Release Notes Main Page | Introduction | What's New and Improved | Known Issues | Resolved Issues

VMware ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 RC 2 Release Notes



ESX Server Version 3.0 | 5/22/06 | Build 24596 | a release candidate build
VirtualCenter Version 2.0 | 5/22/06 | Build 24599 | a release candidate build

Check back frequently for additions and updates to these release notes. Last update: May 31, 2006.

The release notes contain the following:

What's New in This Release

  • What's New and Improved
    ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 improves upon ESX Server 2.x and VirtualCenter 1.x in a number of ways, detailed in this section.
  • Resolved Issues
    This contains a list of items that were listed in the Known Issues section of the ESX Server RC1 and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh release notes only and are now fixed and/or resolved in the RC 2 release.
  • Revision History
    This provides a history of the changes made to these RC 2 release notes.
  • Version Compatibility
    This is a table that lists the which VMware products are supported by which VMware product version.

Release Note Revision History

 Revision  Date  Changes
ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 May 31, 2006 Added one item to Server Configuration, General Storage section of the Known Issues.
ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 May 25, 2006 Added three items to Known Issues. Added Revision History, Version Compatibility tables.
ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 May 22, 2006 Release Candidate release

ESX Server, VirtualCenter, GSX Server, and VMware Server Compatibility

This release version requires or functions with the listed version of the following:

 VirtualCenter version  ESX Server version  GSX Server version
2.0 2.0.1, 2.1.x, 2.5.x, 3.0  
1.3, 1.3.1 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.5.x 3.1, 3.2
1.2 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.5.0, 2.5.1 3.1, 3.2
1.1 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.1.1 3.1
1.0.1 2.0.1, 2.1  
1.0 2.0.1  

Known Issues with This Release

The Known Issues are grouped as follows:

Note: Some known issues with this release are covered in the VMware Virtual Infrastructure SDK Release Notes for VMware VirtualCenter 2.0 .

Introduction to VMware Infrastructure 3.0

VMware Infrastructure, comprised of ESX Server and VirtualCenter, is the most widely deployed software suite for optimizing and managing IT environments through virtualization from the desktop the datacenter. The only production-ready virtualization suite, VMware Virtual Infrastructure is proved at more than 20,000 customers of all sizes in the broadest range of use cases. VMware Infrastructure uses virtualization technology to deliver transformative cost savings as well as increased operational efficiency, flexibility, and IT service levels. VMware Infrastructure:

  • Increases hardware utilization by up to 10 times
  • Enables broad-based, cost-effective application availability and business continuity independent of hardware and operating systems
  • Enables continuous uptime and non-disruptive maintenance of IT environments with live migration of entire running systems
  • Eliminates the need for cumbersome software installation and configuration with Virtual Appliance
  • Allows legacy systems to co-exist with new environments
  • Accelerates application development and deployment lifecycle
  • Improves responsiveness to business needs with instant provisioning and dynamic optimization of application environments.
  • Streamlines labor and resource intensive IT operations across disparate hardware, operating systems, and software application environments

VMware Infrastructure 3 consists of ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0. Highlights of ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 include the following:

Enable Virtualization Everywhere

  • NAS and iSCSI Support — By supporting lower-cost, more easily managed shared storage, ESX Server 3.0 lowers the barrier to entry for deploying ESX Server systems and makes even more compelling the total cost of ownership (TCO) equation for deploying Virtual Infrastructure. Advanced features like VMware HA and Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS), described below, are supported. Virtual machines will see the same virtual hardware with iSCSI and NAS as with Fibre Channel SANs and will, therefore, be portable across storage environments.

  • 4-way Virtual SMP and 16 GB RAM for Virtual Machines — ESX Server 3.0 introduces 4-way Virtual SMP and support for up to 16 GB RAM per virtual machine, so customers can now move highly demanding applications into virtual machines.

  • New Guest Operating System Support — In addition to keeping up with the latest versions of already-supported 32-bit operating systems, ESX Server 3.0 introduces support for Solaris 10. Experimental support for 64-bit guest operating systems is also new to ESX Server 3.0.

Deliver Distributed Infrastructure Services

  • VMware DRS — VMware DRS dynamically allocates and balances computing capacity across collections of hardware resources aggregated into logical resource pools. VMware DRS continuously monitors utilization across resource pools and intelligently allocates available resources among virtual machines. VMware DRS aligns computing resources with business goals while ensuring flexibility and efficient utilization of hardware resources.
  • VMware HA — VMware HA provides easy to use, cost effective high availability for applications running in virtual machines. In the event of server failure, affected virtual machines are automatically restarted on other production servers that have spare capacity. HA minimizes downtime and IT service disruption while eliminating the need for dedicated stand-by hardware and installation of additional software. VMware HA provides uniform high availability across the entire virtualized IT environment without the cost and complexity of failover solutions tied to either operating systems or specific applications.
  • VMware Consolidated Backup — VMware Consolidated Backup provides an easy to use, centralized backup facility for virtual machines. It enables virtual machine contents to be backed up from a centralized Microsoft® Windows 2003 proxy server rather than directly from the ESX Server. Utilizing a proxy server reduces the load on ESX Server allowing it to run more virtual machines. Consolidated Backup uses industry standard backup agents to move virtual machine data to tape devices. Manageability is improved because Consolidated Backup requires only a single agent on the proxy server rather than on every virtual machine. Consolidated Backup enables the use of fibre channel tape devices for virtual machine backups eliminating backup traffic on the LAN.

