VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Release Notes

VMware vCenter Configuration Manager 5.4.1 | 1 November 2011 | Build 284

Last Document Update: 3 November 2011

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

Welcome to VMware vCenter Configuration Manager 5.4.1 (VCM).


With this release, VCM extends its integration with the Cloud Infrastructure Suite, including vCloud Director and vCenter Operations Manager. VCM provides configuration and compliance management of the virtual machines running in clouds managed by vCloud Director, and enables vCenter Operations Manager integration that correlates performance and configuration data.

The new and enhanced features in VCM 5.4.1 are described below.

Manage vCloud Director Virtual Machines

Using VCM, you discover virtual machines that are running in clouds managed by vCloud Director. After you discover the virtual machines and add them to VCM, they are managed by VCM to ensure that they meet your compliance, patching, and change management policies.

VCM can manage virtual machines that are directly connected to the external network or are mapped using a one IP address to one IP address network address translation (NAT) configuration. This release does not support virtual machines that are mapped using one to many NAT configurations.

Integration with vCenter Operations Manager

The integration of VCM with vCenter Operations Manager enables IT operations to quickly identify health and performance issues that are caused by configuration changes on the managed machines.

vCenter Operations Manager monitors operating system-level change events identified by VCM and displays the events on the operations performance charts. From vCenter Operations Manager you can also launch-in-context to the appropriate change log in VCM, where you can perform actions and remediate configuration changes that impact the health or performance of your machines.

The integration is available with vCenter Operations Manager 5.0 Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions and later.

vCenter Server Collections Supported with New Versions of PowerCLI

You can use PowerCLI version 4.1, 4.1.1, or 5.0 for your vCenter Server collections.

Operating System Provisioning Enhancements

The OS provisioning enhancements include new OS Provisioning Server architecture and new features.

The provisioning of physical or virtual machines supports these changes and additional features:

  • You can import ISOs that you have updated or modified from their standard version and install the customized ISOs on your target machines.

  • You can configure disk partitioning when you are installing RHEL and SUSE images on your target machines.

New supported platforms for OS provisioning include:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 5.6 and 6.0, 32-bit and 64-bit

If you are running OS Provisioning Server 5.4.0 in your environment, note that you cannot upgrade to OS Provisioning Server 5.4.1. This restriction on upgrading is due to the major architectural changes to OS Provisioning Server 5.4.1 that require you to install OS Provisioning Server 5.4.1 and import your ISO images into the new repository rather than upgrading. OS Provisioning Server 5.4.0 is not compatible with VCM 5.4.1. To use OS provisioning and to take advantage of the new features, you must install a new instance of OS Provisioning Server 5.4.1.

Addition of the New Content Architecture (NCA) for UNIX Patching

UNIX and Linux patching has been updated to support NCA changes for assessment, deployment, repository synchronization, and content downloading and importing.

For supported versions of RHEL 5.6 and earlier and SUSE 11.1 and earlier, you will continue to receive new patches in the old format until 30 June 2012. After this date, you must upgrade your VCM Collector, and your RHEL and SUSE Agents to receive any further assessment capabilities for the supported operating systems. For VCM to support patch assessments for newer releases of RHEL and SUSE, you must upgrade to the version of VCM that supports your newer Linux releases.

Extended Functionality or Improvements

VCM 5.4.1 includes new and updated compliance content to support the following standards:

  • vSphere 4.x Hardening Guidelines
  • PCI 2.0
  • Basel III

New compliance content is made available independent of the VCM releases. You should regularly run the VCM Content Wizard Tool to check for and download the latest compliance content.

VCM 5.4.1 Server (Collector) Platform Support

VCM 5.4.1 is supported on Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 and SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1.

Installing VCM Server on a non-English operating system is supported. To install the VCM Server on a non-English operating system, see the Knowledge Base article 1035034.

VCM 5.4.1 Agent Platform Support

The following new platforms are supported in VCM for all major VCM functionality except where noted.

