Home > Blogs > VMware vSphere Blog > Monthly Archives: December 2012

Monthly Archives: December 2012

SRM Updates – 5.1.0.1 and 5.0.2 Released

Along with the vCenter 5.1.0B release, we now also have a few interesting updates in the Site Recovery Manager world that were just released.

First, for those of you not yet ready to upgrade to 5.1, we have an SRM 5.0.2 release with a few minor but important fixes and improvements.

  • A handful of new operating systems are now supported for customization (including Windows 8, W2K12, RHEL 6.2/6.3, and Ubuntu 12.04).
  • vSphere Replication accepts MD5 certificates
  • The OpenSSL implementation has been upgraded to 0.9.8t
  • Autogenerated certificates are now 2048 bit
  • And the are a raft of resolve issues.

Go check out the full list of features at the Site Recovery Manager 5.0.2 Release Notes page!

For those of you, however, who are running the latest release, SRM 5.1.0.1 was also released.  This one is mostly dealing with resolving two outstanding issues in SRM 5.1.  Those issues that are fixed are:

  • Installing SRM 5.1 or upgrading to SRM 5.1 using an imported certificate fails
    If you attempt to install SRM 5.1 or upgrade to SRM 5.1 using an imported PKCS12 certificate rather than an auto-generated certificate, the installer runs to completion but then fails with the error Failed to install certificate. See KB 2036909. This issue has been fixed in SRM 5.1.0.1.
  • SRM Server on the recovery site fails during cleanup of recovery plans
    SRM Server on the recovery site fails repeatedly during cleanup if there is nothing to clean up, for example if there are no LUNs to detach, or no datastores to unmount. This problem occurs when the command to start the test recovery from SRM Server to the SRA reports success with at least one LUN, but finds no LUNs when the ESXi hosts on the recovery site run a rescan. This issue has been fixed in SRM 5.1.0.1.

So this too is a pretty small release, but better to get patched and up to date under controlled circumstances, rather than trying to fix problems during an emergency!

Keep in mind as well – if you’re upgrading SRM and using vSphere Replication: You will need to upgrade vSphere Replication at the same time to match the SRM version.  In this case you may actually already be running VR at the latest version, but please make sure you check the revisions of VC, SRM, and VR to make sure they work correctly together!

Check out the SRM 5.1 Release Notes Page for further information about SRM 5.1 in general.

-Ken

*** Postscript ***

Since writing this blog, I’ve been asked a few times about upgrades.  Please note that the 5.0.2 patch is a “later” release than the 5.1 release, and that they are completely separate code branches. This means there is NO direct upgrade path from 5.0.2 to 5.1.0.x.

In essence, if you’re running 5.0.x make sure you upgrade to the latest version of 5.0.x but when it comes time to move to 5.1 you’re going to do a forklift upgrade for all intents and purposes.  5.0 and 5.1 are separate products, and patches are only valid within their own major branch.

An update to vCenter Server 5.1 released, version 5.1.0B available now

An update for the vSphere vCenter Server 5.1 has been released to address a couple of issues that didn’t make it into the GA version. If you have experienced issues with timeout errors occurring when logging in to the vSphere Client or logging in to a vSphere Web Client as a user of an Active Directory domain that has a non-standard UPN or have changed the Single Sign-On master password you probably should look at updating to the new release.

You can get the updated files from vmware.com and I would highly recommend reading the release notes for a full list of known issues that have been resolved in this release as well as a readme that has been included to add additional assisting information.

If you haven’t been sold on the vCenter Appliance yet you should checkout the update process when using the vCenter Appliance; just navigate to the upgrade tab and apply the update from there (internet or cdrom), the process for updating the vCenter appliance is very slick and another reason why you should be looking into it. For those using the installable version of vCenter Server (Windows) we provide an ISO image.

ESXi 5.0 Update 2 Released

VMware has just released Update 2 for vSphere 5.0 which contains a few minor new features and of course bug fixes to both ESXi 5.0 Update 2 and vCenter Server 5.0 Update 2. While going through the ESXi release notes and reviewing the changes (hopefully everyone is doing this), a few things caught my eyes. I thought I share a few of these updates since I have seen a few of these mentioned in past VMTN community threads, Twitter and internal mailing list/discussions.

