VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager is a component that enables support for heterogeneous hypervisors in a VMware vCenter Server environment. It provides the following benefits to your virtual environment:
An integrated platform for managing VMware and third-party hypervisors from a single interface.
A hypervisor choice for the different business units in your organization to accommodate their specific needs.
No single hypervisor vendor lock-in.
When you add a third-party host to vCenter Server, all virtual machines that exist on the host are discovered automatically, and are added to the third-party hosts inventory.
The ability of vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager to migrate virtual machines from third-party hosts to ESX or ESXi hosts is implemented by exposing the capabilities of vCenter Converter Standalone in the vSphere Client. See VMware KB article 2048927 for information about dependency between vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager and vCenter Converter Standalone.
vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1 introduces the following set of basic management capabilities over third-party hosts:
Third-party host management including add, remove, connect, disconnect, and view the host configuration.
Ability to migrate virtual machines from third-party hosts to ESX or ESXi hosts.
Ability to provision virtual machines on third-party hosts.
Ability to edit virtual machine settings.
Integrated vCenter Server authorization mechanism across ESX/ESXi and third-party hosts inventories for privileges, roles, and users.
Automatic discovery of pre-existing third-party virtual machines
Ability to perform power operations with hosts and virtual machines.
Ability to connect and disconnect DVD, CD-ROM, and floppy drives and images to install operating systems.
This release of VMware vCenter Server 5.1 Update 1 offers the following improvements:
vCenter Server is now supported on Windows Server 2012
Additional vCenter Server Database Support: vCenter Server now supports the following databases.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2
Additional Guest Operating System Customization Support -vCenter Server now supports customization of the following guest operating systems:
Windows Server 2012
vCenter Essentials no longer enforces vRAM usage limit of 192 GB With vSphere 5.1 Update 1, the Essentials and Essentials Plus licenses no longer restrict virtual machine power-on operations when the vRAM usage limit of 192 GB is met.
Resolved Issues – This release delivers a number of bug fixes that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.
VMware has just released the much anticipated Update 1 patch for vSphere 5.1 which includes several updates and bug fixes for both ESXi and vCenter Server 5.1. I highly encourage everyone to review the release notes for the complete list of resolved issues. While going through the ESXi 5.1 Update 1 release notes myself, I noticed a few resolved bugs that I had been following and thought I would highlight a few of them:
Reinstallation of ESXi 5.1 does not remove the Datastore label of the local VMFS of an earlier installation
Re-installation of ESXi 5.1 with an existing local VMFS volume retains the Datastore label even after the user chooses the overwrite datastore option to overwrite the VMFS volume.
resxtop fails when upgraded from vSphere 5.0 to vSphere 5.1
In vSphere 5.1, SSL certification checks are turned ON. This might cause resxtop to fail in connecting to hosts and displays an exception message similar the following: HTTPS_CA_FILE or HTTPS_CA_DIR not set. (More details about this issue can be found in this blog article)
Using the invoke-vmscript command displays an error
When you use the invoke-vmscript powercli command scripts on the virtual machine, the script fails with the following error message:
One interesting thing that caught my eye while going through the release note is the following:
Component-based logging and advanced configurations added to hostd log level
To avoid difficulties in getting appropriate logs during an issue, this release introduces component-based logging by dividing the loggers into different groups and prefixing them. Also, new advanced configuration allows you to change hostd log’s log level without restarting.
It looks like you now have the ability to configure granular log levels for various components within hostd which can better assist during troubleshooting and log collection. I will discuss how this works in more detail in another blog article.
There are many more resolved issues and you can check out the rest of the fixes in the ESXi 5.1 release notes.
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As of this evening, both Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication have been updated and the 5.1.1 release is now available. I strongly recommend this build as even though there is little in the way of new functionality, it is almost completely filled with things that make SRM and VR work better.
