VMware

VMware vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 Release Notes

vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 | 01 September 2011 | Build 472877

Last Document Update: 07 September 2011

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.


Update History:
07/09/2011 – Updated the Supported VMware Cloud Director Versions section. vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 supports only vCloud Director 1.5. It is not backward compatible with earlier vCloud Director releases.

What's in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

What's New in this Release

vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 provides the following new features:

  • Support for Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC)
    vCenter Chargeback now supports Oracle RAC. You can deploy your vCenter Chargeback database in an Oracle RAC environment. To access such a database, when specifying the database details, use a the custom JDBC URL. You must provide a well formed JDBC URL that starts strictly with "jdbc" (case-sensitive) and includes the database name. You can also specify a JDBC URL for an SQL Server database.

  • Support for VMware vSphere 5.0
    This release of vCenter Chargeback supports vSphere 5.0. You can now add vCenter Server 5.0, which manage ESXi 5.0 hosts, to vCenter Chargeback, and generate various cost and usage reports for the different entities in your vCenter Chargeback hierarchy. You can also add a vCenter Appliance to vCenter Chargeback. However, the vCenter Appliance must be configured with an external database and not the embedded database.

  • Support for VMware vCloud Director 1.5
    This release of vCenter Chargeback supports vCloud Director 1.5. You can now integrate your vCenter Chargeback setup with a vCloud Director 1.5 setup. You can also configure the Cloud Data Collectors to communicate with an SQL Server database that is used as a vCloud Director database.
    Important: If you are upgrading your vCloud Director setup to vCloud Director 1.5, ensure that you perform this upgrade operation before upgrading your vCenter Chargeback setup to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.

When you upgrade your virtual environment to vSphere 5.0 and your vCloud Director setup to vCloud Director 1.5, vCenter Chargeback continues to support the features in these releases that were also available in the previous release of these products. However, the some of the new features introduced in these releases might not be supported.

In addition, vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 includes the following performance enhancements and changes that were a part of the vCenter Chargeback 1.6.1 release.

  • Improved performance for report generation
    In earlier releases, report generation on a hierarchy, for a duration in which a large number of changes have been effected in the hierarchy, takes a very long time to complete or fails with errors. Hierarchy changes include addition, deletion, and moving entities in the hierarchy. Creation, deletion, or movement of entities, such as virtual machines, resource pools, and vApps, in a vCenter Server added to vCenter Chargeback, or in a vCloud Director automatically manifests itself as hierarchical change in the vCenter Chargeback hierarchies.
    In this release, the report generation time is improved and you can successfully generate reports on hierarchies for a duration in which around 3000 hierarchy changes have been effected. Also, other improvements related to report execution time and memory footprint are added to this release of vCenter Chargeback.

  • Changes to the vCloud Director organization description are reflected in vCenter Chargeback
    If you have installed the vCloud Data Collectors and added the corresponding vCenter Server instances in vCloud Director to vCenter Chargeback, then the organization hierarchies in vCloud Director are imported in to vCenter Chargeback at the first run of the data collector jobs. Any changes to the organization description or resource allocations effected in vCloud Director are not reflected in your vCenter Chargeback 1.6 setup. In this release, these issues have been fixed. Modifications to the network services, storage, CPU, vCPU, and memory allocation and any change made to the organization description are reflected in vCenter Chargeback.

  • Absolute usage values for external traffic is considered when generating reports
    In earlier releases, although you set the base rate in the cost model for the rate at which the data is transmitted or received over the external network, the data collector fetches the actual amount of data transmitted or received instead of the rate at which the data was transmitted or received. As a result, the cost computed for the external data transmitted and received is incorrect in the report.
    In this release, when creating or modifying a cost model the Duration menu is disabled for the External Network Transmit and External Network Receive computing resources in the Base Rates tab. Therefore, you define the base rate for per MB of data transmitted or received over the external network and not for the rate at which data is transmitted or received.

vCenter Chargeback Documentation

All documents released with vCenter Chargeback 1.6 are also applicable for 1.6.2. No changes have been effected in to any of the documents.

System Requirements

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 with SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)

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 for the vSphere Client) are displayed in English only. The application supports ASCII, extended ASCII, and non-ASCII characters. However, the characters are rendered correctly only if the client machine uses the appropriate fonts and the Web browser supports all the characters. The installer does not support all characters. Ensure that the information entered in the installer contains only the supported characters as specified in the install and upgrade instructions in these release notes and in the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide.