  • ESX 4.1 Update 1 (Patching is not supported)
  • ESXi 4.1 Update 1, 5.0 (Patching is not supported)
  • Mac OS X 10.6 (Patching is supported)
  • Red Hat 5.6 and 6.0 (Patching is supported)

As of this release, the following Agents are supported only to the version specified and no new functionality is supported on these platforms. However, the existing functionality will continue to work on these platforms using the listed Agent versions.

No longer supported:

  • AIX 4.x, 5.1, 5.2
  • ESX/ESXi 3.0 and 3.5
  • Linux 2.1
  • Mac 10.4
  • Solaris 2.5, 2.6, 8
  • Windows 2000

Supported only to the 5.4.0 Agent and earlier:

  • AIX 5L 5.3
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
  • Solaris 9

Supported only to the 5.4.1 Agent and earlier:

  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9

VCM 5.4.1 Agent Support on Non-English Windows Platforms

VCM 5.4.1 supports installing the VCM Agent and collecting data from non-English operating systems. For information about installing the Agent and collecting data from non-English operating systems, see Knowledge Base article 2008337.

Browser support

VCM 5.4.1 supports Internet Explorer 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0. No issues are known to occur with Internet Explorer 9.0 in compatibility mode.


The vCenter Configuration Manager Hardware and Software Requirements Guide provides detailed system configuration required to ensure a successful installation. The vCenter Configuration Manager Installation and Getting Started Guide provides detailed installation and configuration instructions. Documentation can be downloaded from the VMware vCenter Configuration Manager documentation page.

Open Source Components for vCenter Configuration Manager

The copyright statements and licenses applicable to the open source software components distributed in vCenter Configuration Manager 5.4.1 are available at Download VMware vCenter Configuration Manager, on the Open Source tab. You can also download the source files for any GPL, LGPL, or other similar licenses that require the source code or modifications to source code to be made available for the most recent generally available release of vSphere.

Upgrades for This Release

VCM 5.4.1 supports an upgrade from 5.4 or migration from VMware VCM 5.3, EMC Ionix SCM 5.0 or later, and Configuresoft ECM 4.11.1 or later.

An upgrade installs the new version of VCM on your Collector machine.

A migration to VCM 5.4.1 requires a 64-bit environment, including the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system, SQL Server 2008 R2, and SQL Server Reporting Services, and then the migration of your existing VCM, SCM, or ECM data to the 64-bit environment.

Earlier Releases of VMware vCenter Configuration Manager

Features and known issues from earlier releases of vCenter Configuration Manager are described in the release notes for each release.

Feature and Product Support Notices

The end of general support is announced for the following features and products. VMware will continue to provide technical support for these features and products through the end of their support lifecycles

  • Operating System Provisioning of ESX and ESXi. In this release, we are pre-announcing that VCM is deprecating the ESX and ESXi OS provisioning feature in the next major or minor release. The ESX and ESXi OS provisioning feature that is currently available in VCM 5.4 and 5.4.1 will continue to be supported until VCM 5.4 and 5.4.1 reach the end of general support. This deprecation is applicable to all versions of ESX and ESXi. However, VCM will continue to support operating system provisioning of the other third-party platforms specified in the platform support documentation. For ESXi provisioning, you are encouraged to use the new Auto Deploy feature available in vSphere 5.

  • SCM 5.1.x and SCM 5.2.x. General support for SCM 5.1.x and SCM 5.2.x ends 30 June 2012. To take advantage of the new features added to VCM since 5.1.x and 5.2.x, and to continue with a supported environment, you should begin planning and implementing your upgrade now. The upgrade from these older versions requires a change to a Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 R2 environment, and a migration of your data from your old Collector to the new Collector.

Resolved Issues

The following issues are resolved in the VCM 5.4.1 release.

