VMware vCenter Chargeback 1.0.1 Release Notes
vCenter Chargeback 1.0.1 | 10/27/2009 | Build 204097
Last Document Update: 01/18/2010
Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.
What's in the Release Notes
The release notes cover the following topics:
What's New in this Release
vCenter Chargeback 1.0.1 provides the following new features:
- Support for Windows Authentication
This release of vCenter Chargeback supports Windows Authentication for SQL Server databases. If you are using SQL Server for the vCenter Chargeback database or for the vCenter Server database, then you can configure the application to use Windows Authentication instead of SQL Authentication.
- New computing resource and billing policies added
This release of vCenter Chargeback introduces a new computing resource, vCPU, and two new billing policies, vCPU Count and Memory Size and Fixed Cost and vCPU Count and Memory Size. These policies enable you to calculate cost based on the number of virtual CPUs and the amount of memory allocated to the virtual machines.
- Resource Summary section lists rolled-up usage data for all entities
The Resource Summary section of the chargeback reports show the rolled-up usage data for all the entities.
- Global fixed cost history is retained
This release of vCenter Chargeback lets you to set different cost values for different time periods on the same global fixed cost. The old values are retained and not overwritten.
- Ability to undo to the most recent operation on the chargeback hierarchy
The most recent operation on the chargeback hierarchy can be undone. This undo feature is available for entities that are added or moved in the hierarchy. The undo option is not available for rename and delete operations.
- Ability to use the vCenter Chargeback APIs
vCenter Chargeback APIs provide an interface to programmatically use the various features of vCenter Chargeback. As an application developer, you can use these APIs to build chargeback applications or integrate vCenter Chargeback with your internal billing systems and compliance policies. Please do note that the APIs released with this version of vCenter Chargeback are only for a technical preview.
This section provides information about the supported operating systems, database management systems, and vCenter Server versions. The vCenter Chargeback User's Guide provides detailed information about the system requirements for installing and running the application.
Supported Operating Systems
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008
You can install and run vCenter Chargeback on any supported localized Windows operating system. However, all the labels and text messages in the installer and application user interface (including the plug-in in the VI Client) are displayed in English only. Also, users must enter only ASCII and extended ASCII characters. The application does not recognize non-ASCII characters.
Supported Database Management Systems
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (Standard and Enterprise)
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Standard and Enterprise)
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express
- Oracle Database 10g (Standard and Enterprise)
- Oracle Database 11g (Standard and Enterprise)
Supported vCenter Server Versions
- VirtualCenter Server 2.5 Update 3
- VirtualCenter Server 2.5 Update 4
- VirtualCenter Server 2.5 Update 5
- vCenter Server 4.0
- vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1
Before you install and use the VMware vCenter Chargeback application, you must perform the following tasks:
- Create a vCenter Chargeback database and database user
You must create a database for vCenter Chargeback to store the application-specific data. In addition, you must also create a database user having permissions to create and delete schema, as well as read from and write to the database.
- Set a static IP address on the machine
You must set a static IP address on the machine on which you plan to install vCenter Chargeback. You can obtain a static IP address from your network administrator. Preferably, obtain and set static IP addresses on all the servers and databases that the application will communicate with.
- Ensure that MSI installation is enabled
You must ensure that MSI installation is enabled on the machine. If it is not, you must manually install Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86) before running the vCenter Chargeback installer.
- Check whether the required ports are free
Ensure that the ports that you specify during the installation are free. While installing vCenter Chargeback, you must specify the port numbers for the HTTP port (default 8080), load-balancer port (default 8009), and HTTPS port (default 443).
- Ensure that port exceptions are configured on Windows Firewall
If Windows Firewall is enabled, you must set port exceptions for the HTTP, load-balancer, and HTTPS ports on the Windows Firewall. If these exceptions are not set, the application will not be usable.
- Ensure that system time of all the servers and databases are in sync
You must ensure that the system time of the machines on which you install vCenter Chargeback and vCenter Chargeback database are in sync. If you plan to install a separate data collector on a different machine, then the system time of this machine must be in sync with that of the other machines.
- Ensure that the Windows user has the Log on as a service permission
If you want to use the Windows Authentication option for the vCenter Chargeback database, you must ensure that the Windows user has the Log on as a service permission. If this permission is not set on the user, the installation fails. Also, the installer must be run in the context of this Windows user.
