Lab Manager 2.5.1 Release Notes

Notes on VMware Lab Manager 2.5.1, Build 547

The release notes contain these topics:

For the more information on the product, see the Lab Manager documentation web page and the VMware Knowledge Base (KB). To view Lab Manager KB articles, choose VMware Lab Manager in the Product menu and click Search.

What's New in This Release?

Lab Manager 2.5.1 continues to improve the product line, tightening up implementation and adding features that ease the usage of the system:
  • More granular user control. Ability for the administrator to allow or disallow users from template usage and actions that can strongly impact shared storage.
  • Improved administrator controls. Administrators can now change ownership of items, direct administrator emails to the appropriate users or email alias, and test SMTP.
  • IP address savings. Ease consumption of IP addresses when fence NATting is not required.
  • Longer template names. Template names can now be more verbose.
  • Improved storage management. Improvements to storage usage reports.
  • Swapping ISO images. Ease installs by allowing ISO images to be swapped faster.
  • All interim patches. Lab Manager 2.5.1 rolls up all interim patch releases, including:
    • Templates are not restricted to 4Gb memory footprint
    • Better handling of ESX and VMFS-3 limitations
    • More scalable LDAP implementation
    • Improved email filtering


For details on all requirements and procedures to set up the product, see the VMware Lab Manager Installation Guide. Make sure to review the hardware compatibility list for ESX Server 3.0.1 and 3.0.2 at:


NOTE: Lab Manager 2.5.1 does not support ESX Server 3.5.

Upgrading Lab Manager

You must have Lab Manager 2.5 in order to upgrade to Lab Manager 2.5.1. To upgrade, see the VMware Lab Manager Installation Guide.

NOTE: You do not need to undeploy Lab Manager virtual machines in order to upgrade.

Resolved Issues

These issues and workarounds existed in Lab Manager 2.5 and are now fixed:

-999 unknown error reported when Lab Manager tries to deploy a virtual machine to a managed server that is in maintenance mode: Lab Manager no longer attempts to deploy virtual machines to servers that are in maintenance mode. When a server is in maintenance mode, the In Service column in the Managed Servers page of the Lab Manager console includes a red X and the text "Maintenance Mode". After the server is removed from maintenance mode, the In Service column continues to display a red X and Lab Manager continues to disallow deployments to that server until a Lab Manager administrator chooses Allow Deployments.

Template and configuration lease expiration alerts are off by default: Lab Manager now sets the Deployment Lease Expiration Alert and Storage Lease Expiration Alert to one day for new users. These users will receive an email one day before Lab Manager automatically undeploys or deletes (or marks for deletion) their templates or configurations. Existing users whose settings have not been modified will not receive any lease expiration alert emails.

Lab Manager reports an error about the user account being disabled if an LDAP user is not in the top level OU: This issue generally affected users who belonged to a lot of LDAP groups and has been fixed for Lab Manager 2.5.1.

Managed servers running slowly: Lab Manager now cleans up various temporary files when the Lab Manager Agent starts or stops. Previously these files could accumulate and cause ESX server slow downs.

Loss of network connectivity in fenced configurations: This was caused by the external router Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache holding stale entries. Lab Manager can now clear the ARP cache for IP addresses associated with fenced configurations.

Cannot set the memory for a template to more than 4096MB: With Lab Manager 2.5.1, you can specify up to 16384MB of memory for templates.

Email addresses cannot include hyphens: With Lab Manager 2.5.1, user email addresses can include hyphens.

-999 error when deploying a linked clone: There is a VMFS-3 limitation where each tree of linked clones can only be run on 8 ESX servers. For instance, if there is a tree of disks off the same base disk with 40 leaf nodes in the tree, all 40 leaf nodes can be simultaneously run but they can only run on up to 8 ESX hosts. If Lab Manager tries to deploy a linked clone in that tree to a 9th ESX server, a -999 error is returned from ESX to Lab Manager and the deploy operation fails.