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
  • VirtualCenter Server 2.5 Update 6
  • vCenter Server 4.0
  • vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1
  • vCenter Server 4.0 Update 2
  • vCenter Server 4.0 Update 3
  • vCenter Server 4.1
  • vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1
  • vCenter Server 5.0

Supported Web Browsers and Flash Player Plug-in

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x, and 8.x
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and above
  • Adobe Flash Player for Windows Plug-in version 10.1
  • Adobe Flash Player for Linux version 10.1 (Plug-in for Mozilla Firefox running on Linux Platform)

Supported VMware Cloud Director Versions

  • VMware Cloud Director 1.5

Prerequisites for Installing vCenter Chargeback

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. Ensure that this database is not configured to be case-sensitive. 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 for 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 for 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. You cannot use the application without setting these port exceptions.
  • Ensure that system times of all the servers and databases are in sync
    You must ensure that the system times 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 run in the context of this Windows user.
  • Ensure that the SQL Server Browser service is running if you are using a Microsoft SQL Server database and using the database instance name and a dynamic database instance port to connect to the vCenter Chargeback database.
  • Ensure that the vCenter Chargeback database is case-insensitive.

Quick Install

Download the vCenter-CB-1.6.2-472877.zip file, and extract the contents on to the machine on which you want to install vCenter Chargeback. Do not run the installer from a remote machine. To install a fresh instance of vCenter Chargeback:

  1. Run the vCenter-CB.exe file.
    The installation wizard is displayed.
  2. Click Next on the Introduction screen.
  3. Accept the end-user license agreement, and click Next.
  4. Provide the path for the installation directory, and click Next.
    Ensure that the installation directory path has at least one directory (for example, C:\vCenterChargeback162\) 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. Also, the directory path must contain only ASCII characters.
  5. Configure the following vCenter Chargeback database-related information, and click Next:
    • 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. The database instance name must contain only ASCII characters.
      For Oracle Database, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
      • <IP Address>
      • <Host Name>
      For SQL Server, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
      • <IP Address>
      • <Host Name>
      • <IP Address>\<Database Instance Name>
      • <Host Name>\<Database Instance Name>
      You can also specify a well formed JDBC URL that starts with 'jdbc' and contains the database name.
    • Database Port: (Optional) The port on which the database service is listening for requests. If the port number is not specified, the installer uses the default port. For an Oracle database, you must specify the TNS listener port if you are not using the default port 1521. For an SQL Server database, specify the database instance port if you are using a static port.
    • Database Name: Name of the database in which vCenter Chargeback stores the application-specific data. For Oracle Database, ensure that you provide the service name and not the SID.
    • 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 account. Ensure that the Windows user account password does not contain any special characters. The installer might fail if the password contains special characters.
    If the installer successfully connects to the database, the next screen is displayed.
  6. Provide the following information for the vCenter Chargeback application, and click Next:
    • 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. Ensure that the instance name contains only ASCII characters.
    If the specified ports are free, the next screen is displayed.
  7. Provide the following details for installing the load balancer, and click Next:
    • 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. Ensure that the email address contains only ASCII characters.
    • HTTPS Port: An unused port through which the Apache Server communicates. The load balancer listens on this port for user requests.
    If the specified port is free, the next screen is displayed.
  8. 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.
    Note: If you are using Oracle Database for your vCenter Chargeback database, ensure that the user name for the administrative account contains only ASCII and non-ASCII characters. Extended ASCII characters in the user name is not supported. This restriction is not applicable if you are using Microsoft SQL Server for you vCenter Chargeback database.
  9. Select the Install Data Collector option and 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Note this URL, and click Done.
    The installer displays a dialog stating whether you want to generate your own SSL certificate.
  12. Click Skip now, I'll generate it later.

For detailed install instruction, refer to the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide.

Upgrade to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2

This release of vCenter Chargeback does not provide any direct upgrade options. If you have an existing vCenter Chargeback 1.5.x or 1.6.x setup, then you must first uninstall vCenter Chargeback but retain the database and then install vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 and point it to the existing database during installation.