Download the vCenter-CB-1.0.1-204097.zip file, and extract the contents. To install vCenter Chargeback:
- Run the vCenter-CB.exe file.
The installation wizard is displayed.
- Click Next on the Introduction screen.
- Accept the end-user license agreement, and click Next.
- Provide the path for the installation directory, and click Next.
Ensure that the installation directory path has at least one directory (for example, C:\vCenterChargeback10\) and does not point to just a drive (for example, C:\). If the specified installation directory exists, ensure that it is empty. If the specified installation directory does not exist, the installer will create the directory.
- Configure the following vCenter Chargeback database-related information, and click Next:
If the installer successfully connects to the database, the next screen is displayed.
- Database Type: The type of database used to create the vCenter Chargeback database. This can be either SQL SERVER or ORACLE.
- Database URL: The IP address of the system on which the vCenter Chargeback database is installed along with either the port at which the database listener service is running or the vCenter Chargeback database instance name.
For Oracle Database, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
For SQL Server, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
- <IP Address>:<TNS Listener Port>
- <Host Name>:<TNS Listener Port>
- <IP Address>\<Database Instance Name>
- <Host Name>\<Database Instance Name>
- Database Port: (Optional) The port on which the database service is listening for requests.
- Database Name: Name of the database in which vCenter Chargeback stores the application-specific data.
- SQL Authentication Mode: This option is applicable only for SQL Server database. For an SQL Server database, the authentication type can be either SQL Server Authentication or Windows Authentication.
- Database Username: The name of the database user. The database user must have privileges to create and delete schema, as well as read from and write to the database. If you select Windows Authentication for SQL Authentication Mode, you must provide the Windows user account name. The
user name must be of the form <Domain_Name>\<User_Name>. The user must have the Log on as a service permission.
- Database Password: Password for the user name that you have provided. If you select Windows Authentication for SQL Authentication Mode, you must provide the password for the Windows user
- Provide the following information for the vCenter Chargeback application, and click Next:
If the specified ports are free, the next screen is displayed.
- IP Address: Static IP address of the machine on which you are installing vCenter Chargeback. Do not use localhost instead of the IP address.
- HTTP Port: An unused HTTP port through which vCenter Chargeback communicates.
- Load-Balancer Port: An unused port through which vCenter Chargeback can communicate with the load balancer (Apache Server).
- Server Instance Name: A user-defined name for the vCenter Chargeback instance. This name is used by the load balancer to identify the instance.
- Provide the following details for installing the load balancer, and click Next:
If the specified port is free, the next screen is displayed.
- IP Address: Static IP address of the machine on which you are installing vCenter Chargeback. Do not use localhost instead of the IP address.
- Admin Email Address: Email address of the server administrator.
- HTTPS Port: An unused port through which the Apache Server communicates. The load balancer listens on this port for user requests.
- Enter a user name and password for the administrative account that will be used to manage the vCenter Chargeback application, and click Next.
The password must be less than or equal to 24 characters in length.
- The Install Data Collector option is selected by
default. Click Next.
You must have at least one instance of the data collector that is running and registered with the application for the database synchronization jobs to run.
- Review the information displayed on the Pre-Installation Summary screen, and click Install.
The installer starts installing the various components and creating the database schema. If the installation is successful, the URL for accessing the vCenter Chargeback application is displayed.
- Note this URL, and click Done.
For detailed install and upgrade instruction, refer to the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide.
This section lists the issues that have been fixed in this release.
Hierarchy Management Issues
Unable to delete chargeback hierarchy history
In this release, you can revert the last add or move operation on a chargeback hierarchy. The revert operation purges the entity relations from the chargeback database, and therefore, the add or move operation is not accounted in the cost calculation. However, you can revert only the last add or move operation.
- On deleting a chargeback hierarchy, hierarchy does not exist message appears
If you are accessing a chargeback hierarchy from more than one client (Web browser) and delete the hierarchy from one of the clients, vCenter Chargeback displays the following error:
Hierarchy with Id 'N' does not exist.
where N is some positive number.
This error appears on other clients when you try to perform any action on this hierarchy. You must refresh the Hierarchy Manager tab by selecting another hierarchy.
This issue is resolved in this release.