Lab Manager 2.5.1 will not deploy a linked clone in a tree to a 9th ESX server. If possible, you should configure Managed Server to LUN mapping such that each LUN is attached to 8 or fewer ESX hosts. This can be done in the Server Properties interface of Lab Manager and you do not need to remove HBAs to do this mapping.

Cannot deploy virtual machines because there are no MAC addresses available: For new Lab Manager 2.5.1 installations, the Lab Manager system now has 2048 MAC addresses available for use. If you upgrade from Lab Manager 2.5, there are still only 1020 MAC addresses.

Image files in the Media Library list are not sorted properly: When you use the Insert ISO or Insert Floppy command and select the image file from the Media Library drop-down menu, the files are now sorted alphabetically for ease of use.

Known Issues and Bugs

Review these bugs:

LM Tools and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 templates

Lab Manager customizes virtual machines (IP address, machine name, security identifier (SID), and more) using LM Tools. Users can specify the default LM Tools SID mechanism in Settings > LM Tools, where they can choose SIDgen or Sysprep. The option you should choose can be affected by the mix of Windows Server 2003 32-bit and 64-bit templates in your Lab Manager environment.

  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit templates only):
    You can choose either SID mechanism. If you choose Sysprep, copy the Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) Sysprep files to the appropriate Lab Manager directory (for example, C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Lab Manager Server\Tools\LMTool\Sysprep\win2k3) before building the custom LM Tools ISO.
  • Windows Server 2003 (64-bit templates only):
    SIDgen does not support 64-bit operating systems, so in this case, you must use Sysprep. Copy the Windows Server 2003 (64-bit) Sysprep files to the appropriate Lab Manager directory before building the custom LM Tools ISO. Windows Server 2003 has different Sysprep files for 32-bit and 64-bit, so make sure to copy the correct files.
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit and 64-bit templates):
    In order to support 64-bit, you must use Sysprep. Copy the Windows Server 2003 (64-bit) Sysprep files to the appropriate Lab Manager directory before building the custom LM Tools ISO. Since the Windows Server 2003 (64-bit) Sysprep files will not work for Windows Server 2003 (32-bit), you must modify the SID mechanism for your Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) templates. In the Machine Template properties page, choose SIDgen for all Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) templates.

Configurations based on Microsoft 2003 and XP Templates Require Manual Logon

If you deploy configurations that use Windows 2003 and Windows XP guest operating systems, autologin does not work because of an issue with the LM Tools utility.

The workaround involves manually logging on to the system to allow LM Tools to operate properly.

DHCP IP Address Allocation on Virtual Machine Running Windows NT 4.0 Fails

If you base a configuration on a Windows NT 4.0 SP6 template published with a static IP setting, and you select the DHCP IP address allocation option for a virtual machine in that configuration, Windows NT keeps the static IP setting of the template rather than the DHCP setting of the virtual machine.

Lab Manager Cannot Recognize Changes to the VMkernel Network Configuration

If you make a change to the VMkernel network, such as adding or removing the VMkernel, Lab Manager might take up to five minutes (the default refresh period configured in the Lab Manager Web console) to notice the change. Errors might occur if you attempt operations before the refresh period.

If you need Lab Manager to become alert to the change earlier than the refresh period, restart the VMware LM Monitor service.

Managed Server Systems with ESX Server 3.0.2 do not support .vfd Floppy Files

If you use ESX Server 3.0.2 on a Managed Server system, you cannot use the .vfd floppy format for media files.

The workaround is to rename the file using a .flp extension.

Upgrading Lab Manager Server on a System with Multiple NICs Fails

If you upgrade Lab Manager Server on a machine with two or more NICS that have static IP addresses, the installer might generate error 1720.

The workaround is to disable all NICs not associated with the current Lab Manager installation. The only active NIC left on the system must be the one with the IP address used by Lab Manager.