VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Release Notes

VMware vCenter Configuration Manager 5.5 | 15 March 2012 | Build 323

Last Document Update: 2 October 2012

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

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:

  • vSphere Guest Summary dashboard. Provides an overall summary across vCenters of the virtual machine configuration and vSphere compliance at the Guest OS level.

  • Virtual Environments Change Management dashboard. Provides the overall changes detected by VCM for vSphere, vCenter, vCloud Director, vShield configurations, and guest operating systems managed by VCM.

  • Virtual Environments Compliance Posture dashboard (previously named Security Posture). This enhanced view provides the overall compliance status across vSphere and vCloud Director environments including vCenters, Clusters, Hosts, Datastores, VM Shells, vCloud Director organizations (vCD Orgs), virtual datacenters (vDCs), and vApps.

VCM 5.5 adds the following new tree view.

  • Cloud Infrastructure Suite Integration (CIS) tree. Includes a shared context that displays discovered containers and groups for vCenter, vCloud Director, and vShield App. This integration detects change and drift in the CIS environment, and provides remediation actions for vCenter and hosts settings, and virtual machine power and snapshot management actions.

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.

Virtualization Remediations

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.

  • Use a server license for any vCenter, ESX/ESXi, vCloud Director, vShield Manager, Windows, Linux, UNIX, or Mac OS X server that provides access to multiple users.

  • Use a workstation license for any Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X workstation. All VCM features are included with your server or workstation license.

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.

  • Single-tier configuration. Installs the VCM database, Web, and application components on the same Windows machine.

  • Two-tier split configuration. Installs the VCM database on one Windows machine, and the Web and application components on a separate Windows machine.

  • Three-tier split configuration. Installs the VCM database on one Windows machine, the Web components on another Windows machine, and the VCM application components on another Windows machine.

  • 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.

  • vSphere 4.0 Update 4, 4.1 Update 2, and 5.0 Update 1.

  • vSphere Client VCM Plug-in (VCVP) for previous vSphere clients versions only.

  • vCloud Director 1.5.1 is supported for cloud collections and managing virtual machines in the cloud for virtual machines that are directly connected or behind a 1:1 NAT configuration.

  • Additional supported platforms include Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7, 5.8, 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3, SUSE Linux Enterprise 10.4, Mac OS X 10.7, and AIX 7.1.

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:

  • vSphere 4.1 Hardening Guide templates
  • PCI DSS 2.0 for vSphere/ESX
  • ISO 27002 for vSphere
  • Basel III for vSphere
  • CIS for ESX 4.0

Import/Export Tool/Content Wizard

Check the download page for newer versions of the Import/Export Tool/Content Wizard.

Deprecated Features

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 Operating System Provisioning for ESX and ESXi. VCM 5.5 deprecates the ESX and ESXi OS provisioning feature. The ESX and ESXi OS provisioning feature that was available in VCM 5.4 and 5.4.1 will 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 continues to support operating system provisioning of the other third-party platforms as specified in the vCenter Configuration Manager Installation Guide. For ESXi provisioning as of VCM 5.5, use the new Auto Deploy feature available in vSphere 5.

  • Virtual Environments - VM Hosts - Users and Groups data types are no longer available to use for collections.

  • Some activity reports on virtual environments are removed, including Host Activity Trends, Host Activity Details, Guest Activity Trends, Guest Activity Details.

  • In the vSphere Client VCM Plug-in, on the VCM Actions tab, the Run Compliance Assessment and Run Reports options are removed.

  • VCM 5.5 does not include the Patch Administrator role. If you previously assigned the Patch Administrator role to a user, either reassign a different role to the user or let the user know that the role no longer exists.

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.

  • vSphere 4.0 Update 4, 4.1 Update 2, and 5.0 Update 1
  • vCloud Director 1.0, 1.5, and 1.5.1

Version 5.5 adds the following Linux platforms for management by VCM.

  • AIX 7.1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 10.4
  • Mac OS X 10.7
  • Red Hat 5.7, 6.1, and 6.2

The following platform has reached end of life and is no longer supported.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4

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.

  • Operating System Provisioning of ESX and ESXi. VCM 5.5 deprecates the ESX and ESXi OS provisioning feature. The ESX and ESXi OS provisioning feature that was 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 as specified in the vCenter Configuration Manager Installation Guide. For ESXi provisioning, 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 5.5 release.

  • 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.

    The issue is resolved in this release.

Known Issues

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.

  • The Check compliance alerts for this machine group option is available in the Virtual Environment Compliance Run Template wizard, but the action does not check for alerts.

    The Virtual Environment Compliance Run Template wizard includes the Check compliance alerts for this machine group option. Alerts for Virtual Environment Compliance are not implemented in this release. The template will run as if no alerts are configured, regardless of whether this option is selected.

    Workaround: None.

  • As a prerequisite to install VCM 5.5, you must install a specific version of SQL XML 4.0.

    During VCM 5.5 installation, the following error appears in the SQL XML system prerequisites check during VCM installation: "The Required Product is not installed. Please ensure that the Required Product is installed to continue. Click here for more information SQL XML 4.0 with Service Pack 1". SQL XML 4.0 SP1 might not be installed or an earlier version of SQL XML (prior to version 10.0.1600.60, 4.0 SP1) might be installed.

    Workaround: Download and install SQL XML 4.0 SP1 from SQL XML MSI. If any other version of SQL XML is installed, use Add/Remove Programs to uninstall it before you install this version of SQL XML 4.0 SP1.