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VMware vCenter Lab Manager 4.0.4 Release Notes

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VMware vCenter Lab Manager 4.0.4 | 11 August 2011| Build number: 4.0.4.1406

Last Document Update: 11 August 2011

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 vCenter Server 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

Lab Manager 4.0.4 provides the following new features and performance enhancements.

New Guest Customization Support
This release of vCenter Lab Manager provides following guest customization support:

  • Ubuntu 10 32-bit and 64-bit
  • RHEL 6 32-bit and 64-bit

Support for VMware vSphere 4.0 Update 3
Starting with this release, Lab Manager supports ESX/ESXi 4.0 Update 3 and vCenter Server 4.0 Update 3.

New Web Browser Support
This release of vCenter Lab Manager is supported on Mozilla Firefox 4.0 and 5.0 and Internet Explorer 9.0.
Important: The Lab Manager server must have a built-in object certificate to download MKS plug-in to a client machine. For more details, see KB 2004238.

System Requirements

Lab Manager 4.0.4 supports the following ESX/ESXi releases:

  • ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 5
  • ESX/ESXi 4.0 Update 1, Update 2, and Update 3
  • ESX/ESXi 4.1 Update 1

Do not mix ESX/ESXi 3.5, 4.0, and 4.1 hosts in the same cluster.

You can use the hosts in this list with vCenter Server 4.0 and later. To use host spanning private networks, you must have an Enterprise Plus license.

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

For information about hardware compatibility for ESX/ESXi 3.5, ESX/ESXi 4.0, or ESX/ESXi 4.1, see the guides on hardware compatibility.

Upgrading to Lab Manager 4.0.4

You can upgrade to Lab Manager 4.0.4 from Stage Manager 1.x, Lab Manager 3.x, or Lab Manager 4.0.x. If you are currently using Lab Manager 2.x, you must upgrade to Lab Manager 3.x before you upgrade to Lab Manager 4.0.4. You can check the Lab Manager or Stage Manager version by clicking the About option in the Web console.

Before you upgrade Lab Manager, you must upgrade the vCenter Server. See the Lab Manager 4.0 Installation and Upgrade Guide for more information.

If you are installing or upgrading Lab Manager on a Windows Server 2008 machine, ensure that you have downloaded and installed the Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications before you install or upgrade Lab Manager. The Lab Manager 4.0.4 installer displays a warning message if the RSH UNIX utility is not present. Although the installation succeeds, deploying or undeploying a virtual machine might fail. See the known issues for further details.

Supported upgrades:

Version Build Number
Lab Manager 4.0.3 4.0.3.1318
Lab Manager 4.0.2 4.0.2.1269
Lab Manager 4.0.1 4.0.1.1233
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 from Lab Manager 4.0 or later, directly run the Lab Manager 4.0.4 installer. If you have deployed virtual machines on two or more hosts using host spanning, you must undeploy these virtual machines and then upgrade to Lab Manager 4.0.4.

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 step 3 for each host.

Refer to the known issues related to upgrades.

Known Issues

This section describes known issues in this release.

Lab Manager on Microsoft Windows Server 2008

  • If you use a browser on the localhost in Windows Server 2008, the URL is not automatically redirected from http to https. For example, http://localhost on a Lab Manager machine does not work, so you must type https://localhost.

  • Deploying or undeploying a virtual machine fails in a fenced and partially deployed configuration. For more details, see KB 1035448.

Upgrade Issues

You may face the following issues when upgrading:

  • When upgrading from Lab Manager 4.0 to Lab Manager 4.0.1, if you face issues on roles, rights, and vCenter, see KB 1020528.
  • When upgrading from Lab Manager 4.0 to Lab Manager 4.x, after adding an object, such as a table, a view, a function, a stored process, see KB 1033275.
  • When upgrading from Lab Manager 3.x to 4.x, if you face issues on roles, rights, and vCenter, see KB 1033249.

Certain operations might 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 of your Web browser to resolve this issue.

Customized sysprep.inf files are not preserved after upgrading

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

For example, you can copy a custom sysprep.inf file that 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, repairing, or uninstalling Lab Manager might overwrite or delete a custom security certificate

When you install and configure a custom security certificate on the Lab Manager Web server and then upgrade to Lab Manager 4.0.2, run the Repair command from the Lab Manager 4.0.1 installer, or uninstall Lab Manager, the installer might overwrite or delete that security certificate with the default Lab Manager certificate.
You must replace the Lab Manager certificate with your custom certificate after the upgrade.

Before you start, repair, or install an upgrade, you should make a backup of the certificate. You can restore the certificate after the upgrade.

Thin Provisioned Virtual Hard Disk Issues

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 create 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 as thin-provisioned and all the clones you create from the template retain the advantages of thin provisioning.

System administrators cannot view certain Lab Manager objects in 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 menu listed below do not display all 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

Workaround: To view all 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.

Workaround: 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.

