While speaking to customers and peers , there were questions around why do i need product support packs and what's the importance of them.
Before getting into "Why" part , let's try and understand what is a "Product Support Pack"
Product Support Packs are also referred as PSPACK or PSPAK
VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle is also known as Suite Lifecycle or VASL
so let's use these acronyms in our blog from here on ...
In VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle, a Product Support Pack is a software package that updates an existing product support policy to incorporate support for new releases of VMware Aria suite of products. Occassionally , it's used to deliver fixes for some minior bugs.
Let's discuss a real world example than discussing some hypthetical ones. We will use VMware Suite Lifecycle 8.12 as product version for our use-case discussion
As a customer when i install VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle 8.12 and login into Suite Lifecycle's UI , click on Lifecycle Operations --- Settings --- Product Support Pack , i'll be presented with
Supported products along with versions
Option to check product support packs online and upload a pspack ( offline method )
What does this Policy 126.96.36.199 mean ? Why am i being shown these product names and versions ?
Policy 188.8.131.52 means that this is an out of the box product support which comes when you install or upgrade to a specific verison of Suite Lifecycle
Product Names & Versions listed on that product support policy are the ones which you can install ( greenfield ) or upgrade ( brownfield ) to.
Suite Lifecycle 8.12 was released around 20th March 2023 , VMware Aria Automation , Operations and Operations for Logs were released on the same day.
The policy 184.108.40.206 does contain the versions of these products
This means users/customers can download or map product binaries and start installing / uprgading their products
But hold on , VMware Aria Operations for Networks 6.10 was released a week later ? So , how can i upgrade or install that specific version when it's not listed in the policy ?
This is a point where Product Support Pack comes into picture
As documented in the release notes we have 3 PSPACK's released for Suite Lifecycle 8.12 .
If we read product support details section of 8.12 Product Supprot Pack 1 , it was released to support VMware Aria Operations for Networks 6.10 which came a week later.
This implies Product Support Packs have a mechanism to update VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle's product checksums which are released after it's own release.
This would enable customer's to consume the product's latest verison for install & uprgade.
One more question , reading through the release notes we do see that PSPACK2 supports refreshed product binary of VMware Aria Operations for Logs 8.12 why was this done ?
Let me answer that . Suite Lifecycle 8.12 GA version supported Operations for Logs 8.12 out of the box. But due to a certificate issue which occurred in the month of April 2023 , the product binaries were replaced. Which means , the checksums present in the product out of the box would not match with the ones of the new product binaries.
Hence , a new product support pack was released to help users / customers to support the refreshed or the new product binaries of VMware Aria Operations for Logs 8.12
Remember , Product Support Packs are here to help you and they are never a overhead. It hardly takes few minutes to implement.
Hope this clarifies ..... cheers