What’s New:

  • Support for additional guest operating systems – This release adds support for Solaris 11, Solaris 11.1 and Mac OS X Server Lion 10.7.5 guest operating systems.

Resolved Issues:

  • The time out option does not work when you re-enable the ESXi Shell and SSH
    • If you set a non-zero time out value for SSH & ESXi Shell, the SSH & ESXi Shell gets disabled after reaching the time out value. But, if you re-enable SSH or ESXi Shell without changing the timeout setting, the SSH & ESXi Shell does not timeout.
  • DNS might not get configured on hosts installed using scripts that specifies using DHCP
    • If you install ESXi host using a script that specifies the host to obtain the network settings from DHCP, after booting, the host is not configured with a DNS. The DNS setting is set to manual with no address specified.
  • Reinstallation of ESXi 5.0 does not remove the Datastore label of the local VMFS of an earlier installation
    • Re-installation of ESXi 5.0 with an existing local VMFS volume retains the Datastore label even after the user chooses the overwrite datastore option to overwrite the VMFS volume.

There are many more resolved issues and I highly encourage you to check out the rest of the fixes in the ESXi 5.0 Update 2 release notes.

In additional to the updates and fixes in ESXi 5.0 Update 2, there are also several fixes for vCenter Server 5.0 Update 2. The most noticeable update is the fix that allows you to rename virtual machine files using a Storage vMotion which my colleague Frank Denneman goes into more detail in his article here. I also encourage you to check out the vCenter 5.0 Update 2 release notes for other fixes and updates and remember to test all new releases in a development or test environment prior to upgrading to production.

I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday and Happy New Years, see you all back in 2013!

Get notification of new blog postings and more by following lamw on Twitter:  @lamw

Setting the Record Straight on vSphere 5.1 Backup and Recovery Support

There has been a fair amount of conversation and blog posts regarding an issue with the VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK) for vSphere 5.1 that may cause backup and restore operations to hang or fail. This is no surprise considering successful backup and recovery of virtual machines is mission-critical to many organizations.

To provide a better understanding, let’s first take a brief look at how the VDDK is utilized by many virtual machine backup and recovery solution vendors: These vendors are permitted to repackage VDDK binaries as part of their solution (provided they sign a redistribution agreement). As new versions of the VDDK are released, backup and recover vendors update their software to include and utilize the new VDDK binaries to protect virtual machines running on the latest versions of vSphere.

VMware naturally released the VDDK 5.1 binaries with vSphere 5.1 to ensure continuity in backup and recovery support via third-party solutions. Shortly after this release, some backup partners reported bugs with the APIs. From the moment these bugs were discovered, VMware has been working and continues to work with impacted partners to enable support for vSphere 5.1 platform by leveraging the VDDK 5.0 U1 APIs. This helps ensure that customers can continue to confidently backup and successfully restore data in their VMware environments. Fixes for the reported issues have been identified and will soon be addressed in an updated version of VDDK 5.1. In the meantime, it is recommended you contact your backup partner simply to verify their vSphere 5.1 support statement.

VMware KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2039931

More information on VDDK: http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/vddk/

@jhuntervmware

Setting up vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 Edge DHCP service

VMware vCloud Networking and Security Edge is part of the vCloud Networking and Security solution and provides network edge security and gateway services such as DHCP, VPN, NAT, Firewall and Load Balancing. Edge supports DHCP IP address pooling and one-to-one static IP address allocation. In this blog, I am going to show step-by-step configuration of Edge DHCP capabilities.

Each Edge virtual appliance can have a total of ten uplink and internal network interfaces. In the deployment below, we have two internal networks on the Edge used for SJDC-VDI-Sales and SJDC-VDI-Guests virtual machines. Uplink interface is connected to 10.20.182.0/24 network with access to corporate network. In this example, we are going to use Edge DHCP service to assign IP addresses to SJDC-VDI-Sales and SJDC-VDI-Guests VMs. One of the VM on SJDC-VDI-Sales is hosting sales web portal and we are going to define a DHCP static IP binding (192.168.200.100) for that VM.

