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Release Notes for VMware vCenter Lab Manager 4.0.1

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Last Document Update: June 2, 2010

VMware vCenter Lab Manager 4.0.1 | December 10, 2009 | Build number: 1233

VMware vCenter Lab Manager is an application that provides a rapid provisioning portal and image library management system. This system can be used to automate the setup, storage, and teardown of multimachine software configurations as well as provide a framework for service transition and release management activities.

Lab Manager leverages VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter to provide virtual infrastructure resources to multiple teams, projects, and geographies from a central location.

Using Lab Manager, you can create a shared virtual machine library that stores commonly used configurations and provides users with self-service access to these configurations for application development, testing, support, training, software demonstrations, release management, and more. Lab Manager administrators control access rights, storage quotas, and deployment policies.

These release notes contain the following sections:

New Features

This section describes the new features and performance enhancements in Lab Manager 4.0.1.

Support for VMware vSphere 4.0 Update 1

Lab Manager 4.0.1 supports ESX Server 4.0 Update 1 and vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Guest Operating Systems

Lab Manager 4.0 provided experimental support for Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit) guest operating systems. Lab Manager 4.0.1 provides full support for these operating systems. In addition, Lab Manager 4.0.1 supports guest customization for Windows 7 (64-bit) using Microsoft Sysprep.

Requirements:

  • vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1 or later, and
  • ESX Server 4.0 Update 1 or later or ESX Server 3.5 Update 5 or later

Thin Provisioning Virtual Machine and Virtual Machine Template Virtual Disks

When you create a virtual machine template or add a virtual hard disk to a virtual machine or virtual machine template, you can choose to use thin provisioning. In Lab Manager 4.0, all virtual hard disks used the thick format.

Thin provisioned format Use this format to save storage space. A thin virtual disk starts small and, at first, uses just as much storage space as it needs for its initial operations. When the virtual disk requires more space, it can grow to its maximum capacity and occupy the entire datastore space originally provisioned to it.
Thick format This is the default virtual disk format. A thick virtual disk does not change its size and from the very beginning occupies the entire datastore space provisioned to it.

NOTE: You cannot specify the disk format if the disk resides on an NFS datastore. The NFS server determines the allocation policy for the disk.

Refer to the known issues related to thin disks.

Improved Version of SSMove

The version of SSMove included with Lab Manager 4.0.1 allows you to move all the trees on a datastore at once. Previously, you had to move each tree on a datastore separately.

Export to vCenter Enhancements

When you export a virtual machine template or configuration from Lab Manager to vCenter, you can select a destination resource pool and inventory location.

System Requirements

Lab Manager supports VMware vSphere 4.0 and 4.0 Update 1 Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus editions. Lab Manager does not work with any other editions of vSphere. To use Host Spanning private networks, you must have an Enterprise Plus license.

Lab Manager requires:

  • VMware ESX/ESXi 3.5 (including Update 1 through Update 5) or 4.0 (including Update 1) hosts, or a mix of these hosts. Do not mix ESX/ESXi 3.5 or 4.0 hosts in the same cluster.
  • VMware vCenter 4.0 (including Update 1)

For details of all requirements and procedures to set up the product, see the Lab Manager 4.0 Installation and Upgrade Guide.

For information on hardware compatibility for ESX/ESXi 3.5 or 4.0, see the guides on hardware compatibility.

Upgrading to Lab Manager 4.0.1

You can upgrade from Lab Manager 4.0, Lab Manager 3.x, or Stage Manager 1.x to Lab Manager 4.0.1. If you are currently using Lab Manager 2.x, you must first upgrade to Lab Manager 3.x before you can upgrade to 4.0.1. You can check the Lab Manager or Stage Manager version with the About option using the Web console.