Report Management Issues
Columns and rows in the report are misaligned
If you are generating reports one after the other without performing any intermediate operation, some reports might have the columns and rows misaligned. This issue exists only in the vCenter Chargeback 1.0 user interface. If you export the report to a PDF or RTF file, the columns and rows are displayed properly. This issue is fixed in this release of vCenter Chargeback.
Error occurs when accessing the Report Template tab
When you access the Report Template tab, the application might display the following error:
Error in response format. Please contact your system administrator.
You can ignore the error message by clicking OK and proceed to customize the report template. This error is displayed each time you access the Report Template tab till you customize the report template. After the report template is customized, this error is not thrown.
This issue is resolved in this release.
The purgeStatsData_oracle.sql script fails with a bind variable error
The purgeStatsData_oracle.sql script when run in the vCenter Chargeback database (an Oracle Database), fails with the following error:
Bind Variable "01" is NOT DECLARED
This issue is fixed in this release.
The known issues in this release are listed in this section. Workarounds, if any, are provided in the issue description.
Hierarchy Management Issues
Hierarchy creation fails with the error Hierarchy with name 'X' already exists
If you have registered vCenter Chargeback with a vCenter Server and try to create a hierarchy with the same name as the vCenter Server, the application displays an error similar to the following:
Hierarchy with name 'X' already exists.
where X is the provided name of the hierarchy, which is same as the vCenter Server name.
This error occurs because when the application is registered with a vCenter Server, vCenter Chargeback creates a default hierarchy for the vCenter Server with the same name as the vCenter Server name.
vCenter Chargeback does not show the status of the virtual machines
This release of vCenter Chargeback does not show the status of the virtual machines in the chargeback hierarchy and vCenter Server hierarchy. All the virtual machines in the hierarchies have the same icon and do not indicate whether they are powered on, suspended, or powered off. Also, the vCenter Server hierarchy displays all the virtual machines, including the ones that are suspended or powered off. This, however, does not affect the usage and cost calculation. The usage statistics are tracked by vCenter Server and stored in the vCenter Server database. This information is used by vCenter Chargeback to calculate the costs.
Sort order of the entities in a hierarchy is different in vCenter Chargeback as compared to that in the vSphere Client
In vCenter Chargeback, the entities at each level in a hierarchy are sorted alphabetically. Therefore, the sort order of the entities in a hierarchy is different in vCenter Chargeback and vSphere Client. There is currently no workaround for this issue.
Changes to a chargeback hierarchy are not reflected in the concurrent user sessions
Hierarchy creation, deletion, and renaming operations performed by a user are not automatically reflected in concurrent user sessions. The concurrent users must log out and then log in again to see these changes. Any other change to the chargeback hierarchy, such as adding or deleting an entity, might not reflect immediately in the concurrent user sessions. After a change is made to the chargeback hierarchy, the hierarchy must be manually refreshed in the concurrent user sessions. Users can refresh the chargeback hierarchy by clicking the refresh button next to the chargeback hierarchy or by loading another chargeback hierarchy and then reloading the required chargeback hierarchy. The refresh button appears only if vCenter Chargeback detects changes to the chargeback hierarchy.
Chargeback hierarchy shows vApps as resource pools
In this release of vCenter Chargeback, the icon used to represent vApps in the chargeback hierarchy is same as that used to represent resource pools. There is currently no workaround for this issue.
Re-added virtual machine does not have the cost information configured on it
If you delete an ESX host from a vCenter Server, all the virtual machines belonging to this ESX host are deleted from the chargeback hierarchy. After re-adding the ESX host to the vCenter Server, you can add the virtual machines on this ESX host back to the respective chargeback hierarchies in vCenter Chargeback. However, any entity-specific cost configuration set on the virtual machines prior to deleting the ESX host from the vCenter Server is lost. This information is not available on the virtual machines after they are re-added to the chargeback hierarchies. You must, therefore, migrate all the virtual machines on an ESX host before removing the ESX host from the vCenter Server.
Changes to the chargeback hierarchy are not reflected immediately
If the changes made to a chargeback hierarchy are not displayed immediately in the Web browser, you must refresh the chargeback hierarchy to view the changes. You can refresh the chargeback hierarchy by selecting another hierarchy and then reselecting the required chargeback hierarchy.
