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What's New in Version 3

Whether you're a long-time power user of VMware GSX Server or a new user who is just learning what you can do with virtual machines, the new features in VMware GSX Server 3 extend its capabilities and make it easier to use.

New in Version 3.2.1 (Release Build 19281, 12/20/2005)

The following update is provided in VMware GSX Server 3.2.1:

Update to Fix Security Vulnerability in NAT Networking

This release addresses a security vulnerability that has been discovered in VMware GSX Server. VMware believes that the vulnerability is very serious, and recommends that users install the VMware GSX Server 3.2.1 update or disable NAT networking. For more information, see the following Knowledge Base articles:

Features in Version 3.2 (Release Build 14497, 7/1/2005)

Here are some highlights of key features to explore in VMware GSX Server 3.2:

New Operating System Support

VMware GSX Server 3.2 adds full support for the following 64-bit host operating systems on AMD64 and Intel® EM64T processors:

  • Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition as a host operating system on AMD64 and Intel EM64T processors
  • VMware GSX Server 3.2 adds experimental support for the following 64-bit host operating systems on AMD64 and Intel EM64T processors:

  • Red Hat™ Enterprise Linux 4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 4
  • SUSE™ LINUX Enterprise Server 9 Service Pack 1
  • SUSE LINUX 9.3
  • SUSE LINUX 9.2
  • VMware GSX Server 3.2 adds support for the following 32-bit host and guest operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
  • Mandrake Linux 10.0 and 10.1
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 Update 6
  • SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 Service Pack 1
  • SUSE LINUX 9.3 (experimental support)
  • SUSE LINUX 9.2
  • Support for Clustering with the iSCSI Protocol

    Using the iSCSI protocol allows you to set up a clustering environment across hosts. For more information, see .

    Dual-Core Processor Licensing Compatibility

    The two processor version of GSX Server now supports systems with two dual-core processors.

    Critical Bugs Fixed in GSX Server 3.2

    Bugs fixed in this release include:

  • Fix for panic that occurs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 AS host.
  • Fix for core dump when powering on virtual machine on Fedora Core 3 host. (Fedora is not a supported GSX Server host operating system.)
  • Fix to allow USB devices to work in virtual machines on SUSE LINUX 9.1 host.
  • Correction for monitor error that occurred when upgrading Windows Server 2003 guest operating system to Service Pack 1 RC1.
  • Fix for inability to power on virtual machine with legacy virtual disk.
  • Fix for DirectInput error that occurred when GSX Server automatically powered on a virtual machine when the Windows host starts. The message read:
    Failed to create DirectInput object-HRESULT(0x80004001:sev 1 fac 0 code 16385]:
    Unknown error 16385(0x4001)
  • Fix for memory issue on hosts with 32GB RAM.
  • Fix for VirtualCenter alarm showing maximum memory usage when virtual machine is idle or under low usage.
  • Fix to prompt user to power off any running virtual machines before running the vmware-config.pl configuration program.
  • Fix for security vulnerability described in CAN-2004-0700.
  • Fix to improve scalability and performance on NUMA hardware.
  • Features in Version 3.1 (Release Build 9089, 6/30/2004)

    Here are some highlights of key features to explore in VMware GSX Server 3.1:

    Manage Virtual Disks with VMware Virtual Disk Manager

    Create, manage and modify virtual disk files from the command line or within scripts with the VMware Virtual Disk Manager utility. For more information, see Using VMware Virtual Disk Manager.

    New Operating System Support

    Get the freedom to choose the operating systems and applications that work best for you. VMware GSX Server 3.1 provides experimental support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for 64-Bit Extended Systems (beta), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0 on hosts with 64-bit processors.

    Experimental guest operating system support is provided for Solaris 9 and 10 Operating System x86 Platform Edition.

    VirtualCenter Ready

    GSX Server 3.1 is enabled for management by VMware VirtualCenter. You can use VirtualCenter to manage and provision virtual machines on multiple GSX Server hosts, then migrate the virtual machines between other GSX Server and ESX Server systems under VirtualCenter management.

    GSX Server 3.1 Secured with OpenSSL 0.9.7d

    GSX Server 3.1 incorporates the updated version of OpenSSL. OpenSSL 0.9.7d corrects various security vulnerabilities.