Supported upgrades:

Version Build Number
Lab Manager 4.0 4.0.0.1140
Lab Manager 3.0.2 3.0.2.56
Lab Manager 3.0.1 3.0.1.378
Lab Manager 3.0 3.0.0.2063
Stage Manager 1.0.1 1.0.1.1970
Stage Manager 1.0 1.0.0.1561

To upgrade Lab Manager from Lab Manager 4.0, run the Lab Manager 4.0.1 installer directly over 4.0. If there are virtual machines deployed on two or more hosts using host spanning, you should first undeploy these virtual machines and then upgrade from Lab Manager 4.0 to Lab Manager 4.0.1.

To upgrade Lab Manager from any other version of Lab Manager or Stage Manager, follow the procedures in the Lab Manager 4.0 Installation and Upgrade Guide.

After you upgrade, you must also upgrade the Lab Manager agent on each ESX host:

  1. Log in to the Lab Manager Web console.
  2. In the left pane, click Resources.
  3. On the Hosts tab, move the pointer over the host name and select Upgrade Agent.
  4. Repeat these steps for each host.

Refer to the known issues related to upgrades.

Known Issues

This section describes known issues in this release.

Upgrade issues

Certain operations may be unavailable after upgrading from Stage Manager 1.x or Lab Manager 3.x

After you upgrade the Lab Manager server, but before you launch the Lab Manager Web console, clear the cache in your Web browser to resolve this issue.

Customized sysprep.inf files are not preserved after upgrading

Lab Manager 4.x stores the Microsoft Sysprep files in a different location than previous versions of Lab Manager. If you have custom sysprep.inf files from a previous Lab Manager installation, you can manually copy them to the new location.

For example, you could copy a custom sysprep.inf file you created in Lab Manager 3.x for Windows 2003 (64-bit) from C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Lab Manager\Tools\CustomizeGuest\Windows\Sysprep\Win2k3_64 to C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware vCenter Lab Manager\Tools\CustomizeGuest\Windows\Sysprep\Win2k3_64

Upgrading Lab Manager may overwrite a custom security certificate

If you install and configure a custom security certificate on the Lab Manager Web server and then upgrade to Lab Manager 4.0.1, the installer may overwrite that security certificate with the default Lab Manager certificate. In this case, replace the Lab Manager certificate with your custom certificate after the upgrade.

Thin provisioned virtual hard disk issues

Making a full clone of a thin disk converts it to a thick disk

If you make a full clone of a virtual machine or virtual machine template that includes a thin provisioned virtual hard disk, the cloning process converts the disk to thick format.

Exporting a virtual machine template with a thin disk converts it to a thick disk

If you export a virtual machine or virtual machine template that includes a thin provisioned virtual hard disk to an SMB share, the export process converts the disk to thick format.

Virtual machine template properties report a virtual hard disk as thick format

If you make a clone of a virtual machine template with a thin provisioned virtual hard disk and then view the properties of the virtual machine template, Lab Manager reports its disk as thick format. However, the template's base disk remains thin-provisioned and all the clones you make from the template retain the advantages of thin provisioning.

System administrators cannot view certain Lab Manager objects from within an organization

When system administrators view workspace configurations, library configurations, network templates, virtual machine templates, or media files from within an organization, the drop-down menus listed below do not display all of the Lab Manager objects available to them:

  • Configurations in Other Organizations
  • Library Configurations in Other Organizations
  • Network Templates in Other Organizations
  • VM Templates in Other Organizations
  • Media in Other Organizations

In order to view all of the available Lab Manager objects, a system administrator must be in the Global organization.

Guest customization fails if the configuration machine name contains a period

If the name of a configuration machine contains a period (.), guest customization fails.

IP forwarding conflicts

Using IP forwarding or DHCP servers in unfenced virtual machines or templates might cause problems with Lab Manager networking. You must disable IP forwarding and DHCP servers in all unfenced virtual machines and templates.

Sample virtual machine template and configuration are not available

When you install Lab Manager, the installation includes a sample virtual machine template (ttylinux-4-ESX3) and a sample configuration (Sample Configuration). If Lab Manager cannot prepare any ESX host during installation, these sample files are not installed.

