We have about 8 ESXi Servers (5.5) and about 100 VMs. I always try to keep the ESXi Servers up to date with the vmware patches. This seems to work more or less well for me. Sometimes i need some weeks but i am always nearly up to date. (Thanks to HA-Cluster i don't need downtime for this).
But i am not up to date with the VMWare Tools on the VMs. I think this is much harder to stay up to date. At the newer VMs on which we already have Tools newer than 9.0.0 build-782409 the update works without a restart, but we also have some older Tools running which would need a restart --> so i need a downtime. Also i am not brave enought to do it automaticaly on the VMs which wouldn't need a restart.
So at the moment i don't plan to update VMWare Tools, i just do it when i have an other scheduled downtime e.g. for Windows updates or other patches. So if i have to work on something like that, i also do the vmware Tools update too.
So now i have two Questions:
a) Is it really so important to be also up to date with VMware Tools? What are the disadvantages when i'm not on the newest VMWare Tools (and if i don't have any problems with the VM)?
b) how often do you update VMWare Tools and how do you handle it? manually on every single VM? automaticaly over many VMs?
Thank you for your help!