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Phylum
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎06-02-2014
Location: US
Views: 454
Message 1 of 8

Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

Over the years we have seen several situations where there were discrepencies between what was available in Update Retriever/ThinInstaller, System Update and the support.lenovo.com website itself.  For example:

  • January 7th driver v2.0 for X is availble via the website only but not TVSU or UR/TVTI
  • February 18th driver 2.0 for X is available via TVSU but not UR/TVTI
  • March 27th driver v2.2 for X is available via the website onlky but not TVSU or UR/TVTI
  • April 18th driver v2.2 for X is available via TVSU but not UR/TVTI
  • April 23rd driver v2.0 for X is available via UR/TVSI

So now, a few questions:

  1. Are we getting closer to eliminating these discrepancies and closing the gap?'
  2. Generally speaking, when a new driver is released on the website, when can we expect it to be available in TVSU?
  3. Generally speaking, when a new driver is released on the website, when can we expect it to be available in UR/TVTI? 

I could see how the website would be updated first before anything else, since there aren't [m]any special considerations or too much packaging required.  But it's not entirely clear why there would be huge delays in getting TVSU and UR/TVTI updated.

 

Lenovo Staff
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 1,249
Registered: ‎03-03-2016
Location: US
Views: 428
Message 2 of 8

Re: Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

@Phylum,

 

You are correct that web content shows up prior to the UR/SU content.  There is some time between posting to the web and getting the .xml updated for the catalogs in the background.  SU and UR read from the same catalog files, so I am not sure why you are not seeing UR Repository update slower than SU finding packages in the catalogs.  Can you confirm that on the same day SU is run on an endpoint, UR scans the catalogs for updates?

 

When scanning for updates with UR, are you checking all models in the Repository or just specific ones?  If you scan for new packages for one model and download the packages, then they will only apply to that one model.  Once you scan all models, any packages that are new and are already downloaded will then be set as applicable to that model.

 

TLawson

Phylum
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎06-02-2014
Location: US
Views: 303
Message 3 of 8

Re: Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

Hey there @tlawson - sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

 

I'll start by saying I realize this is not your problem so nothing here is directed towards you Smiley Tongue

 

We had previously spent an inordinate amount of time troubleshooting this by comparing what was available on:

  • The Lenovo Support website
  • ThinkVantage System Update (TVSU or SU)
  • ThinkVantage ThinInstaller (TVTI or TI) backed by ThinkVantage Update Retriever (TVUR or UR)

After performing an update in UR for the models in question (e.g.: T460, X260, T470, X270, T480) there were still differences between UR/TI, SU and the website.  The website consistently seemed have the most up-to-date bits and TI was seemingly always last to receive the updated bits.  And we're not talking days or a couple of weeks - in some cases it was several weeks if not a month or more.  I think in one instance, there had been two updates released on the website before the first even showed in TI!  Because there are often long gaps between updating SU and TI, we've been seriously questioning the value those products bring, if any:

  • If we can't rely on TI, we'll have to use SU
  • If we can't rely on SU, we'll have to use the web
  • If we're frequently having to do this manually via the web, then there's no need for TI or SU.

In a live troubleshooting session with our Lenovo Technical Account Manager and their lead Sr. Engineer, they witnessed the discrepancy first hand: An update visible in SU running on a T480s wasn't visible in UR when we selected the equivalent machine type (20L7 & 20L8). 

 

That said, I'm surprised to read that SU and UR read from the same catalog files.  Maybe there's some logic in UR/TI that says "if the manifest/xml doesn't have silent switches, ignore it"?  Because updates from SU aren't exactly silent or run unattended whereas TI updates are.

 

About this time last year we had an opportunity to speak with @Joe_Lenovo at the Microsoft Ignite conference who confirmed this to be a valid problem because of the process required to automate the installation of the products.  For smaller environments, maybe the web would be a feasible method for updating the machines.  But for environments with 2500+ machines, doing everything manually it's not a realistic option and this is especially painful during lease refreshes.

 

I do want to say that we are aware of the Lenovo Updates Catalog as well as Lenovo Patch and I'm very interested in understanding their respective update cycles to see how they compare to the web, SU, TI/UR.  However, our Lenovo driver 'worldview' has been so tainted, we feel that if Lenovo can't manage the 'smaller things' like UR/TI & SU, we don't have any confidence Lenovo will be able to manage the 'larger things' like Lenovo Updates Catalog & Lenovo Patch.  And if we're paying that subscription and running into the same hurdles, it's lemon & salt in the wound.

 

 

Can I assume the Lenovo Vantage UWP app uses the same catalog as SU/UR?.

Phylum
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎06-02-2014
Location: US
Views: 267
Message 4 of 8

Re: Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

According to this page for the T490s https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-t-series-laptops/thinkpad-...

 

The following updates are avaialble:

  • 10/1 SSD firmware update
  • 9/30 Intel RST driver
  • 10/2 Intel Chipset software

But none of them are in TVSU yet.  Smiley Sad

 

Highlighted
Lenovo Staff
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 1,249
Registered: ‎03-03-2016
Location: US
Views: 232
Message 5 of 8

Re: Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

@Phylum,

 

It can take an estimated 2 weeks or more depending on the workload of the team who processes updates to test and prepare them for the catalog.  Sometimes in those 2 weeks or more, updates to those packages in the queue come out, which makes it appear that the catalog is grossly out of date.

 

TLawson

Phylum
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎06-02-2014
Location: US
Views: 174
Message 6 of 8

Re: Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

Thanks for the update @tlawson Smiley Happy

 

Two final questions for you, shoud you choose to accept it.

 

There are a myriad of places one can pull updates from.  When updates are added

  • What's the update order? (first the website, then Lenovo Patch etc.)
  • What's the time frame between each? (7 days after website, Lenovo Patch, 4 weeks after Lenovo Patch, ThinInstaller etc.)
  • Is there a master catalog or repository that's referenced by some of the services? (Lenvo Patch and Updates Catalog V2 share the same repository; Vantage and System Update share the same a repository etc.)

 

I'm aware of these possible avenues for updates:

  • Website
  • Lenovo Patch
  • Lenovo Updates Catalog V2
  • System Update
  • Lenovo Vantage 
  • ThinInstaller

 

Thanks again

Lenovo Staff
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 1,249
Registered: ‎03-03-2016
Location: US
Views: 162
Message 7 of 8

Re: Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

@Phylum,

 

Before getting into the order, let me clear up one thing.

 

System Update, Vantage, and Update Retriever (ThinInstaller uses the UR Repository) all read from the same catalog, referred to as System Update Catalog in this thread.

 

That said, the normal avenue for updates to be available is Website, System Update Catalog, then Lenovo Patch / Lenovo Updates Catalog v2.  The time frames for availability can vary.  Generally speaking, it can take up to ~2 weeks after web release for the updates hit the System Update Catalog, depending on volume of updates submitted and other factors.  Sometimes it can take longer, other times not as long.  After they are available in the System Update Catalog, they should soon be added to the Lenovo Patch / Lenovo Updates Catalog v2.  Again timelines vary on these.

 

TLawson

Phylum
Token Ring
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎06-02-2014
Location: US
Views: 145
Message 8 of 8

Re: Reducing Update Repository Discrepancies

Thanks again for setting the record straight, it's really appreciated.

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