VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Release Notes

VMware vCenter Configuration Manager 5.6 | 29 November 2012 | Build 841

Last Document Update: 29 November 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

This release integrates VCM compliance monitoring with vCenter Operations Manager and provides VMware Level 1 and Level 2 support for international markets. In addition, this release allows you to activate VCM with vCloud and vCenter Operations suite license keys, and includes improvements in the areas of reporting, assessment downloads, and vCenter collections.

Compliance Integration with vCenter Operations Manager

VCM now sends compliance information about your virtual infrastructure and guest operating systems to vCenter Operations Manager.

VCM adds a Compliance sub-badge under Risk and dashboard to vCenter Operations Manager so that your configuration compliance posture is now combined with your capacity information to form the overall risk assessment of your virtual environment. Included with the dashboard are links that launch VCM in context to the compliance template and detailed compliance results that are in question. After you access VCM, you can understand what is affecting your posture and take action, for example by creating an exception or correcting the conditions that placed the system out of compliance. Multiple compliance standards have templates that are supported for mapping into vCenter Operations Manager. These include virtual objects such as vCenter Server, hosts, virtual machines, and guest operating systems that run on the virtual machines.

In vCenter Operations Manager, VCM machine groups now appear in the navigation tree on the left as part of the new capability for custom grouping and sharing context between the two products.

Internationalization (i18n)

VMware Level 1: This version of VCM runs on non-English operating systems, and it can support non-English input and output characters.

VMware Level 2: This version of VCM supports locale-specific formats for dates and times, calendars, numbers, and so on.

Internationalization for this version targets the EMEA and APJ regions. Formal testing was performed using German, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, and Spanish. Informal testing occurred using Korean. The tested languages exposed the software changes that were necessary for supporting the remaining languages in the target regions.

Suite Licensing Support

When you receive VCM as part of the vCloud Suite or vCenter Operations Management Suite, you can enable object management with your suite license key when installing VCM. VCM license keys may also be updated after installation. With a suite key, object management is unlimited, provided that the objects are part of the suite and covered in the EULA.

Separate VCM server and workstation keys are still supported.

Change Log Data and Reporting Improvements

In this release, VCM makes change logs more usable for the vSphere environment. VCM now presents object data from vCenter differently, by performing a lookup and replacing the MOID with the more user-friendly object name. In addition, you can filter by object name, including wildcards, in change log reports.

vCenter Roles and Privileges

In vCenter environments, VCM now collects and presents vCenter user role names and the detailed privileges that those roles have.

New and Updated Virtual Environment Reports

VCM has enhanced the vCenter and vCD Permission Report by adding the new vCenter role names and privileges data. The improved report reveals which users have access to which objects, and what the users' permissions allow in vCenter. This release also adds new vCenter and Cluster Summary dashboards.

Linux or UNIX Assessment Content Download Process Changes

VCM can detect which Linux or UNIX operating systems are being managed and can download only the patching content that applies to those operating systems. When you add a new Linux or UNIX operating system to your managed machines, VCM downloads the appropriate patching content.

Mixed Machine Groups

VCM now supports Windows and Linux or UNIX systems in the same machine group.

Managed Machines Platform Support

VCM 5.6 adds support for the following platforms.

  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11.2

This release freezes support for the following platforms. The version 5.6 Agent and new 5.6 features are not supported on these platforms, but you can still collect and manage these platforms using previous features and previous agents.

  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • HPUX 11.1x and 11.2x
  • SLES 10.0, 10.1, and 10.2
  • Oracle 9i
  • Active Directory on Windows 2000

VCM 5.6 drops support for the following platforms:

  • Solaris 9
  • AIX 5.3
  • Mac OS X 10.5
  • Debian v4
  • SLES 8 and 9

Center for Policy and Compliance Content

Independent of the VCM 5.6 release, the following templates have recently been added or enhanced by the Center for Policy and Compliance to support new or changed compliance standards.
  • DISA Red Hat 5 STIG Version 1 Release .6
  • BSI Standards Windows
  • BSI Standards Linux or UNIX
  • BSI Standards vSphere
  • CIS Red Hat 6.0 Version 1.0
  • HIPAA Windows Compliance Content
  • HIPAA vSphere compliance Content
  • HIPAA Linux or UNIX Compliance Content

Resolved Issues

This release delivers a number of bug fixes that are documented in the Resolved Issues section and the VMware Knowledge Base.

Updated Documentation

The vCenter Configuration Manager Administration Guide and online Help include Getting Started information that guides you through the compliance integration process with vCenter Operations Manager.

This release includes two installation guides.


For information about how to install VCM in single-tier, two-tier, and three-tier deployment models, see the vCenter Configuration Manager Installation Guide. For information about configuring VCM to collect and manage data from your virtual and physical environments, see the vCenter Configuration Manager Administration Guide. Documentation can be downloaded from the VMware vCenter Configuration Manager documentation page.

When installing and upgrading VCM, consult the VMware Knowledge Base to view all issues related to the current release.

Open Source Components for vCenter Configuration Manager

The copyright statements and licenses applicable to the open source software components distributed in vCenter Configuration Manager 5.6 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 to This Release

To upgrade your version of VCM to the current version, you must have VCM 5.4.0 or later. To migrate your environment to the current version of VCM, you must have VMware VCM 5.3, EMC Ionix SCM 5.0 or later, or Configuresoft ECM 4.11.1 or later.