Enterprise-Class Management

  • Large-Scale Management — With faster start-up time, more responsiveness, and better structures for handling large-scale deployments, VirtualCenter now handles even larger deployments of Virtual Infrastructure.

  • Improved Datacenter Oversight:

    • Tighter Control — VirtualCenter 2.0 offers better control over VMware ESX Servers and virtual machines through an authoritative configuration database, an improved inventory model, interactive topology views, and an upgraded graphical user interface that integrates ESX Server host management.

    • Centralized License Management — VirtualCenter 2.0 centralizes license management for greater deployment flexibility and easier license tracking.

    • Fine-Grain Access Controls and Audit Trails — VirtualCenter 2.0 offers configurable, tiered group definitions and fine-grained definition of access privileges. It also maintains an audit trail of all significant configuration changes.

How to Provide Feedback

We welcome your feedback about this release. We have two vehicles for providing feedback. You can either file a bug using our Support Request (SR) system or put your comment in the private, VMware RC Discussion forum.

Support Requests (SR)


Instructions on how to file an SR can be found at:
http://www.vmware.com/support/services/Beta.html

For experienced SR users, please go to:
http://www.vmware.com/support/sr/sr_login.jsp

Use your registered VMware store account to login, look for the listings for the VMware ESX Server 3.0 and VMware VirtualCenter 2.0 RC products.

Collecting Server Log Files for Support


With VirtualCenter 2.0, there is a new GUI method of gathering both VirtualCenter 2.0 and ESX Server 3.0 log files from the VI Client, which can be connected to VirtualCenter or an ESX Server host directly.
  1. In the VI Client, select File > Export > Export Diagnostic Data.
    • If connected to an ESX Server host directly, enter a descriptive file name and save the .tgz file.
    • If connected to a VirtualCenter Server, select the checkboxes next to the ESX Server hosts to gather logs from. Click the checkbox to include information from VirtualCenter Server. Choose a location to save the diagnostic data.
  2. Click OK.

    If you see error dialogs about certificates, click Yes to ignore.


  3. Note: This is a known issue in this release.

  4. Upload the saved files to VMware Support.

If you are having issues with VirtualCenter installation or service startup, the above procedure will not be possible to collect logs. In this case, use the new tool located at Start > All Programs > VMware > Generate VirtualCenter Server log bundle. Be sure to run this under the same user account that performed the VirtualCenter installation. A .zip file will be created on the Desktop. Please upload the file to VMware Support.

User Forums


The private beta Forum can be viewed by going to http://www.vmware.com/community/index.jspa. After logging in, you will see the VMware Product Beta Discussion listed as one of your forum options. You can use this forum to enter your RC feedback and questions.

Tips for Installing and Getting Started

  1. Please see the ESX Server Compatibility Guides before installing this software. It is important to verify that your server, I/O, storage, guest operating system, management agent, and backup software needs are compatible. These guides also address minimum requirements and scaling limits associated with this release. To view a guide, click the link:

  2. We strongly recommend that you read the Installation and Upgrade Guide for step-by-step guidance on installing and configuring ESX Server and VirtualCenter.

    Although the installations are straight-forward, several subsequent configuration steps are absolutely essential and deserve some study. In particular, read:

  3. If you are upgrading an existing ESX Server (and VirtualCenter environment, pay close attention to the "Upgrading" chapters of the Installation and Upgrade Guide.

Upgrading or Migrating to ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0

This release supports upgrading from ESX Server 2.x and VirtualCenter 1.x to this release. Detailed upgrade instructions and guidelines are provided in the Installation and Upgrade Guide.

Special instructions and known issues for upgrading from ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh to this release are described in Known Issues section Upgrade and Security.

For existing ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh users, automated upgrade procedures from ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh to this release are not provided. Generally speaking, with a few exceptions described below, you should expect to fully re-install your ESX Server and VirtualCenter environment from a clean, fresh blank slate.

Exceptions:

  • For the Virtual Infrastructure Client, simply installing the new version is sufficient because the installation process automatically erases and uninstalls a previously installed ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh version.
  • Pre-existing virtual machines from ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh, their guest operating systems, and their applications might be reused. The appropriate process is: prior to upgrading to this release, migrate your virtual machine's files to a different datastore, cleanly reinstall or reformat your original datastore, and migrate your files back. Do this by right-clicking on your virtual machines in the VI Client's left-side hierarchy and selecting "Migrate." Choose to move the virtual machine's virtual disk files (VMDK) and configuration files (VMX and associated files).

We recommend that all other components be swapped out wholesale and reinstalled cleanly:

  • The VirtualCenter Management Server and its database from ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh should be uninstalled, wiped clean, and reinstalled from scratch.
  • ESX Server 3.0 servers from ESX Server RC should be wiped clean and reinstalled from scratch.
  • VMware Tools, which is software typically installed into virtual machines, must be upgraded to this release's version.

Note: Although using VMFS volumes created with ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh release should not cause any problems, we recommend that you discard your ESX Server RC and VirtualCenter Beta Refresh VMFS volumes, create new LUNs, format the LUNs with new VMFS, and migrate your virtual machine disk files to the new ESX Server RC release VMFS volumes.