trying x.hpe.com to see if it was simply a case that they had updated the URL for the new company name. I modified the download source and tried the ‘Validate URL’ button again –
Success! I did this for both of the download sources and they now show as ‘Connected’ and the ‘Update type’ and ‘Component’ fields correctly display as ‘Custom’ and ‘ESX’.
It is important to remember to click the ‘Apply’ button to save the changes made, if you try and leave this window vCenter will prompt you to save your changes.
Finally I tried to stage the patches to a host and this time we see they have been copied successfully and without error.
It’s always nice when a problem turns out to be so easy to fix – a bit of common sense and knowledge of the worldly affairs of a supplier meant I fixed this in a matter of minutes. Hopefully if you have come across this problem the post will be helpful. As always if you have any thoughts or questions please drop a comment below.