VMware

VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Release Notes

VMware vCenter Configuration Manager 5.7 | 25 July 2013 | Build 238

Last Document Update: 13 September 2013

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

vCenter Configuration Manager 5.7 adds enhanced operating system patching, improved vSphere support, additional platform support, and other new features and options. This release also provides a new installation interface for typical installations, which is described in the Installation section.

VCM Patching

The enhancements to VCM Patching provide automated patching deployment, improved Linux and UNIX operating system patching, and the ability to set patching exceptions.

  • Dynamic patching assessment templates for Linux, UNIX, and Windows use filter criteria to create the dynamic membership of bulletins for the patching template used in the assessment. When new patch content is available in VCM, the bulletin membership of a dynamic assessment template is updated automatically.
  • Automatic patch deployment occurs for Linux, UNIX, or Windows managed machines when certain events occur, such as a change in the bulletin membership of an assessment template, a change in patch status, a change in machine group membership, or updated patch applicability.
  • Automated Linux and UNIX patch deployment process that downloads, stages, and deploys patch bulletins to managed machines. The benefits of the automated process are that large patches can be downloaded and copied to target machines before the scheduled patch deployment time, reducing the duration of the maintenance window required for patching the machines, and that patches can be downloaded from the Internet when needed rather than requiring all patch content be downloaded in advance.
  • Patching exceptions are used to ensure that certain patches known to cause issues are not installed on a subset or all machines.

Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X Agent Installation

To increase the speed at which you can deploy the VCM Agent to your Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X machines, you can easily install the Agent files on the target machines from the VCM user interface.

Enhanced VMware vSphere Support

The improvements in the VCM 5.7 release support faster vSphere collections and the ability to limit the amount of collected data for vCenter Server hosts, host datastores, and guest virtual machines using custom collection filters.

Improved VCM Diagnostic Data

Diagnostic information about how well VCM is operating in your environment is now available. This information includes insight into the VCM instance's usage state and usage trends, the ability to track the VCM database size and the database update performance, and visibility into Linux and UNIX standard output and standard error streams.

New Color Scheme

The user interface color scheme is updated to align with standard VMware colors. The navigation remains the same.

Active Directory Groups

With VCM 5.7, you can use Active Directory domain groups for login access to VCM without collecting VCM data from a domain controller. Group logins that were added prior to VCM 5.7 are automatically converted to the new capability during the upgrade process.

New Reports

New reports are added in VCM 5.7.

  • Virtual Environments Virtual Devices Details
  • Compliance Badge Mapping Result By Object
  • Compliance Badge Mapping Result By Template

NFS Mounted File System Support

VCM 5.7 lets you collect NFS mounted file systems data that includes, but is not limited to, information about permissions, size, checksum values, and contents of files from NFS client machines. Earlier this data could only be collected if VCM agent was installed on the NFS server machine.

Virtual Environment Platform Support

You can collect virtual environment data from the following additional platforms.

  • vSphere 5.0 Update 2
  • vSphere 5.1 Update 1
  • vCloud Director 1.5.2
  • vCloud Director 5.1.2
  • vCloud Networking and Security 5.1.1 (formerly vShield)
  • vCloud Networking and Security 5.1.2 (formerly vShield)

Managed Machines Platform Support

VCM 5.7 adds support for the following platforms.

  • CentOS 5 and 6 (Patching is not supported on these platforms)
  • Mac OS X 10.8
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 and 6 (Patching is not supported on these platforms)
  • Solaris 11 (Patching is not supported on this platform)
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard edition
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition

Updated Documentation

All the new features are documented in the vCenter Configuration Manager Administration Guide and the online Help.

This release includes two installation guides. See the Installation section for document details.

Installation

VCM 5.7 includes two installation options, typical and advanced.

  • Typical Installation
    The typical option launches a simplified installer that installs VCM in approximately eighty percent of cases. The simplified installer checks for prerequisites, such as SQL Server and Internet Information Services, and assists you with installing and configuring any prerequisites that are missing. You then provide the required information, such as domain account credentials and license, and start the installation. The typical installation is the easiest option for any single-tier VCM configuration or a two-tier configuration that does not use Kerberos authentication.
    For information about installing VCM using the typical installation option, which supports single- and two-tier configuration, see the vCenter Configuration Manager Installation Guide.
  • Advanced Installation
    The advanced installation launches the classic VCM Installation Manager with which users of earlier versions are already familiar. The advanced option is still the means by which you install two-tier configurations with Kerberos authentication, three-tier configurations, all VCM version upgrades regardless of tiers, and VCM Tools.
    For information about installing single-tier or two-tier configurations manuall, or installing the three-tier configuration, see the vCenter Configuration Manager Advanced Installation Guide.