Upgrading from vCenter Chargeback 1.0 and 1.0.1

You cannot directly upgrade a vCenter Chargeback 1.0 or vCenter Chargeback 1.0.1 setup to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2. You must first upgrade this setup to vCenter Chargeback 1.5. For detailed instructions about upgrading your setup to vCenter Chargeback 1.5, see the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide. Ensure that you perform the pre-upgrade tasks specified in the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide. Also, perform the tasks specified in KB 1026068 and KB 1026796 before you upgrade an existing vCenter Chargeback installation.

After you have upgraded to vCenter Chargeback 1.5, follow the instructions provided in the next section of the release notes to upgrade to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2.

CAUTION: Do not try to upgrade your vCenter Chargeback 1.0 and vCenter Chargeback 1.0.1 setup to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 directly. The upgrade process might fail and could lead to data loss.

Upgrading from vCenter Chargeback 1.5.x or vCenter Chargeback 1.6.x to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2

You cannot directly upgrade an existing vCenter Chargeback 1.5.x or vCenter Chargeback 1.6.x setup to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2. To upgrade your existing setup to vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2, perform the followings tasks:

Task 1: Pre-Upgrade Steps

  1. Check whether the data collector has synchronized all the vCenter Server hierarchies.
    You can check the status and last-run time for the data collector synchronization jobs from the Data Collectors page of the Settings tab of the application. You can also browse the vCenter Server hierarchies and vCenter Chargeback hierarchies in the application to verify whether the hierarchies are synchronized.

  2. Stop all the vCenter Chargeback related services.

  3. Take a backup of the existing vCenter Chargeback database and configuration files as specified in KB 1026796.
    If the upgrade fails due to some unforeseen reason and you are not able to use the existing setup either, you can use the database backup to recover the data.

  4. Run the script to purge the duplicate samples from the performance stats table as specified in KB 1032952.

Task 2: Uninstall Existing vCenter Chargeback Setup but Retain Corresponding Database

Refer to the vCenter Chargeback User's Guide for the uninstall instructions. Ensure that you do not select the vCenter Chargeback database for uninstallation. You must retain the existing database. If you uninstall the database, then all stored data will be lost.

Task 3: Install vCenter Chargeback 1.6.2 with Existing vCenter Chargeback Database

  1. Run the vCenter-CB.exe file.
    The installation wizard is displayed.
  2. Click Next on the Introduction screen.
  3. Accept the end-user license agreement, and click Next.
  4. Provide the path for the installation directory, and click Next.
    Ensure that the installation directory path has at least one directory (for example, C:\vCenterChargeback162\) 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. Also, the directory path must contain only ASCII characters.
  5. Configure the following vCenter Chargeback database-related information, and click Next:
    • Database Type: The type of database used to create the existing vCenter Chargeback database. This can be either SQL SERVER or ORACLE.
    • Database URL: The IP address or host name of the system on which the existing vCenter Chargeback database is installed. For an SQL Server database, you can also provide the vCenter Chargeback database instance name. The database instance name must contain only ASCII characters.
      For Oracle Database, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
      • <IP Address>
      • <Host Name>
      For SQL Server, the database URL can be in any of the following formats:
      • <IP Address>
      • <Host Name>
      • <IP Address>\<Database Instance Name>
      • <Host Name>\<Database Instance Name>
      You can also specify a well formed JDBC URL that starts with 'jdbc' and contains the database name.
    • Database Port: (Optional) The port on which the database service is listening for requests. If the port number is not specified, the installer uses the default port. For an Oracle database, you must specify the TNS listener port if you are not using the default port 1521. For an SQL Server database, specify the database instance port if you are using a static port.
    • Database Name: The name of the existing vCenter Chargeback database. For Oracle Database, ensure that you provide the service name and not the SID.
    • SQL Authentication Mode: This option is applicable only for SQL Server databases. 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 account. Ensure that the Windows user account password does not contain any special characters. The installer might fail if the password contains special characters.
    If the installer successfully connects to the database and detects a vCenter Chargeback schema, a dialog box is displayed.
  6. Click Use it.
    The vCenter Chargeback instance will use this existing vCenter Chargeback database.
    If you click Create new schema, the existing schema is overwritten and you lose the existing data.
  7. Enter the IP address and port details for the vCenter Chargeback application, and click Next.
    • IP Address: The 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. Ensure that the instance name contains only ASCII characters.
    If the specified ports are free, the next screen is displayed.
  8. Enter the load-balancer-related information, and click Next:
    • IP Address: The 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: The email address of the server administrator. Ensure that the email address contains only ASCII characters.
    • HTTPS Port: An unused port through which the Apache Server communicates. The load balancer listens on this port for user requests.
    If the specified port is free, the next screen is displayed.
  9. Select only the Install Data Collector option and 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.
    You can optionally choose to install the VMware Cloud Director Data Collector and vShield Manager Data Collector. All the data collectors can be installed even after a vCenter Chargeback instance is installed. If you are installing the vShield Manager Data Collector, choose to install the VMware Cloud Director Data Collector too or ensure that at least one instance of VMware Cloud Director Data Collector is running.
  10. 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.
  11. Note this URL, and click Done.
    The installer displays a dialog box confirming whether you want to generate your own SSL certificate.
  12. Click Skip now, I'll generate it later.