Upgrades: An upgrade installs the new version of VCM on the 64-bit Windows machines in your single-tier, two-tier, or three-tier installation deployment models.

Migrations: A migration to VCM 5.6 requires you to install VCM in a 64-bit environment and migrate your 32-bit database to the 64-bit database. 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.

Resolved Issues

The following issues are resolved in the VCM 5.6 release.

  • Wrong patching template is assessed
    You can create two assessment patching templates with the same bulletins. After you assess the first one, you can select the second one and click Assess, but the assessment that runs is still against the first template. This issue occurs when Windows Patch assessments are run.

  • Windows and Linux or UNIX machines in the same Dynamic Machine Group
    You cannot create a Dynamic Machine Group that contains both Windows and Linux or UNIX systems.

  • SCAP database insert fails when VCM is not installed to drive C:
    When VCM is installed to a drive letter other than C:, VCM appears to successfully run an SCAP assessment, but the data is not inserted into the VCM database and is thus not viewable in the VCM user interface.

  • VCM install does not support Active/Active SQL clusters or named cluster instances
    At installation, the VCM Installation Manager does not use the SQL cluster virtual server name specified by the user. Instead, Installation Manager looks for a local default node, which blocks VCM from supporting most Active/Active clusters, or any clusters where the clustered instance is a named instance.

  • Command line Windows Agent installation fails when a space is in the path to the certificate
    For the core VCM Windows HTTP CMAgent installation, both the MSI and EXE packages fail to install the Agent when the path to the selected certificate file contains spaces. This issue occurs even if the entire path and filename is properly enclosed in double quotes. The VCM Remote client command line installation does not exhibit this behavior.

Known Issues

This list of issues pertains to VCM 5.6 only. Some known issues from earlier releases might also apply to this release. If you encounter an issue that is not provided in this list of known issues, you can review the known issues from earlier releases, search the VMware Knowledge Base, or let us know by providing feedback.

The following issues are known to occur in the VCM 5.6 release.

  • Scheduled Windows patch deployment on a German Collector does not begin
    On a German VCM Collector, the patch deployment does not begin after you download Windows bulletins, run a patch assessment, and deploy the patch with one of the following staging options on the Patch Staging and Deployment Schedule page of the Deploy Patches wizard.

    • Select Copy patches to target machines during deployment, and select Schedule the action to run later.
    • Select Pre-stage patches later, and select Schedule the action to run later.

    After you finish the wizard, verify that your job is scheduled under Patching > Job Management > Windows > Job Manager > Scheduled > Deployments. When the patch deployment time occurs, open the Jobs window and notice that the patch deployment does not begin.

  • Using the & (ampersand) character for input strings causes errors
    When you include the ampersand as part of an input string, errors occur and the action fails. For example, the ampersand is not escaped when you add a filter under machine groups. Errors occur when an ampersand exists in the mapping name or description for compliance badge mapping. Including the ampersand in administration settings, names, or in other cases also causes errors.
    Workaround: Do not include the & (ampersand) character in input strings, names, or edit settings, such as the following.

    • Domain name
    • Discovery rule name
    • Compliance badge mapping name
    • Reboot notification message setting
    • Edit settings for administration of integrated products
    • Filters in machine groups
    • Scheduled jobs

  • Automated responses for virtual environment compliance alerts for email, SNMP, and event log entries are not sent when you are logged in to VCM with the No User Manager role
    After logging in to VCM with the No User Manager role, and configuring virtual environment alerts to send an email, send an SNMP trap, or write an entry to the event log for an alert, virtual object, or virtual object group, when you run the virtual environment compliance template with the Check for alerts option selected, the alerts appear under Console > Alerts > Active or Console > Alerts > Acknowledged for the No User Manager role, but automated responses are not sent. When you are logged in to VCM as Administrator, virtual environment alerts work.

  • Chinese or German characters appear as question marks in the reboot message on the patched managed machine
    After VCM deploys a patch to a managed machine, when you reboot the machine and include Chinese or German characters in the reboot message to be sent, the characters appear as question marks in the reboot message on the managed machine.
    Workaround: Do not include Chinese or German characters in the reboot message to be sent.

  • Using the & (ampersand) character in the middle of a scheduled job name causes the job summary grid to disappear
    If you include an ampersand in the middle of the name for a scheduled job, such as A & B Scheduled Collection, and then view the jobs running, the job summary grid is missing in the lower pane of the Jobs Running window.
    Workaround: Do not include the & (ampersand) character in the middle of the name for the scheduled job.

  • After a Linux or UNIX patch deployment, a scheduled reboot of the managed machine does not work
    After VCM deploys a Linux or UNIX patch to a managed machine, you can reboot the machine immediately after installation, but when you schedule the reboot to occur later, the managed machine is not rebooted, regardless of whether the option to gracefully terminate processes is selected.
    Workaround: Reboot the managed machine immediately after installation instead of scheduling the reboot to occur later.

  • When you install a DCOM Agent or an HTTP Agent and use an alternative source path that contains non-ASCII and double-byte characters, the job fails
    On a VCM Collector, when you attempt to install a DCOM Agent or an HTTP Agent to a VCM managed machine, and use an alternative path that contains non-ASCII characters, the Agent installation job fails. The Agent attempts to obtain the files from the alternative source, but the process fails.