Lab Manager Web console page shows an empty box in Mozilla Firefox 3.6 on Linux

Some versions in Firefox 3.6 series removes executable permissions on files that are extracted from the XPI plug-in binary (see http://blog.mozilla.com/addons/2010/01/22/broken-executables-in-extensions-in-firefox-3-6). The console plug-in does not load correctly and the console page appears blank.

Workaround: Browse to the console plug-in installation folder at
/<Firefox_profile_folder>/extensions/VMwareMKSNPRTPlugin@vmware.com/plugins/
and run the chmod 755 * command to manually enable permissions on the files of that folder.

Using Mozilla Firefox on Linux to access the Lab Manager Web console might cause problems with the console plug-in

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 console, you might not have all required libraries installed.
    Workaround: For RHEL 64-bit, you should 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.
  • Firefox might report that it can not install the plug-in (Cancelled -227).
    Workaround: Create a directory named plugins in the $HOME/.mozilla on the client machine. Log in to Lab Manager and install the plug-in. Restart Firefox.
  • Firefox might report an error similar to the following: LoadPlugin: failed to initialize shared library /root/.mozilla/plugins/libmks.so [libexpat.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory].
    Workaround: Create a soft link to libexpat.so.

Lab Manager does not support serverless binding to an LDAP server

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

Resolved Issues

The following issues have been resolved in this release.

  • Pre-check fails with .NET prerequisite error when installing or upgrading Lab Manager
    For releases prior to Lab Manager 4.0.4, if .NET 4.0 is installed on the machine on which you want to install or upgrade Lab Manager, you must uninstall .NET 4.0 before installing or upgrading Lab Manager, and then reinstall .NET 4.0.
    Starting with this release, this issue has been resolved. You can install Lab Manager if you have .NET 2.0 SP1 or later.

  • Activity logs are not cleared and multiple entries of the message Error deleting old Activity Log is present
    Activity logs are not cleared and error messages similar to the following are present in the Lab Manager log file:
    [ActivityLogCleanerTimer] ERROR Monitor.ActivityLogCleanerTimer - Error deleting old Activity Log
    System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: The DELETE statement conflicted with the SAME TABLE REFERENCE constraint "Parent_Jobs_FK1". The conflict occurred in database "LabManager", table "dbo.Jobs", column 'parent_job_id'.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • SOAP API error when executing the GetCurrentWorkspaceName method
    If the organization name and the workspace name are same, then a SOAP API error similar to the following is thrown when executing the GetCurrentWorkspaceName method:
    Error: Expecting single row,got multiple rows for: SELECT * FROM BucketWithParent WHERE name= ...
    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • Unable to unpublish a template
    If the virtual machine name contains the / character, then unpublishing the template fails with an error similar to the following:
    Host "hostname.example.com" has reported an error. Requested file "/<file_path>/<template_name>.vmx" is not writable.
    Starting with this release, when creating a template, Lab Manager checks the characters in the virtual machine name and displays an alert stating that the name must contain only alphanumeric characters, hyphen, underscore, and dot. When creating a template through SOAP API call, an error is thrown if the name contains any nonsupported special characters. However, if you have imported a template created in vCenter Server, then the error still occurs. The workaround for this issue is documented in KB 2004898.

  • Error appears on the console page when taking a snapshot
    Lab Manager throws the following error on the console page:
    INFO Page.AkimbiPage - AkimbiPage OnInit caught and exception System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
    This issue occurs only if DHCP is configured on the primary NIC of the virtual machine and you perform any of the following operations from the Console page:

    • Set a revert point.
    • Revert to a snapshot.
    • Deploy an undeployed virtual machine.

    This issue is resolved in this release. If you are using an earlier release of Lab Manager, refer to KB 1034034 for the workaround.

  • Deployment using Lab Manager Live Link fails
    In earlier releases, virtual machine deployment using Lab Manager Live Link fails with the following error:
    Deploy time network fenced mode selection must be on either none or on all physical networks
    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • Lab Manager fails to retain the device name–MAC address binding if a NIC is removed and re-added to a virtual machine
    If you remove a NIC from a virtual machine and add it again using the Lab Manager GUI, the device name–MAC address binding and the corresponding IP addresses in the guest operating system do not match the ones listed in Lab Manager. This might cause network issues when traffic is routed through the fence.
    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • Test LDAP setting fails even if the Accept All Certificates option is selected
    When you click Test LDAP Settings, Lab Manager uses the details entered on the LDAP tab of the Settings page to test the LDAP setting and not the details from the Lab Manager database. However, if you select the Use LDAPS and Accept All Certificates options, the test LDAP setting fails. You must commit the LDAPS setting in the database by clicking OK on the LDAP tab for the LDAPS settings to work. Starting with this release, you can test the LDAPS settings without committing them to the Lab Manager database.

  • The ListConfigurations SOAP API call fails and throws an exception
    In earlier releases of Lab Manager, the ListConfigurations SOAP API call fails with the following exception:
    javax.xml.ws.soap.SOAPFaultException: Requested Service not found
    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.