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Software Compatibility Matrix

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  • Software Compatibility Matrix

    Hi, I am wondering how you guys do to keep up with software versions in your environment. So, lets say that we have VMware ESXi, VCenter/Realize, Citrix, NetApp, NetScaler, Cisco UCS, Palo Alto, Switches etc etc etc....

    Then you know that VMware or NetScaler needs to be updated to a newer version or a firmware upgrade is required, how do you make sure that all of these other softwares arent affected? I saw some examples created in a excel file but it seems to be unmanageable.

    UCS for example, can have firmwares that can impact on the network configuration cascading that to switches etc.....

    Any suggestions? Any software out there that can manage versions, and tells you whether or not an particular upgrade can affect the rest of your environment?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Welcome to the pain of change management. For each update, the vendor will usually have some release notes about their own updates that may offer warnings or known bugs, but those will only be against what they or their own customers have direct experience of. Hopefully those experiences, bad or good, will be added to that product's documentation to advise future users. But just like anti-virus products, there's always a first victim who gets bitten by a new bug. That's when the AV update files are issued for the new threat.

    Because each vendor can't test their product against everything that's out there, I don't believe there's anything that could be considered a 'font of all knowledge' where different versions of software/firmware/etc. interact well, or badly. Sorry if that sounds a little dismal, but such a matrix would be a god-send, if it existed.
    *RicklesP*
    MSCA (2003/XP), Security+, CCNA

    ** Remember: credit where credit is due, and reputation points as appropriate **

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RicklesP View Post
      Welcome to the pain of change management. For each update, the vendor will usually have some release notes about their own updates that may offer warnings or known bugs, but those will only be against what they or their own customers have direct experience of. Hopefully those experiences, bad or good, will be added to that product's documentation to advise future users. But just like anti-virus products, there's always a first victim who gets bitten by a new bug. That's when the AV update files are issued for the new threat.

      Because each vendor can't test their product against everything that's out there, I don't believe there's anything that could be considered a 'font of all knowledge' where different versions of software/firmware/etc. interact well, or badly. Sorry if that sounds a little dismal, but such a matrix would be a god-send, if it existed.
      Thanks for your reply. I feel like there must have something out there....will keep looking otherwise that is a huge opportunity for companies to come up with something.

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      • #4
        But that opportunity will cost, because that fictitious company would have to arrange to have hardware from every vendor in order to test every firmware version (money, space, hardware, people, time), and then either purchase every software product or arrange license exceptions from those vendors to then run through every setup of every product, in almost innumerable combinations, as well as knowing how to use all functions of all products and test them, also in almost innumerable combinations (money, time, people, training), and finally to document every test result as successful or not, and the combinations of hardware/firmware/software that produced that result. And then get people like us to pay for access to that information so we can avoid pitfalls of bad updates, or conflicts.

        And then there's . As problems are found, they're posted on-line in various blogs or forums (like this one), so folks like us can hopefully learn from other folks' previous bad luck or bad choices. And Google is free, as are most blogs/forums. Your ability to find the specific answers you seek is down to how you ask your online questions vs how others have done the same thing. As I said originally, welcome to the pain of change management.
        *RicklesP*
        MSCA (2003/XP), Security+, CCNA

        ** Remember: credit where credit is due, and reputation points as appropriate **

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