Report Management Issues
Blank space in the report under the Chargeback Cost Details section
This is a formatting issue with the report. If you deselect the Show cost model info option on the Cost Info tab, the cost model information is not displayed in the report, which results in a blank space between the Chargeback Cost Details section and the Usage Charges section for each entity.
Scheduled reports for a vCenter Server user might not contain the correct entities
A report scheduled for a vCenter Server user might contain the usage and cost details for entities on which the user does not have permissions. The report might also exclude some entities on which the user has permissions. There is currently no workaround for this issue.
Units for Network Received and Transmitted is not displayed in the Chargeback Cost Details section of the report
Depending on the number and type of information selected for display in the Chargeback Cost Details section of a report, the units for the Network Received and Transmitted computing resource might not be displayed in the report. The value for Network Received and Transmitted is displayed in GB/Hr.
Report displays Disk IO and Network IO in the Chargeback Resource Summary section
In this release of vCenter Chargeback, Disk Read and Write is displayed as Disk IO and Network Received and Transmitted is displayed as Network IO in the Chargeback Resource Summary section of a report.
CPU usage is 100% during report generation
If five or more reports each having more than 1000 pages are generated simultaneously, the CPU usage of the machine on which vCenter Chargeback is running might reach 100%. The CPU usage reduces after the reports are generated. There is currently no workaround for this issue.
Report generation schedule is automatically changed
If vCenter Chargeback stops running and is restarted, all the reports generation schedules that were set to run during the period that the application was not running are immediately started. Also, these report generation schedules are automatically updated to run at this new time. For example, suppose you have created a report generation schedule that generates a daily report at 6:00 PM. If the application stops running at 4:30 PM, and you restart vCenter Chargeback at 9:00 AM the next day, the report that had to be generated at 6:00 PM the previous day is generated at 9:00 AM instead. Also, the corresponding schedule is updated automatically to run at 9:00 AM everyday.
If five or more report generation schedules did not run because the application was not running and each report has more than 1000 pages, then the application might become nonresponsive as soon as it starts. The CPU usage of the machine on which vCenter Chargeback is running might reach 100%. Wait for all the reports to get generated before performing any operation.
Errors displayed when rescheduling an archived report
When you reschedule an archived report, vCenter Chargeback might display errors if the archived report was generated by a report schedule that is currently expired. vCenter Chargeback displays the error
Invalid at the top level of the document. No data.
If you click OK on the error dialog, the Schedule Report screen is displayed. After you enter the schedule information and click Schedule, vCenter Chargeback displays the error
An error has occurred. Please contact system administrator.
The new report schedule is created and can be accessed from the Scheduled Reports page. However, this new schedule has incorrect information. You must change the schedule information for this newly created schedule from the Scheduled Reports page.
Alternatively, you can create a new schedule for the report, if the report schedule has expired.
User Management Issues
Search for LDAP users returns LDAP users and LDAP groups
In the Permissions page of the Users & Role tab, when you search for users of the type LDAP User, the displayed search results include the LDAP users as well as the LDAP groups that match the search criteria. If the search criteria is not provided, then all the LDAP users and groups are displayed. There is currently no workaround for this issue.
Non-ASCII characters are not displayed correctly in the exported report and the report sent by email
If a report includes non-ASCII characters, these characters are not displayed correctly if the report is exported to the PDF or CSV format. vCenter Chargeback, however, displays these characters correctly. This issue also occurs when the report is sent through an email. If the report name has non-ASCII characters, the generated report name and emailed report name might differ.
The date format in the report is not the same as the date format in the application
If you are running vCenter Chargeback on a localized operating system, such as Japanese Windows, the date format in the generated report might differ from the date format in the vCenter Chargeback application. There is no workaround for this issue.
Errors displayed while accessing vCenter Chargeback from a localized version of Windows Server 2003
In this release of vCenter Chargeback, some errors might occur when you access the application from a Web browser on a localized version of Windows Server 2003 operating system. You should access vCenter Chargeback from a Web browser on any operating system other than Windows Server 2003. There are currently no workarounds for this issue.
Virtual Appliance Issues
Unable to download the data collector from the vCenter Chargeback virtual appliance
The vCenter Chargeback virtual appliance is only for evaluation purpose. Therefore, this release of vCenter Chargeback supports only a single data collector instance with the virtual appliance. This data collector instance is embedded in the virtual appliance.
