vSphere Management Assistant 5.0 Release Notes

vSphere Management Assistant| 24 Aug 2011 | Build 472630

Last Document Update: 24 Aug 2011

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

The release notes covers the following topics:

Note: The topics in which this documentation uses the product name "ESXi" are applicable to all supported releases of ESX and ESXi.

About vMA

vMA is a Linux-based virtual machine that is pre-installed with a command-line interface and select third-party agents needed to manage your vSphere infrastructure. Administrators and developers can use vMA to run scripts and agents to manage vSphere 5.0, vSphere 4.1 and 4.1 Update 1, and vSphere 4.0 Update 2 and Update 3 systems. vMA includes the vSphere SDK for Perl and the vSphere Command-Line Interface (vSphere CLI). vMA also includes an authentication component named vi-fastpass. vi-fastpass allows direct connection to established target servers without user intervention.

For information about vSphere CLI, refer to the vSphere Command-Line Interface Documentation.

What’s New in vMA 5.0

vMA 5.0 includes the following changes and enhancements:

  • vMA is a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11-based virtual machine.
  • vMA provides a CLI-based console and a Web UI to perform administrative tasks.
  • vMA supports ESXCLI commands for fastpass authentication
  • vMA no longer supports vi-logger. You can, however, use the syslog service (syslogd) in vSphere 5.0 to log messages.
  • vMA no longer supports the netdumper service.
  • vMA enables the user to configure the time zone.
  • vMA no longer supports SNMP.
  • vMA no longer includes the VMware implementation of the CIM profiles compatible with the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI‐S) of the Storage Network Industry Association.
  • vMA does not include the vma-update utility. You can use the Web UI to download software updates.
  • The OpenSUSE repository is added to vMA by default.
  • vMA provides the vma-support script to collect system configuration information and logs.
  • vMA provides limited IPv6 support. This release of vMA supports only static IPv6 with static IPv4 and DHCP IPv6 with DHCP IPv4 configurations.

Hardware and Software Requirements

To set up vMA, you need the hardware listed in the following table.

Hardware Description
ESXi host Because vMA runs a 64-bit operating system, the ESXi host on which vMA is to be deployed must support 64-bit virtual machines.

AMD Opteron, Rev E or later. AMD-V hardware virtualization is not required.

Intel processors with EM64T support with VT enabled.

Note: Opteron 64-bit processors earlier than rev E and Intel processors that have EM64T support but not VT support enabled, do not support a 64-bit guest operating system. For detailed hardware requirements, see the Hardware Compatibility List on the VMware Web site.

By default, vMA uses one virtual processor, and requires 3GB of storage space for the vMA virtual disk. The recommended memory for vMA is 600MB.

You must have the following software to deploy vMA.

Software Description
vSphere 5.0
vSphere 4.1 and 4.1 Update 1
vSphere 4.0 Update 2 and Update 3
You can deploy vMA to an ESXi host using a vSphere Client connected directly to the
ESXi host or using a vSphere Client connected to a vCenter Server 5.0 system.
vSphere Client You need a vSphere Client to deploy vMA.

You can use vMA to target vSphere 5.0 (ESXi 5.0 and vCenter Server 5.0), vSphere 4.1 and 4.1 Update 1 (ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server), vSphere 4.0 Update 2 and Update 3 (ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server), ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 5.

For information on setting up vMA for a non-English keyboard, see KB 1007551.

Installing vMA

You can deploy the vMA OVF from your vSphere Client connected to a vCenter Server system or ESXi host, as described in the vSphere Management Assistant Guide.

  1. Download and unzip the vMA ZIP archive.
  2. In the vSphere Client, choose File > Deploy OVF Templating.
  3. When prompted by the wizard, click Deploy from a file or URL and select the OVF in the folder to which you have extracted the ZIP file and follow the instructions in the wizard.
When you start vMA, proceed as follows:
  • When prompted, specify custom network settings.
  • When prompted, specify a password for the vi-admin user for logging in to vMA. The password must conform to the vMA password policy. The password must have at least:
    • Eight characters
    • One upper case character
    • One lower case character
    • One numeral character
    • One symbol such as #, $
    The vi-admin user has root privileges on vMA. The root user is disabled.

Important: You cannot upgrade from an earlier version of vMA to vMA 5.0. You need to do a fresh installation of vMA 5.0.

