VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Release Notes
What's in the Release NotesThe release notes cover the following topics:
With this release, VCM includes new features that make it cloud ready as part of the VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite, including change detection and compliance management across multiple vCloud Director instances, vCenter Server instances, vShield Manager instances, ESX/ESXi hosts, and guest virtual machines.
VCM 5.5 simplifies the configuration and setup of vSphere management and fully supports a three-tier deployment architecture. Enhanced compliance includes support for vSphere and vCloud Director constructs such as clusters and organizations, and SCAP 1.0 support. VCM supports dynamic groups of virtual machines to match vShield App security group membership for a shared security and compliance context. A REST-based API is included for common use cases. These APIs can be triggered from VCO REST plugin 1.0.1 and later. This enables development of high level workflows across VCM and other products.
The new and enhanced features in VCM 5.5 are described below.
New Virtual Environment Visualizations
VCM 5.5 adds the following new and enhanced dashboards and views:
VCM 5.5 adds the following new tree view.
Simplified vSphere Collections
VCM collections of vCenter and ESX/ESXi hosts, guests, and vCenter inventory have been expanded to collect additional configuration data and now use the vCenter VI SDK. A direct connection to the host is no longer required for this configuration data. These collections support vSphere 4.x and 5.0. Linux data types are supported for legacy ESX. But please note that collecting Service Console OS data from older ESX hosts still requires the Agent proxy to be configured.
VCM supports collection of vCloud Director data. The collections use direct vCloud API calls, and an agent is not required on the vCloud Director host. These collections support vCloud Director 1.0 and 1.5. VCM collects cloud-level configuration data, including the vCloud Director organization (Org), vApp, and virtual datacenter (vDC) configuration detail and hierarchy. The returned data allows you to correlate vCloud Director virtual machines to vCenter virtual machines. The collected data is available to VCM compliance to assess rules to ensure a compliant environment, and new vSphere compliance groups are automatically created using vCloud Director objects to drive the compliance posture of your environment, such as ensuring that a particular organization is hardened as per hardening guidelines or compliant as per PCI.
VCM supports vShield collections. The collections use direct API calls, and an agent is not required on the vShield host. The collected vShield App Security groups and group members are available to VCM for shared membership context. For example, virtual machines in a vShield PCI Security Group can be assessed against PCI compliance rules in VCM.
VCM 5.5 provides remediation actions for vSphere, including bulk actions across multiple vCenters and ESX/ESXi hosts simultaneously. You can change vCenter settings such as SNMP, VIM password, and expiration times, and host settings such as syslog and advanced settings. These remediations also allow you to power on and power off a virtual machine, and manage virtual machine snapshots.
VCM 5.5 is SCAP 1.0 validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the FDCC Scanner, USGCB Scanner, Authenticated Configuration Scanner, and Authenticated Vulnerability and Patch Scanner. The SCAP 1.0 validation program is for Windows platforms only. VCM 5.5 SCAP support is limited to Windows only.
VCM 5.5 supports the VMware licensing model. Two types of license keys are available: server and workstation.
New Split Installation Deployment Model
VCM 5.5 supports full two-tier and three-tier installation configurations. VCM 5.5 supports the following installation configuration models.
Note that VCM supports default SQL Server cluster instances only in Active/Passive cluster configurations. Named instances, such as those used in Active/Active cluster configurations, will fail SQL Server validation during the installation process. When installing in a environment with clusters, you must run the VCM installer to install additional components on each node server in the SQL cluster.
VCM 5.5 runs on virtual machines also. You must provide the virtual machine with the same disk, CPU, and memory resources as if it were a physical server. See the vCenter Configuration Manager Installation Guide and the Microsoft SQL Server on VMware Best Practices Guide.
vCenter Orchestrator (VCO) is the recommended method for VCM REST API integration, which primarily provides guest OS management functions. The VCM API can be used to manage machines, run OS compliance, manage change logs, patch machines, perform software distribution (on Windows only), and provision the OS. The generic VCO REST plug-in (version 1.0.1) has been tested and can be used to integrate with the VCM API.
New OS support
Supported platforms now include the following.
Center for Policy and Compliance Content
Compliance content is provided with VCM 5.5 for VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Hardening for Host, VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Hardening for SQL Server 2008, and VCM Client Best Practices. The enhanced collections for vCenter, ESX/ESXi hosts and guests require new compliance content templates. Older templates do not run on the new data, but you can still view historical runs. The following existing templates will be enhanced and released as content, separately from the release, by the Center for Policy and Compliance to support the new data:
Import/Export Tool/Content Wizard
Check the download page for newer versions of the Import/Export Tool/Content Wizard.
VCM 5.5 deprecates some features that existed in VCM 5.4.1 and earlier versions. Changes in behavior from 5.4.1 to 5.5 involve the collection of virtual environment data and changes in the compliance process. If you upgrade to VCM 5.5, it is important to know how to access the old Console and Compliance data and history in VCM. The following changes are included in VCM.
VCM 5.5 Server Platform Support
VCM 5.5 is supported on Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 and SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 for all physical and virtual machines in single-tier, two-tier, or three-tier configurations.
Installing the VCM Server (Collector) on a non-English operating system is supported. To install the VCM Server on a non-English operating system, see the KB 1035034.
VCM 5.5 Managed Machines Platform Support
Version 5.5 adds the following platforms for support in VCM for all major VCM capabilities.
Version 5.5 adds the following Linux platforms for management by VCM.
The following platform has reached end of life and is no longer supported.
VCM 5.5 Agent Support on Non-English Platforms
VCM 5.5 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 KB 2008337.
The vCenter Configuration Manager Installation Guide provides detailed system configuration and installation instructions for single-tier, two-tier, and three-tier installation deployment models. The vCenter Configuration Manager Administration Guide describes the steps for configuring VCM to collect and manage data from your virtual and physical environments. Documentation can be downloaded from the VMware vCenter Configuration Manager documentation page.
Consult the VMware Knowledge Base when installing and upgrading VCM to ensure that you are aware of all issues related to the current release.
As a prerequisite to install VCM 5.5, you must install a specific version of SQL XML 4.0. See the known issues below.
Open Source Components for vCenter Configuration Manager
The copyright statements and licenses applicable to the open source software components distributed in vCenter Configuration Manager 5.5 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
To upgrade your version of VCM to the current version, you must have VCM 5.4.0 or 5.4.1. To migrate your environment to the current version of VCM, you must have version 4.11.1 or later installed and running. You can migrate your version to VCM 5.5 from previous versions including 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 the Windows machines in your single-tier, two-tier, or three-tier installation deployment models.
A migration to VCM 5.5 requires a 64-bit environment. Before you perform the migration, update your environment to include the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system, SQL Server 2008 R2, and SQL Server Reporting Services, and then migrate 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
General support is ending 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.
The following issues are resolved in the VCM 5.5 release.
The following known issues have been discovered through rigorous testing and will help you understand some behavior you might encounter in this release. This list of issues pertains to this release of VCM 5.5 only. Some known issues from previous releases might also apply to this release. If you encounter an issue that is not listed in this known issues list, you can review the known issues from previous releases, search the VMware Knowledge Base, or let us know by providing feedback
The following issues are known to occur in the VCM 5.5 release.