  • After you save a UNIX remote command, you cannot deselect option that makes the presence of certain files mandatory on a target machine
    When you create a UNIX Remote Command and select Certain file(s) are required to be on the target machine for this remote command, the option cannot be deselected once the Remote Command is saved. Editing the file does not successfully remove the option.

  • Patching date/time behavior inconsistent with other date/time functions
    Scheduled patching downloads operate differently when setting dates and times than do VCM scheduled reboots.

  • Imported SQL report with hierarchical data structure displays error
    Importing a SQL report that uses a hierarchical data structure, such as WMI data, from a 4.5.2 database to a later version of VCM can cause problems when running that report. If there is a problem (the cause being incorrect syntax in the SQL (too many quotes) created in the import script), an error message is displayed when you try to run the report. The error message is: Must declare the variable @tree_key_id.

  • Error when running Object > Users collection
    When running collections on Object > Users, two error messages can appear in the debug log:
    Request does not contain machine_platform_compatibility - assuming old collector HRESULT 0x80004005 = Unspecified error
    Procedure 'ecm_sp_dbe_ui' expects parameter '@message', which was not supplied.

  • Jobs created by users who are not members of the local Administrators group do not start
    When creating a job in VCM when you are logged in as a user that has an VCM Admin role but the user is not a member of the local Administrators group, the created job appears in VCM and appears in the SQL Server Agent. The owner of the job is the domain account that is not a member of the local Administrators group. If you try to start the scheduled job by clicking Run Now. the job does not appear in VCM under any of the running or history nodes.

  • Exporting the Patching assessment data grid displays error
    When using the Export function on the VCM assessment data grid, any credentials failed error messages appear to contain new lines the CSV format, and appear on their own lines.

  • Naming of outside vendor created patches and bundles inconsistent
    HP-UX and recent AIX patches and bundles are often packaged outside of the vendor public patch downloads, and depending on the options selected on the vendor Web sites, the packages might also be named unpredictably.

  • Change Password action does not update /etc/oshadow
    The /etc/oshadow file on HP-UX is not updated with entries from the /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow files when you run the Change Password action in VCM.

  • A full (all data types) collection using a 4.9 agent results in no collected data
    A full data collection using a 4.9 Agent on an NT4 operating system results in the job completing in Jobs Running, but no data is collected.

  • VCM Remote incorrectly appends an entry to the hosts file
    If the local host file does not have a linefeed at the end and you specify the Will IP Address of calling client be added to local host file option as Yes, VCM appends the client's IP address to the local host file without verifying that it is adding the entry on a new line. This action results in a double entry in the hosts file that causes the Agent installation to fail.

  • Comparing file versions using SCM 5.2.1 compliance rules sometimes results in incorrect values
    When you create a rule that compares the file versions, for the file version to be compliant the rule requires the file version to be greater than or equal to 5.2.3790.3030. However, SCM incorrectly considers 5.2.3790.92 to be compliant.

  • ESXi 4.0 and 4.1 not returning Security Profile data
    After VCM collects ESXi 4.0 and 4.1 Security Profile data, the data is displayed differently for these platforms.

  • Online Help for basicimport command is incorrect
    The option descriptions in the online Help for the basicimport command is incorrect.

  • Intermittent deployment issue is observed when deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard through OSP
    When you deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard through OSP the deployment might fail.

  • Deployment of ESX and ESXi fails if the provided administrator password is less than six characters
    If the root password provided in the OS Provisioning wizard is less than six characters, the installation fails for the following ESX or ESXi operating system families:

    • ESX 4.0 (Update 1 and Update 2) and ESX 4.1
    • ESXi 4.1
  • The Export Report utility fails if the User Access Control is enabled
    The Export Report utility fails due to UAC. This occurs only while connecting to VCM on the Collector when the Internet Explorer session is not set to run as administrator and when UAC enabled.

  • File access permission error when exporting reports
    A file access permission error is returned when exporting reports with the default Windows configuration.