    Critical Bugs Fixed in GSX Server 3.1

    Bugs fixed in this release include:

  • Fix for Apache Web server crashes on Linux hosts after VMware Management Interface timed out.
  • Fix for problem that prevented the launching of the VMware Virtual Machine Console from the VMware Management Interface on a Linux host.
  • Fix for issue where the VMware Management Interface reported incorrect memory and processor usage statistics.
  • Fix for VMware Management Interface issue where connections secured with SSL were redirected to insecure port 8222.
  • Fix for Windows hosts where the Windows registry keys became read-only after removing GSX Server 2.x. This caused the installation of GSX Server 3 to fail.
  • Fix for Linux hosts where users in particular groups could not create virtual machines.
  • Fix for Linux hosts where switching to the vmxnet networking driver caused networking to fail in a virtual machine.
  • Fix for Windows hosts where a virtual machines froze and the only workaround was to kill the virtual machine process.
  • Fixes for SCSI reservation issues including deadlocks, and panics that occurred when powering on clustered virtual machines configured with LSI Logic SCSI adapters.
  • Fix for issue that caused the VMware Registration Service service to hang when starting the host while virtual machines are configured to power on automatically with the host.
  • Fix for an application error that occurred in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a (Japanese language version only) guest operating systems when using the search function of Windows Explorer. The error occurred only when VMware Tools is installed in the guest.
  • Fix to allow the installation of VMware Tools in Windows NT 4.0 Support Pack 3 guest operating systems. For more information, see knowledge base article 1304 at www.vmware.com/support/kb/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1304.
  • Fix for issue where a GSX Server 2.5.x virtual machine on a Windows host configured with a static IP address lost its static IP after it was powered on under GSX Server 3. For more information, see knowledge base article 1307 at www.vmware.com/support/kb/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1307.
  • You can now restrict which users can create virtual machines and virtual disks. For more information, see knowledge base article 1042 at www.vmware.com/support/kb/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1042.
  • Virtual machines configured for NAT networking can now use Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP).
  • Features in Version 3 (Build 7592, 3/11/2004)

    Here are some highlights of key features to explore in VMware GSX Server 3:

    GSX Server 3 Security Update: OpenSSL 0.9.7d Patches

    Patches are available for GSX Server 3 that update the version of OpenSSL used in the product. The newer version of OpenSSL corrects security vulnerabilities and is posted on the GSX Server Security Updates Web page at www.vmware.com/download/gsx_security.html.

    GSX Server 3 users are strongly urged to download and install these patches.

    Enhanced Virtual Machine User Access Control

    On Windows hosts, a virtual machine runs as a user. You can specify the particular user or let the virtual machine run as the user who powers it on. For more information, see Authenticating Users and Running Virtual Machines on a GSX Server for Windows Host.

    Improved Security for Remote Connections

    SSL is enabled by default for remote connections with the VMware Virtual Machine Console and the VMware Management Interface.

    VirtualCenter Ready

    GSX Server 3 is enabled for management by an upcoming release of VMware VirtualCenter. You will be able to use VirtualCenter to manage and provision virtual machines on multiple GSX Server hosts, then migrate the virtual machines between other GSX Server and ESX Server systems under VirtualCenter management.

    New VMware Virtual Machine Console

    Connect to and manage virtual machines with the VMware Virtual Machine Console, which combines the best abilities of the local and remote consoles in one application. Create and configure virtual machines locally and remotely. Connect to virtual machines from the local server or remote client at the same time, while other consoles are already connected. Run virtual machines in full screen mode locally and remotely.

    The console interface is completely updated. You can run multiple virtual machines in the same window and switch from one to another using the new quick switch mode. The console menus have been streamlined. The console requires less network bandwidth over remote connections than the older console did.

    For details, see Running Virtual Machines.

    Take Snapshots of Your Virtual Machines

    You can take a snapshot of your virtual machine's state, a point-in-time copy of the running system state, that is saved to disk. You can revert to that snapshot at any time — making it easier to do challenging tasks like upgrading guest operating systems. Take a snapshot, upgrade the operating system, and if something goes wrong, revert back to the snapshot. Or use the snapshot as a starting point for a sales demonstration.

    See Taking Snapshots for details.