- Apply Cost Template API fails if the rate factors are not set on the cost template
If the Apply Cost Template API is called for a cost template that does not have any rate factor set, an exception with response XML similar to the following is raised:
<Error majorErrorCode="400" minorErrorCode="3004" message="At least one computing resource must be selected." />
The only workaround is to set the rate factors. This issue, however, does not occur if a cost template without any rate factors is applied from the application user interface.
Unable to download and install the vCenter Chargeback plug-in from the Plug-ins Manager Window of the VI Client
This is a VI Client issue. Restart the VI Client and accept the vCenter Chargeback SSL certificate. This might rectify the issue if the VI Client is able to communicate with vCenter Chargeback. If the VI Client and vCenter Chargeback are on different network domains, this issue might persist.
VI Client does not render the hierarchy completely or displays error while rendering
If you are using VI Client 2.5 with Internet Explorer 6 on a Windows Server 2003 machine, the VI Client might display some errors, such as Insufficient Memory, when rendering a very large hierarchy (having more than 1000 entities). Also, the hierarchy rendering is very slow. A probable workaround is to access vCenter Chargeback directly from a Web browser instead of using the vCenter Chargeback plug-in on the VI Client.
vCenter Chargeback instance is not recognized as a part of the cluster
If you have a two-instance cluster and the first vCenter Chargeback instance fails due to some reason, all the requests currently being served by the first instance are moved to the second instance. After the first instance is restarted, if the second instance fails, the request handled by the second instance are not moved to the first instance. That is, the failover does not happen because the second instance does not recognize the first instance as a part of the cluster. A workaround for this issue is to restart all the vCenter Chargeback instances in the cluster. This issue also occurs for clusters with more than two instances. If any of the vCenter Chargeback instances fails and is restarted, that instance starts serving user requests but is not recognized by the cluster until other instances are restarted.
The Number of Chargeback Entities value displayed in the System Health tab is incorrect
The Number of Chargeback Entities value reported on the System Health tab of vCenter Chargeback includes the chargeback entities created in the application, the vCenter Server entities added to the application, and also the entities deleted from the application. As a result, there is a mismatch in the reported number of chargeback entities and the actual number of chargeback entities in the application.
vCenter Chargeback does not automatically connect to the database after a database service restart
If the vCenter Chargeback database fails and is restarted, vCenter Chargeback does not automatically connect to the database. Instead, vCenter Chargeback displays an error message similar to Error unknown object. You must restart vCenter Chargeback for the database connection to be established. This issue exists only with an Oracle database and not with an SQL Server database.
vCenter Chargeback GUI does not display the cursor in the text input fields
If you are using the Mozilla Firefox 2.x Web browser, when you click in a text input field in the application GUI, the cursor might not be displayed. You can, however, enter values in the text input fields. This issue does not occur with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x and 7.x, as well as with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.11 and later releases.
Imported vCenter Server attributes are not deleted when the vCenter Server entity is deleted
While adding a vCenter Server entity to a chargeback hierarchy, you can import the attributes defined on this entity. However, these attributes are not deleted from the vCenter Chargeback application when the corresponding vCenter Server entity is deleted. You can manually delete these attributes from the application if the attributes are no longer required and are not assigned to any other entities across the chargeback hierarchies defined in the application.
Database URL in the error message is incorrect
When you are adding a vCenter Server to vCenter Chargeback, the application might display an error similar to the following:
Unable to connect to the vCenter Database Server:jdbc:sqlserver://18.104.22.1681sqlexp_vim;databaseName=vim_vcdb
The error message might not contain the backslash (\) character in the database URL (<IP Address>\<InstanceName>). The error indicates that the login credentials for the vCenter Server database are incorrect and not that the database URL is incorrect.
Unable to uninstall the vCenter Chargeback plug-in from VI Client
If you register vCenter Chargeback as a plug-in when adding vCenter Server, you must ensure that the Register As VI Client Plugin option is deselected for all the vCenter Server instances added to vCenter Chargeback before uninstalling vCenter Chargeback. If you uninstall the application without deselecting this option, you cannot remove the plug-in from the VI Client. This issue also occurs with the vCenter Chargeback virtual appliance. Before deleting a virtual appliance, you must ensure that the Register As VI Client Plugin option is deselected for all the vCenter Server instances added to the virtual appliance.