  • VCM displays a script error when extracting the uploaded UNIX file system
    When you log in as a NonUserManager and try to extract the uploaded UNIX File system, VCM displays a script error.

  • After operating system deployment of Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2, the C:\Deploy\Apps folder is not removed from the target machines
    On Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 (Standard or Enterprise edition), the post-installation process does not remove the C:\Deploy\Apps directory and applications associated with it.

  • Deployment of Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows 2008 operating system distributions through OSP fails with a parsing error:
    Deployment of Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows 2008 operating system distributions on target machines through OSP fails with the error Windows could not parse/process the unattended answer file for pass [specialize]. if the hostname contains any of the following special characters: `<~!@#$%^&*()+_={}[]|\;:'",<.>/?.

  • Manual addition of machines for Operating System Provisioning with more than 32 characters in the machine name fails
    Machines manually added to the Provisionable Machines data grid fail the provsioning process if the machine name is more than 32 characters in length.

  • Build creation process for Operating System Provisioning in RHEL 5.x operating system families fails if the administrator or root password includes a space
    Although RHEL operating system allow spaces in administrator or root passwords, distributions are not built if the provisioning action settings passwords include spaces.

  • Operating System Provisioning Status and Job Status not displaying correct values even when operating system is successfully deployed
    If you do not use OS Provisioning Server and VCM setups for two days, and on the third day you provision and deploy machines with any operating systems, the build is created and job status displays a success message. However, the deployment status (Deploying) and OSP status (OSProvisioningInProcess) is not displayed and the machine moves to provisioned machines after the deployment process finishes.

  • Deployment of Windows Server 2008 R2 Retail (non-volume license) distribution fails
    Deployment of Windows Server 2008 R2 Retail (non-volume license) distribution using VCM OS Provisioning fails on the target machines.

  • VCM displays API call Failed error message in the Job History Machine Details pane
    When you select two machines that are running the same service and try to change their Service Account, the API call Failed error message appears.

  • Unable to import Windows 7 Professional-VL-x64 build or ISO into OS Provisioning repository
    If the user tries to import "Windows 7 Professional-VL-x64" the import fails with a fingerprint check failure error.

  • vCenter WCI collections fail where short names are not resolved
    vCenter scripts currently connect using the computer name (short name). This works in environments that resolve short names. However, in environments that do not resolve short names, such as some domains, you must use FQDN.

  • Agent installation on Windows Server 2008 may fail
    Agent installation uses accounts other than the Network Authority account for authentication, such as the system administrator service account. When the account does not have access to the Windows Server 2008 target machine, the install fails with the following error:
    Unable to attach to the SCM, unable to install product HRESULT 0x80004005 = Unspecified Error;

  • System Update Manager jobs fail
    System Update Manager (now called Patching) jobs fail with the following error:
    Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint pkecm_dat_instant_col_machines_xref.
    Cannot insert duplicate key in object dbo.ecm_sysdat_actions_machines_xref.

  • Compliance Does Not Support the & Character in Registry
    When collecting registry keys with names that contain the & character (such as 5E$&F52) the compliance rules truncate the SQL statement at the & character, and compliance does not return the correct result.

  • Removal of Active Directory Domain Controllers Fails
    When you attempt to delete several Active Directory Domain Controllers from VCM, the job fails to complete.

  • Workstation Collection Incorrectly Reverts to Full
    When a delta collection fails (for example, because the managed machine is powered off), VCM silently configures the next collection on that machine to full.

  • Database discovery option is limited to vCenter Only
    The database discovery option only works for the vCenter Inventory type. You cannot add your own custom discovery type. In addition, it categorizes that every machine found as an ESX host and attempts to license the system as such if you have automatic licensing enabled.

  • Reports Pull Incorrect Data from Windows Server 2008 Server
    In Reports, under Windows > Event Log, the three-digit event log ID numbers are not valid for Windows Server 2008. Because the Windows Server 2008 ID numbers can be completely different and are four digits, the reports either display no data or incorrect data, from the Windows Server 2008 machines.