    Automatically Install GSX Server on Windows Hosts and VMware Tools in Windows Guests

    We've improved the installers for Windows hosts and for VMware Tools in Windows guest operating systems. GSX Server for Windows hosts and VMware Tools for Windows guests use the Microsoft Windows Installer runtime engine, which allows you to automate the installation of GSX Server on a Windows host and VMware Tools in a Windows virtual machine. For information, see Automating the Installation of GSX Server and Automating the Installation of VMware Tools in a Windows Guest.

    With the Microsoft Windows Installer runtime engine, you can pick and choose the features you want to install.

    Automatically Start and Stop Virtual Machines When the Host Starts and Stops

    You can configure virtual machines to automatically power on when the GSX Server host starts or automatically power off when the GSX Server host shuts down. For more information, see Powering Virtual Machines On and Off When the Host Starts and Shuts Down.

    Connect to Older Virtual Machines and Older GSX Server Hosts

    You can connect to older GSX Server hosts with consoles and run virtual machines from older versions of VMware products. For information, see Connecting to Older GSX Server and ESX Server Systems and Older Virtual Machines.

    Improved VMware Management Interface

    Managing virtual machines and the GSX Server host from a Web browser just got better. You can configure more host and virtual machine features, including virtual machine hardware, configuration options and SSL connections. For more information, see Using the VMware Management Interface.

    Log GSX Server Events on Windows Hosts

    GSX Server sends information about certain events that occur in the application on Windows hosts to the Windows Event Viewer. For details, see Logging GSX Server Events on Windows.

    Improved Virtual Disk and Networking Performance

    Experience 10 to 20% improvement in virtual disk and networking performance.

    Monitor Virtual Machine Performance on Windows Hosts

    Use GSX Server specific counters with the Windows Performance console (PerfMon) to monitor the performance of running virtual machines on Windows hosts. For details, see Monitoring Virtual Machine Performance.

    More Memory for Your Virtual Machines

    Allocate up to 3600MB of memory to each virtual machine to run large server applications. For more information, see Allocating Memory to a Virtual Machine.

    Easier Sharing of Virtual Machines with Latest VMware Products

    Virtual machines created with GSX Server 3 are compatible with VMware Workstation 4 and ESX Server 2 for easier migrating and sharing of virtual machines.

    New LSI Logic Virtual SCSI Adapter for Guest Operating Systems

    The LSI Logic virtual SCSI adapter is included when you install Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 or NetWare guests.

    PXE Boot

    Boot virtual machines over your network and install guest operating systems from a PXE server. For more information, see Using PXE with Virtual Machines.

    Easier Virtual Networking Configuration

    On Windows hosts, use the Virtual Network Editor to configure virtual networking easily. For more information, see Networking.

    Network Adapter Teaming Support

    On Windows hosts, virtual machines can bridge to teamed or bonded host network adapters. For more information, see Configuring Bridged Networking When Using Teamed Network Interface Cards on Your Host.

    Generic SCSI Tape Backup Support

    Back up virtual machines using popular backup software and SCSI tape devices. For more information, see Backing Up Virtual Machines and the GSX Server Host.

    Using DVD-ROM and CD-ROM Drives on Remote Clients

    If you're connected to a virtual machine remotely from a client, you can use the local DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive to install software or copy data without needing to use the drive on the GSX Server host. For more information, see Using the DVD-ROM or CD-ROM Drive on a Client.

    Improved Virtual DVD-ROM and CD-ROM Drive Support

    Read multisession DVD-ROM and CD-ROM media. Burn CD-ROMs in your guest operating systems.

    Debugging Support in Virtual Machines

    GSX Server supports user- and kernel-level debuggers in virtual machines.

    New Operating System Support

    VMware GSX Server 3 provides support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0 patch 3, and Turbolinux Server 8.0 and Workstation 8.0 hosts. New supported guest operating systems include Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0; SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 patch 2; NetWare 6.5 Server; FreeBSD 4.6.2, 4.8, 5.0 and 5.1 (prerelease version); and Turbolinux Server 7.0, 8.0 and Workstation 8.0. Experimental support for Microsoft Windows code-named Longhorn is provided.

    New Linux Kernel Support

    Run your Linux guest operating systems with the new 2.6 kernel.

    New Support Scripts

    When you file support requests, please use the new support scripts to collect data that help us diagnose your problems. For details, see Reporting Problems.

    Automatically Check for Product Updates

    VMware GSX Server now checks automatically to see if updates for the product are available. You can specify what interval to use for the automatic check or switch to manual checks only. For more information, see Updating GSX Server Software Automatically.

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