Multi-tier installations no longer require that you install VCM software on your database server. Instead, you simply identify the database instance while installing VCM on the Collector and Web server.

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

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.

Upgrades to This Release

To upgrade your version of VCM to the current version, you must be running VCM 5.4.0 or later. To migrate your environment to the current version of VCM, you must be running 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 single-tier, two-tier, or three-tier installation configurations.
  • Migrations
    A migration to VCM 5.7 requires that you 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 or SQL Server 2012, and SQL Server Reporting Services, and then migrate your existing VCM, SCM, or ECM data to the 64-bit environment.

For more information about upgrading an existing instance of VCM, see the vCenter Configuration Manager Advanced Installation Guide.

Open Source Components for vCenter Configuration Manager

The copyright statements and licenses applicable to the open source software components distributed in vCenter Configuration Manager 5.7 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.

Internationalization

The VCM 5.7 release addresses and resolves internationalization defects that affected how VCM processes and displays non-ASCII characters and various date formats.

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.

  • Software Provisioning
  • Operating System Provisioning

As of VCM 5.7, the product capabilities related to software provisioning and operating system provisioning will not be enhanced. These functions will eventually be deprecated from VCM as VMware vCloud Automation Center and Application Director provide these management solutions.

As part of the vCenter Operations Management Suite, VCM will continue to provide configuration and change management, compliance assessment and remediation, patch assessment, and patch deployment for your virtual and physical environments.

Resolved Issues

The following issues are resolved in the VCM 5.7 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 complete 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.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • 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.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • 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.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • 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 that are running, the job summary grid is missing in the lower pane of the Jobs Running window.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

Known Issues

This list of issues pertains to VCM 5.7 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 5.7 release.

  • If a collection filter set has an exclude filter that is a subset of an include filter, the exclude filter is ignored
    The exclude filter is ignored and all data is collected when an exclude filter is a subset of an include filter. For example, if you are collecting file system data and one filter includes /file1 and another filter excludes /file1/file2, the /file1/file2 data is collected when it should not have been collected.
    Workaround: None

  • Installation Manager cannot validate the SQL Server instance
    The VCM Advanced Installation option, which runs the standard Installation Manager, might fail to validate the SQL Server instance when only the instance name is used. The following error message appears: Database validation failed. Click validate to recheck or contact support.
    Workaround: In Installation Manager, type the full SQL Server instance in server-name\instance-name format.
    For example: MYWIN2K8\MYMSSQL

  • Some VCM 5.7 features do not work with managed machines that run earlier versions of the VCM Agent
    For HP-UX 11.11 and 11.23 managed machines, the supported VCM Agent is 5.4.0.2303. After you license an HP-UX 11.11 or 11.23 machine, install the VCM 5.4.0.2303 Agent on the machine, and collect machine data, VCM displays the status as OldAgent in Administration > Machines Manager > Licensed Machines > Licensed UNIX Machines. Although this status is expected behavior in VCM, you must verify the Agent State value to determine whether certain VCM 5.7 features operate properly, because some features, such as the automated Linux and UNIX Agent installation, do not work with the earlier Agent.
    Workaround: None

  • When you run the hostname command to update the temporary host name, VCM does not recognize the machine name of non-Windows machines
    Users can use the hostname command on Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X machines to set the host name for the local DNS and reverse DNS. Running the hostname command does not change the computer name.
    In VCM 5.6 and earlier, agents use the hostname command to verify that a connection has been made to the correct machine. This causes problems in environments where DHCP is configured to update the host name to a name derived from the temporary address assigned to the machine. In VCM 5.7, the Agent uses the computer name when verifying that a connection has been made to the correct machine, because the computer does not change when DHCP calls the hostname command. However, depending on how machines were originally discovered and named, this change of functionality might result in connection failures reporting Machine name does not match the machine name supplied in the agent instructions document after the machine Agent is upgraded to VCM 5.7.
    Workaround: Perform one of the following procedures.

    Modify the host name:

    1. Click Administration and select Machines Manager > Licensed Machines > Licensed UNIX Machines.
    2. Click Edit Machine and modify the host name so that the actual computer name is the host name that appears in VCM, and if the machine name is not a valid DNS or host name, set the connection string.

    Change the name validation level:

    1. In VCM, click Administration and select Settings > General Settings > Collector.
    2. Change the Machine Name Validation Level - Unix setting from Minimal Validation (default) to No Validation.