Continue reading

Tagging VMkernel Traffic Types Using ESXCLI 5.1

In earlier releases of ESXi, a VMkernel interface could transport three types of traffic: Management, vMotion and Fault Tolerance. To enable a particular traffic type, one would use either the vSphere Web/C# Client or the vSphere API. Some of you may have recalled using an undocumented command-line tool called vim-cmd in the ESXi Shell to enable vMotion and Fault Tolerance traffic. An issue with this tool is it does not support the Management traffic type. This made it a challenge to completely automate the provisioning of VMkernel interfaces from a scripted installation (kickstart) perspective and required the use of remote CLI/APIs to enable the Management traffic type.

Luckily in vSphere 5.1, we now have an easy way of tagging these various traffics types for a VMkernel interface using the new ESXCLI 5.1.

Continue reading

vCloud Director Plugin For BOSH Now Available

After many months of hard work, VMware has helped make a vCloud Director plugin for BOSH available today.

BOSH (BOSH Outer Shell) is an open source tool chain designed for supporting release engineering and the deployment and lifecycle management of large scale distributed services.  Originally, BOSH was developed to support the Cloud Foundry Application-as-a-Service.  One of its advantages however is that the framework is built to be generic in nature and abstracted from any single Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering.  This allows distributed services to be deployed on multiple Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings, such as VMware vSphere, Amazon Web Services, or OpenStack.

Cloud Foundry leverages BOSH to provide an open Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering.  By being open, Cloud Foundry provides users with the ability to choose different cloud services, developer frameworks, and application services to suit their needs.  Ultimately, Cloud Foundry makes it easier to build, test, deploy, and scale applications and decrease the time associated with these activities.

You can read more about this on the Cloud Foundry blog here:

http://blog.cloudfoundry.org/2012/12/18/deploying-to-vcloud-using-cloud-foundry-bosh/

With vSphere 5.1 comes a new vSphere Web Client

With the release of vSphere 5.1 there is a brand new client to manage and administer your vSphere environment. Although a web client has been been part of vCenter server since it’s introduction, it has been some what limiting in features but helpful for those times of need. In vSphere 5.1 the web client has been completely rewritten from the ground up with the focus on providing a cross platform client that delivers comparable features and functionality to that of the desktop client. In fact all new technologies delivered with vSphere 5.1 are only manageable within the vSphere web client making it the primary go to client in vSphere 5.1.

With this new client comes some changes to the familiar way of using the desktop client, primarily in navigation however once you get the hang of it you will wonder how you worked without it and this does highlight a small learning curve required. I have recorded a video that highlights the changes around relational navigation as well as show off the new features and technologies found in the new web client that help you as an administrator to simplify and save time.

Continue reading

Major HCL changes for the vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)

The VMware Hardware Compatability List (HCL) has been dramatically relaxed for the vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA). VMware now simply requires that the RAID controller used by the hosts participating in the VSA cluster be certified – there is no longer a requirement to seperately certify the server. So long as the Raid Controller is certified for VSA, and the server is on the standard VMware HCL, you are good to go.

This significantly increases the number of hosts on which the VSA can be deployed. To check compatability, go to the HCL, in the ‘What are you looking for:’ section select IO Devices, and in the Features section select VSA. Then Update Views and Results.

There are currently 11 different Raid Controllers on the HCL, from vendors like DELL, HP, Intel & LSI. As mentioned, this should now open up the VSA to customers who were previously unable to use it due to the requirement to have the server certified. Now you just need a certified Raid Controller.

Note that an entry for the VSA still appears as a Feature on the Systems/Server page – we are in the process of transitioning this.

Get notification of these blogs postings and more VMware Storage information by following me on Twitter:  @VMwareStorage

Retrieving vSphere License Information & Expiration using the vSphere API

Last week I received a question about retrieving the expiration date for vSphere licenses in vCenter Server which can be seen in both the vSphere Web Client and vSphere C# Client under the Licensing section. Even though there are vCenter alarms that monitor license usage and compliance, it still makes sense that users may still want to be proactively monitoring their license keys for expiration and ensuring they are renewed in a timely manner.

vshpere-license-0

I provided a quick sample script to the user but thought I might as well clean it up a bit and share it with the rest of the VMware community. I also wanted to provide some additional details on where to look for the expiration details as well as other information pertaining to licenses in vSphere.

Continue reading