Many of you have now kicked the tires with vSphere 5.5 either in your home lab or on some servers at work and you’re anxious to get all the new goodies running in your production environment. Perhaps some of you early adopters are already running in full production, but we’re guessing many of you are just contemplating your major upgrade now.
VMware’s Tech Support staff tend to see a surge during the month of March in number of calls to support. But guess what? Many of the issues we’re anticipating are already resolved, and we’ve been busy compiling and documenting solutions to common problems that you can handle yourself.
Those of you installing or upgrading your vSphere hosts, and vCenter Server instances to version 5.5 will find the following KB articles and Support Insider posts of great interest.
I’ve been involved recently in a couple situations in which the ‘perferHT’ advanced setting has been implemented, but for the wrong reasons. I want to re-clarify how and when it should be used. As with many advanced settings, it can be helpful or hurtful.
“PerferHT exposes Hyper-Threading to the guest operating system” – False!
A great question crossed my desk today from a customer. “Can a VI Admin who has root access to ESXi “abuse” their privileges and “peek” inside the guests of VM’s hosted on the server?”
The short answer? If your ESXi admin has root or full administrator privileges, they can do anything. Nobody should be surprised by this! HOWEVER, you can mitigate, limit and monitor what is being done.
But first, let’s quickly review what is meant by “peek inside the guest”. In the human world, Continue reading →
The VMware Mobile Knowledge Portal iOS and Android app has recently been updated. It sports a great new look and feel and makes finding the information you need even easier by grouping it by area in our SDDC vision.
I’m happy to announce the availability of a whitepaper that I had been working on much of the past year. Since I joined VMware back in January of 2013, an almost weekly request was for a whitepaper that help IT team explain the security of the VMware vSphere hypervisor, a.k.a. ESXi, to a security professional.
I’m often asked if you can use vCenter Server Heartbeat to protect the Auto Deploy Server. The answer is yes and I’m happy to announce that we now have some videos and product walkthroughs that show how this is done.
To view the product walkthrough visit http://vmwarewalkthroughs.com and select the recently added vCenter Server Heartbeat section. Here you will see the walkthrough showing how to use vCenter Server Heartbeat to protect your Auto Deploy server.
Notice that the interoperability matrix shows support based on the ESX/ESXi version that is providing the tools. This is different from how the virtual machines report their VMware Tools versions. The virtual machines lists their tools version as a four-digit number which has no correlation with the corresponding ESX/ESXi host version:
I’m happy to report that the vSphere 5.5 Hardening Guide has been released for General Availability. My thanks to all that contributed their feedback to make this happen. The guide has been given a full makeover with regard to documentation references. I’m in Renate’s debt for those stellar contributions. Additionally, some guidelines have been removed and some new ones added.
Along with the guide, similar to the 5.1 release, I’m releasing a change log worksheet.
One thing to note, the “Profiles” column has been renamed “Risk Profiles”. This was done to bring to light the function of the column. I am frequently quizzed by IT administrators that have been told to “Implement the Hardening Guide”. As written, the Hardening Guide is a list of guidelines, not mandates. Please note that some guidelines in the Risk Profile 1 category can break functionality!
As with any security measures, they should not be applied in a blanket fashion. I would encourage IT administrations and security folks to work together and assess each guideline for applicability, risk management and impact to the business and operations. The Risk Profiles help to categorize the guidelines that could be applicable to your environment.
I’m working with the VMware web team to have the guide and the change log officially moved over to the Hardening Guide page on VMware.com. I will update the discussion in the Communities and post a reply to this blog article when that has been completed.
As always, your input is very valuable to me and VMware as a whole. If you have questions that can’t be asked in a public forum, reach out to me via email, mfoley-at-vmware.com. For more frequent updates to vSphere security news and facts, follow me on Twitter at @vSphereSecurity