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.1.1 | Build 1082082
VMware vSphere Replication 5.1.1 | Build 1079383
Some of the fixed issues, for example, are things like:
All sorts of timeout problems ranging from multiple operation timeouts to reprotect timeouts to HBA rescan timeouts
Custom vCenter https ports now work better with vSphere Replication
Pairing SRM servers using custom certificates and VCVA now works
Re-protect using vSphere Replication is more resilient
Two things in particular that I want to highlight though are really nice to see are listed below.
Patch management for ESXi is very different compared to traditional operating system patches, where incremental updates are made to the base operating system and thus increasing the disk footprint for each patch update. For the ESXi hypervisor, when a patch is applied, the entire ESXi image also known as an Image Profile is replaced. This means that each time you patch or upgrade your ESXi host, you are not adding on top of the original installation size.
Similar to my previous article Which Guest OSes Are Supported In vSphere? Using the vSphere API and the Environmental Browser, you can also query for the list of supported Virtual Machine’s virtual hardware versions also known as Virtual Machine Compatibility. This also comes in handy when building a provisioning system or script and you will be able to ask the vSphere platform what virtual hardware version is supported prior to creating your Virtual Machine shell. To do so, you will need to use the QueryConfigOptionDescriptor() method which returns back an array of VirtualMachineConfigOptionDescriptor that contains information about the virtual hardware version and whether the host can support a particular version and whether a version can be upgraded or not.
Disclaimer: These script are provided for informational/educational purposes only. It should be thoroughly tested before attempting to use in a production environment.
To demonstrate the QueryConfigOptionDescriptor method, I have created a simple vSphere SDK for Perl script called getSupportedVirtualHardwareVersion.pl which lists all the supported virtual hardware versions given a vSphere Cluster as input.
This was a recent question that was asked internally about the minimum privileges required to query VIBs on an ESXi host. The request was for a custom script that was developed for compliance check and the customer was looking to create a custom vSphere role to minimize the privileges needed to perform the task. Since I did not know the answer, it was off to the lab for some testing. Through the process of elimination, it turns out the only privilege that is required for querying VIBs on an ESXi host is Global.Settings.
In the example above, I created a custom vCenter Server Role called VIBQuery and enabled the Global.Settings privilege and assigned the role to a user. The custom role can be created on both a vCenter Server as well as directly on an ESXi host. By using vCenter Server, one can benefit from centralize management of user access to all ESXi hosts in the environment.
To confirm that our user assigned to the new role can query VIBs on an ESXi host, we will run the following ESXCLI command:
esxcli --server [VC-SERVER] --vihost [ESXi-SERVER] --username [USER] software vib list
We can also confirm that we can do the same directly on the ESXi host by running the following ESXCLI command:
esxcli --server [ESXi-SERVER] --username [USER] software vib list
When granting access to your vSphere infrastructure, you should always use good security practices by leveraging RBAC model (Role-Base Access Control) and restrict the amount permission a user has access to.
UPDATE: In addition to using ESXCLI, there are two additional options to query installed VIBs on an ESXi host as noted by the comment below by Mike.
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With the release of vCenter 5.1 adding additional certificates into the environment to make communication between components more secure, the process of updating these certificates with customers’ own signed certificates has been a challenge.
We are pleased to announce the general availability of vCenter Certificate Automation Tool1.0. This tool provides an automated mechanism to replace certificates in the following components of the vCenter Server 5.1 management platform:
One of the coolest feature in my opinion is Tagging in the new vSphere Web Client. Unlike Custom Attributes which was limited to an ESXi host and Virtual Machine object, the new Tagging capability allows you to create custom labels and metadata on ANY vSphere inventory object. In addition, you can have multiple tags per object and you can search based on tags to help you quickly find what you are looking and making this feature even more powerful. Just like with anything new, it takes time to get used to. To help you use the new Tagging feature, there is a built in Custom Attributes to Tags migration tool in the vSphere Web Client as Tagging will be the future going forward.
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