Prior Releases of vMA 5.0

Features and known issues from prior releases of vMA 5.0 are described in the release notes for each release. To view release notes for prior releases of vMA 5.0, go to the following links:

Resolved Issue

The following issues reported in a previous release of vMA is resolved in this release.

  • vCLI commands fail when run against a vCenter Application with --passthroughauth
    A vCenter Application cannot join a domain and does not support Active Directory authentication. Therefore, vCLI commands with the --passthroughauth option fail when run against a vCenter Application.
    This issue is resolved in vMA 5.0.

  • Resxtop requires username/password in vi-fastpass environment.
    You add one or more targets to vMA, initialize vi-fastpass using the command vifptarget -s <target>, then you call resxtop against any target, vMA still requires you to provide the credentials for the target.
    The issue is resolved in vMA 5.0.

Known Issues

The vMA 5.0 release has the following known issues.

  • Resxtop commands fail with the vim.fault.NoPermission error.
    Log in to vMA as vi-admin and add targets. Log in as vi-user and initialize the target using the vifptarget command. Now, when you run resxtop commands, the commands fail with the vim.fault.NoPermission error.
    Workaround: Do one of the following:
    • Log in to vMA as vi-admin to run the command.
    • Log in to a different shell as vi-user and run the command without vi-fastpass.

  • If you configure two or more network adapters on vMA 5.0, all network adapters other than eth0 are disabled.
    Deploy vMA and add a network adapter. Now, power on vMA and perform the first boot configuration. When you log in to vMA, and run the ifconfig command, it displays only eth0. Even if you restart and then reconfigure the network settings, the error persists.
    Workaround: None.

  • Proxy server settings are displayed incorrectly.
    Deploy vMA. Perform the first boot configuration and specify the proxy server address. For example http://proxy.example.com. However, the network parameters summary displays an incorrect value for the proxy server.
    Workaround: Specify the proxy server address as proxy.example.com without specifying the http:// prefix.

  • WSMan-based programs do not support vi-fastpass.
    If you add one or more targets to vMA, initialize vi-fastpass by running the command vifptarget -s <target>, and then run any WSMan-based program in /usr/share/doc/vmware-vcli/samples/WSMan for any target, the program fails with one of the following errors: 401 Unauthorized or 500 Can't connect to localhost:80 (connect: Connection refused)
    Workaround: Perform the following steps:
    a. Clear the vi-fastpass environment by running the command vifptarget -c.
    b. Run the WSMan-based program again by specifying any target.

  • The command vifp addserver fails with the error message Failed to add users.
    After you join vMA to an Active Directory domain, and then add targets with adauth policy by running the command vifp addserver <server> --authpolicy adauth, if you have not restarted vMA after joining the domain, and if you are using the Active Directory domain account for adding targets, the vifp addserver command might fail with the error Failed to add users.
    Workaround: Reboot vMA after joining it to domain.

  • If vifptarget is initialized, the vmware-toolbox-cmd -v command displays the message 2.4+ kernel w/o ELF notes? -- report this.
    You add one or more targets to vMA and run vifptarget using vifptarget -s. If you call the vmware-toolbox-cmd -v command, the command displays the message 2.4+ kernel w/o ELF notes? -- report this before displaying the usual output.
    Workaround: None. You can just ignore the error message.

  • Cannot move or clone vMA.
    Moving or cloning vMA is not supported.
    Workaround: No workaround.

  • When vi-user runs the vicfg-snmp vSphere CLI command, incorrect error message appears.
    If you log in to vMA as vi-user and run vicfg-snmp, the following error message is displayed: System does not have SNMP agent configuration supported. This error message is incorrect. It should explain that vi-user does not have privileges for running the command.
    Workaround: There are two workarounds:
    • Log in to vMA as vi-admin to run the command.
    • Log in to a different shell as vi-user and run the command without vi-fastpass by specifying the target using the --server option.

  • No error when deploying vMA on unsupported hardware.
    When you deploy vMA on unsupported hardware, no error appears. An error is displayed only when you attempt to start the virtual machine.
    Workaround: Deploy vMA on a supported platform. See Hardware and Software Requirements.

  • Cannot disable time synchronization on vMA.
    When you resume a suspended vMA instance, reboot vMA, or take a checkpoint, the vMA system time is synchronized with the ESXi host on which vMA runs, even if tools.syncTime is set to false in the VMX file. The tools.syncTime option controls only whether time is periodically resynchronized while the virtual machine is running.
    Workaround: See VMware KB 1189 for information on disabling time synchronization completely.