"The increasing use of virtual machines-for purposes ranging from support of older operating system environments to power savings-has created new challenges for IT.
In particular, virtual machines may be left offline (stored in a non-operating state) for extended periods of time, which conserves resources when the server capacities of the virtual machines are not needed or frees up physical computing resources for other purposes.
However, offline machines do not automatically receive operating system, antivirus, or application updates that would keep them compliant with current IT policy. An out-of-date virtual machine may pose a risk to the IT environment. If deployed and started, the out-of-date virtual machine might be vulnerable to attack or could be capable of attacking other network resources.
Therefore, IT groups must take measures to ensure that offline virtual machines remain up-to-date and compliant. At present, these measures involve temporarily bringing the virtual machine online, applying the necessary updates, and then storing it again.
In the future, image updating solutions may be able to update virtual machines while they remain offline. Until such solutions become available, the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool, a Solution Accelerator from Microsoft, provides a way to automate the process of updating virtual machines. This tool is now available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center."
For more information about the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool and how to use it to secure your virtual environment, check out http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc501231.aspx
Thomas W Shinder, M.D., MCSE
Sr. Consultant / Technical Writer
Prowess Consulting www.prowessconsulting.com
PROWESS CONSULTING documentation | integration | virtualization
Email: [email protected]
MVP - Forefront Edge Security (ISA/TMG/IAG)