Networks with overlapping IP pools

You must not create networks with overlapping IP pools. If you create physical or virtual networks with overlapping IP pools, and use these networks in the same configuration, this configuration might have more than one virtual machine or vNIC with the same IP address. This will cause networking problems.

Using Mozilla Firefox on Linux to access the Lab Manager Web console can cause problems with the console plugin

There are a number of possible issues and solutions:

  • In Firefox on Linux, if error messages appear when you try to use a virtual machine's console, you might not have all required libraries installed. For RHEL 64bit, you need to install compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3 on the setup (ideally using yum, which also installs libstdc++.so.5), and for Ubuntu, go to http://packages.debian.org/stable/base/libstdc++5 and install the missing library.
  • If Firefox reports that it could not install the plugin (Cancelled -227), create a directory named "plugins" in $HOME/.mozilla on the client computer. Log in to Lab Manager and install the plugin. Restart Firefox.
  • If Firefox reports LoadPlugin: failed to initialize shared library /root/.mozilla/plugins/libmks.so [libexpat.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory], create a soft link to libexpat.so.

Repairing or unistalling Lab Manager may overwrite or delete a custom security certificate

If you install and configure a custom security certificate on the Lab Manager Web server and then run the Repair command from the Lab Manager 4.0.1 installer, the installer may overwrite that security certificate with the default Lab Manager certificate. In this case, replace the Lab Manager certificate with your custom certificate after the repair operation finishes.

If you install and configure a custom security certificate on the Lab Manager Web server and then uninstall Lab Manager, the installer may delete that security certificate. In this case, you can replace your custom certificate after the uninstall operation finishes.

Lab Manager does not support serverless binding to an LDAP server

The Lab Manager User's Guide includes information about using serverless binding, but the information is incorrect. Lab Manager does not support serverless binding.

Resolved Issues

This section describes resolved issues in this release.

Host preparation does not delete preexisting portgroups that use the same name that Lab Manager uses for physical networks

When preparing a host, Lab Manager creates at least one portgroup based on the system name of the installation. In Lab Manager 4.0, if there were already portgroups with that name on a host (for example, if the host was previously prepared and portgroups remain on it after the host is unprepared), you needed to manually delete the portgroup before you could prepare the host.

This issue is resolved in this release. The Prepare Hosts wizard warns you if the situation exists and deletes the portgroups during host preparation.

Lab Manager portgroups may not be deleted when unpreparing multiple hosts concurrently

This issue is resolved in this release. Portgroups are deleted when a host is unprepared.

Upgrading a previously upgraded Lab Manager 3.0.x installation to Lab Manager 4.0 may unbind physical networks

When upgrading from a Lab Manager 3.0.x installation (that was upgraded from Lab Manager 2.x installation) to Lab Manager 4.0, some network portgroups might not be recognized by Lab Manager.

This issue is resolved for upgrades to Lab Manager 4.0.1. Lab Manager 4.0.1 recognizes portgroups that use the legacy naming convention. The issue still exists for upgrades to Lab Manager 4.0.

Changing ownership of a workspace configuration can make the configuration inaccessible

In Lab Manager 4.0, changing ownership of a workspace configuration always placed the configuration in the primary workspace of the selected organization. In some cases, the new owner did not have access to the primary workspace. In Lab Manager 4.0.1, you can now select a specific workspace when changing the owner of a workspace configuration and you can only select users that can access that workspace.

Lab Manager disconnects with vCenter Server or vSphere

Lab Manager 4.0 could report that it had lost its connection with vCenter Server or vSphere without any apparent network connectivity issues. This is a 3rd party issue that Lab Manager 4.0.1 resolves with a workaround.

Sending an email notification to all vCenter Lab Manager users only sends it to system administrators

In Lab Manager 4.0, email notifications meant to be delivered to all vCenter Lab Manager users were actually only delivered to Lab Manager system administrators. This issue is resolved in this release.

Knowledge Base Articles

This section lists the VMware Knowledge Base articles published in this release. You can click the appropriate link or go to the VMware Knowledge Base and search using the article number.