Note: If the earlier instance vCenter Chargeback had a VMware Cloud Director Data Collector installed, ensure that you provide the same VMware Cloud Director database details for the vCenter Chargeback instance post upgrade.

Resolved Issues

This section lists the issues that have been fixed in this release.

Report Management Issues

  • Report generation fails with entity not found error
    If you backdate a hierarchy after adding a newly created vCenter Server entity to a hierarchy, which contains vCenter Server entities that were synchronized during the first run of the data collector synchronization jobs, then the newly created vCenter Server entity is also backdated by three months. Therefore, when you generate a report on this entity, vCenter Chargeback throws an entity not found error. Also, if you generate a report on any of the parent entities of this entity, the report excludes this entity from the report. vCenter Chargeback does not display or log any message stating the entity was excluded from the report. This issue is fixed in this release of vCenter Chargeback.

  • 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. This issue is fixed in this release. Report schedules that failed to trigger due to a vCenter Chargeback down-time, are not triggered immediately after vCenter Chargeback is restarted. The report schedules will generate report only during the next run after the vCenter Chargeback service is restored.

VMware Cloud Director Data Collector and vShield Manager Data Collector Issues

  • vCenter Chargeback accounts for the virtual machines only from the time they are added to vCenter Chargeback hierarchy
    vCenter Chargeback accounts for the virtual machines only from the time they are added to the hierarchy in vCenter Chargeback by the data collectors. This issue is fixed in this release.

Known Issues

The following issues are known to occur in this release of vCenter Chargeback:

  • The Hosts & Clusters and VMs & Templates Synchronization data collector jobs fails with an error
    You have added a vCenter Server, which does not have any datacenters, to vCenter Chargeback. When you add the first datacenter to the vCenter Server, the Hosts & Clusters and VMs & Templates Synchronization data collector job fails and logs an error similar to the following:
    ERROR impl.HibernateVCenterBaseDAOImpl:
    com.vmware.vim.vcenter.chargeback.dao.impl.HibernateVcEntityRelationDAOImpl@b3319f
    org.hibernate.PropertyValueException: not-null property references a null or transient value:
    com.vmware.vim.vcenter.chargeback.dto.CbVcEntityRelation.cbVcEntityByVcParentEntityId

    Workaround: Restart the Data Collector service.

  • The end time for a one-time fixed cost applied on an entity is reported incorrectly
    You have applied a one-time fixed cost on an entity for different time periods and propagated the cost to the child entities. Also, one or more child entities under this entity have been moved within the parent entity's branch after the one-time fixed cost was applied. Now when you generate a report on this entity, the end time for the one-time fixed cost might be reported incorrectly for all the entities under the parent entity.

  • Report schedule sends duplicate emails and archives duplicate reports
    Some of the report schedules might send duplicate emails for the reports generated and archive duplicate reports. When a report schedule is triggered, a correct report is emailed and archived. However, the following issues might also occur:

    • Duplicate emails are sent for the same report. The duplicate emails might contain an error response instead of the report.
    • Duplicate reports are archived.
    • The report schedule could report a fail status for the last run.

    Although these issues might occur, no data is lost. Every time a report schedule is triggered, at least one email is sent with the generated report and at least one copy of the report is archived.

The known issues in the vCenter Chargeback 1.6 release, other than those listed in the Resolved Issues section, are also applicable to this release of vCenter Chargeback. Kindly refer to the vCenter Chargeback 1.6 Release Notes for further details.