  • Long Vendor ID Tag Causes Assessment Results View to Fail
    When a content feed contains a Vendor ID tag longer than 30 characters, an assessment result view is not loaded, and the following error occurs:
    A web service error has occurred during dashboard report processing. You must use Internet Explorer with the Run as administrator option to view dashboard reports when working locally on the Collector.

  • Transform Errors when Collecting from AIX
    Arithmetic overflow errors occur in SQL when VCM attempts to collect from AIX machines.

  • Collector Performance Issue
    VCM slows or stops responding when performing collections against Registry paths or WMI paths, even when the collection is run independently and isolated from other jobs. The behavior is often accompanied by very slow inserts, and transform errors.

  • Corrupt Agent Master File Results in Unreported Data Class Failures
    Corrupt agent master files can occur and contain only NULL values. These files cause the agent to fail on the particular data class when performing delta collections. The failure is neither captured nor reported to the collector, and does not appear in job results.

  • Long Patch Description Causes Error when Collecting Patches Installed from UNIX
    When a patch description exceeds 255 characters in a Patches Installed data class collection from a UNIX machine, a transform error similar to the following occurs:
    Unable to execute command: '{ ? = CALL dbo.ecm_sp_raw_transform_data;1 (?,?,?,?) }'.
    See logs for details HRESULT 0x80040e57;

  • Cannot Deploy Software Using Software Provisioning
    Software provisioning jobs fail immediately on the Collector and are not passed to the Agent machines. The following error accompanies the failed job:
    Cannot Parse Agent Instruction File.

Known Issues

The following issues are known to occur in the VCM 5.4.1 release.

  • After a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system is installed using OS Provisioning, the firewall is disabled
    SLES machines installed using OS Provisioning are installed with the firewall disabled.

    Workaround: On your SLES machines, you must enable the firewall manually after installing the operating system.

  • Software Provisioning package size limitation
    If you add a package larger than 2GB for deployment through Package Manager, repository data collections no longer update the list of packages in VCM. You neither see the large package nor any packages added to the repository afterward, regardless of size.

    Workaround: None

  • When provisiong Windows Server 2008 R2 machines, the retail key is not applied on the deployed nodes
    When you provision a target machine with a Windows Server 2008 R2 distribution using the retail product key defined, the key is not applied and you only have the grace period that is included with the default ISO.

    Workaround: Manually apply and register the retail product key on each affected machine.

    1. Click Start and select Control Panel > System and Security > System.
    2. In the Windows activation area, click Change product key.
    3. In the Windows Activation window, type your retail product key and complete the Windows Activation procedure.
  • If python.exe command prompt is closed on target Windows machines while installing the operating system by using OS Provisioning, the installation fails
    When provisioning target machines with Windows operating systems, you can close the command prompt during the installation process. The result is that the installation process stops and the operating system is not deployed.

    Workaround: When you use OS Provisioning to install the Windows operating sytems, do not close the command prompt on the target machines. You must wait for the installation to finish.

  • The vCenter Configuration Manager Transport Layer Security Implementation Guide incorrectly specifies that the enterprise certificate needs to be bundled with the UNIX and Linux Agents
    The vCenter Configuration Manager Transport Layer Security Implementation Guide states that you must add the enterprise certificate to the certificate manager. For all UNIX/Linux variants, add the self-signed root of the certificate chain for the Collector certificate instead. Even though they are sometimes the same, the self-signed root certificate is not necessarily the same as the enterprise certificate.

    Workaround: None

  • Standalone Foundation Checker fails if SQL Server 2008 SP1 is installed
    SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 is supported for VCM, but the standalone Foundation Checker identifies it as a failed system check.

    Workaround: Resolve all other failed checks and then run the VCM installation. The VCM Foundation Checker that runs during installation does not fail on the check, and VCM is installed.