  • When the patching data retention is set below the total time required for the patching job, the Job History displays individual job steps but does not display the parent job in the job chain
    When you start a patching job that takes a greater number of days than the number of days specified in the data retention setting, and then view the patching job history for the past 24 hours, the job steps do not include the parent job in the job chain. The missing parent job appears to indicate a broken job chain. For example, you might schedule VCM to stage patches on day 1, deploy patches on day 2, and reboot the Linux or UNIX machine on day 3.
    Workaround: Verify that the number of days for patching data retention settings for Patch Assessment and Patch Deployment in Administration > Settings > UNIX > Data Retention is greater than the time required to run the entire patching job.

  • When you deploy Linux and UNIX patches, limit the number of bulletin and machine combinations
    After you assess numerous Linux and UNIX machines and attempt to deploy patches to all machines, when you start the Deploy wizard from any of the Linux or UNIX platform assessment results nodes and attempt to use the single down arrow to select more than approximately 2000 bulletin and machine combinations, the selection occasionally stops working.
    Workaround: Select fewer than 2000 bulletin and machine combinations when you deploy Linux and UNIX patches.

  • After you submit certain types of scheduled jobs, you can select Disable in the job manager scheduled jobs, but the action has no effect
    Scheduled jobs and steps in job chains let you select Disable to disable the job or job steps, but the disable action in Administration > Job Manager > Scheduled has no effect on the job, and the status of the enabled job continues to display Yes in the Enabled column. In VCM 5.7, job chains are used for Linux and UNIX patch deployment jobs.
    Workaround: If you do not want the scheduled job chain to run, delete the scheduled job.

  • Using HTTP or HTTPS to stage patches from the patching repository to Solaris managed machines might consume all of the swap space in the /tmp directory
    When you use HTTP or HTTPS to stage patches from the patching repository machine to managed Solaris machines, the staging action might consume all of the swap space in the /tmp directory, up to the maximum file size of the patch, which might cause the job to fail. When the staging action consumes all of the swap space, the managed Solaris machine becomes unresponsive and the VCM Collector evaluates the job as failed.
    Workaround: None

  • Linux or UNIX Agent collection fails when one or more optional parameters selected in the Agent installation wizard contains non-ASCII characters
    If you install the Linux or UNIX Agent and configure the CSI_ROOT_NAME, CSI-PARENT_DIRECTORY, or CSI_PARENT_DATA_DIRECTORY options with non-ASCII characters, the installation finshes and the job history indicates that the collection was successful. However, the data does not appear in the data grid and the connection state is No Ping.
    Workaround: Install the Agent on an ASCII path. For example, /opt/CMAgent.

  • Limit of 400 Linux or UNIX machines during Agent installation
    When you install the Linux or UNIX Agent on your target machines from VCM using the installation wizard, you cannot include more than 400 target machines in a single Agent installation job.
    Workaround: Limit the number of machines on which you are installing the Linux or UNIX Agent to 400 machines or fewer.

  • A scripted remediation framework administrative parameters warning message is unreadable on a Collector running a simplified Chinese locale operating system
    On a Collector using a Chinese locale, when you are adding a machine group parameter in the Administration > Settings > Scripted Remediation Framework > Administrative Parameters > Add wizard, and you do not configure the parameter value, the error message, which should state Value does not fall within the expected range, displays random characters and is unreadable.
    Workaround: None

  • A full collection that is run on the VCM Collector does not collect the software provisioning repository data type on a Collector that was upgraded to VCM 5.7
    If you upgrade your Collector from a previous version of VCM to VCM 5.7, and then run a full collection on the Collector, the software provisioning repository data is not collected and the new data does not appear in the Software Provisioning Repositories data grids. Also, the collection job history indicates a failure to collect the data for one or more software provisioning repository data classes.
    Workaround: Remove the extra line from repository.info file. The default file location is Program Files (x86)\VMware\VCM\Tools\Repository\.hive\repository.info. The extra line that you must remove is <RepositoryInfo Name="SoftwareRepository" Version="1.0"/>.

  • VCM 5.7 is unable to collect data from vCloud Director 5.5
    After you configure VCM to collect data from vCloud Director 5.5, the data does not appear in VCM. If you configure VCM to collect from vCloud Director 1.5.2 or 5.1.2, the data is collected and appears in the virtual environments data grids. The problem occurs because VCM 5.7 uses an earlier version of the vCloud Director API. VCM 5.7 calls the 1.0 vCloud Director API when communicating with vCloud Director 5.5, but VCM should call the 1.5 or 5.1 API when communicating with vCloud Director 5.5.
    Workaround: To update VCM 5.7 to use the newer vCloud Director API calls, contact Global Support Services and reference KnowledgeBase article 2059554.