VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Release Notes
VMware vCenter Configuration Manager 5.7.1 | 25 November 2013 | Build 372
Last Document Update: 16 December 2013
Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.
What's in the Release Notes
The release notes cover the following topics:
vCenter Configuration Manager 5.7.1 provides several new features and resolves issues. For updates to the VCM installation user interface, see the Installation section.
- Create Patching Alerts
You can create an alert condition by using the attributes of the UNIX or Windows patch assessment results. VCM generates an alert when the condition is met, and the alert appears in the VCM console.
- Data Performance Caching
To reduce the time for VCM to access data used by the data grids, compliance, and reports, you can configure VCM to cache the data. When the data access time is long, you can enable data performance caching to increase the performance. As part of performance caching, VCM loads the cache as part of each data collection. You can determine whether the cache is enabled, the number of records to load into the cache in a single batch, and the frequency with which VCM loads the cache.
- Windows Local Account
You can add a Windows local account to VCM, and remove a Windows local account. When you attempt to add or remove the account, VCM adds the account to the selected Windows machines, or removes the account, and records the action as a VCM initiated change in the change log. VCM does not allow you to add a duplicate account name.
- Using External Third-Party Reporting Tools To Generate Reports On Collected Data
VCM contains a vast amount of data collected from the physical and virtual Linux, UNIX, and Windows managed machines in your environment, and many built-in reporting options to report on the collected data. Although VCM provides robust reporting capabilities, you can also use external, third-party reporting tools to create your own reports. See VMware Knowledge Base article 2061437.
- Schedule a Machine Reboot in the Automatic Patch Deployment
Automatic Patch Deployment now includes the option to reboot a machine after patch deployment. In the Patching Automatic Deployment Add or Edit wizard, for scheduled automatic deployment runs, you can have VCM reboot managed machines after a certain number of minutes of deployment, which defines the number of minutes before a reboot of the managed machines occurs after patch deployment. This option is not available for an event-driven automatic deployment run.
- Use Enforceable Compliance to Delete Users on Linux or UNIX Operating Systems
The ability to delete users on Linux or UNIX operating systems is included as an enforceable compliance property type. When you create a rule based on the Users - Information data type to check for the existence of a local user account, you can configure the rule to delete particular unwanted user accounts as an enforceable action.
- Expanded VCM Snapshots
VCM snapshots are copies of the collected data for a virtual or physical machine or object as the data exists in the VCM database at the time you take the snapshot. The snapshots are now expanded beyond virtual or physical machine data to include vCenter Server instances and virtual machine host data. VCM snapshots of the object types, virtual or physical machines, vCenter Server instances, and virtual machine hosts are managed in individual data grids. The activated snapshots are available in associated data grids, and are available for reports and compliance.
- Start-up Type for Services Includes Support for Windows Automatic (Delayed) Start
You can configure the services start up options for supported Windows operating systems. The supported clients include Windows Vista and later, and the supported servers include Windows Server 2008 and later. This feature is not available for Windows Server 2003.
- Edit Compliance Template Rules to Compare Virtual Environment Objects
After creating a compliance template in which you compare object configurations against a model object, you can now edit the compliance rule configuration for the model object. You cannot change the model object when you edit the rule. Instead, you must create a new compare compliance template.
- Managed Machines Platform Support
VCM 5.7.1 adds support for the following platforms:
- Red Hat 5.10: Supported for collections and patching.
- Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.10: Supported for collections.
- CentOS 5.10: Supported for collections.
- Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2: Supported for collections and patching.
- Agent Update Support
- The Linux Agent has been updated to 5.7.1.
- The Windows Agent has been updated to 5.7.1.
- Supported Browsers
The VCM Collector machine, and any other machines that will access the VCM Web console interface on the VCM Collector, must have a compatible Web browser installed. VCM supports the following browsers.
- Internet Explorer version 8 and 9.
- Internet Explorer version 10 in compatibility mode.
- Internet Explorer version 11 in compatibility mode.
- Mozilla Firefox version 6.0 or later with the Internet Explorer IE Tab add-on. This add-on requires Internet Explorer 6.0 to be installed on the machine.
In this release, new features are documented in the VCM online Help and these Release Notes. You can also view the VCM 5.7.1 Help on the VMware Web site at http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vcm_pubs.html. The PDF guides have not been reissued.
VCM 5.7.1 includes enhancements to the Typical Installation and Advanced Installation options.
- Connecting to vCenter Server
The VCM Typical Installation now includes a recommended option to configure access to vCenter Server instances so that VCM can collect vCenter, host, and guest data as soon as installation is complete.
- Adding VCM Accounts
The VCM Typical Installation now includes a recommended option to add VCM accounts so that users can log in and begin using VCM as soon as installation is complete.
- Downloading Compliance Content
VMware provides predefined compliance templates that are based on hardening guides and published industry security standards. In the VCM Typical Installation, you can now select compliance content for download and import to the VCM database so that the templates are ready for use shortly after installation is complete.
- Expanded Support for Built-In Accounts
The VCM Advanced Installation now supports built-in accounts for VCM services. In addition, users who upgrade to 5.7.1 may change to built-in accounts if they had chosen domain accounts in their older VCM installation. The opposite, changing to domain accounts from built-in accounts, is also supported. See the Known Issues below for an error in the Installer Help.
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 VCM 5.3, EMC Ionix SCM 5.0 or later, or Configuresoft ECM 4.11.1 or later.
An upgrade installs the new version of VCM on the 64-bit Windows machines in single-tier, two-tier, or three-tier installation configurations.
A migration to VCM 5.7.1 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 5.7.1 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.
The VCM 5.7.1 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 the previous release 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.
The following issues are resolved in the VCM 5.7.1 release.
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"/>.
This issue is resolved in this release.
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 vCloud Director 1.0 API when communicating with vCloud Director 5.5 instead of calling 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 Knowledge Base article 2059554.
This issue is resolved in this release.
Cannot set priority for patch staging jobs run as Remote Commands on HTTP Agents
VCM uses a value of 1 for high priority patch stage jobs and a value of 5 for low priority patch stage jobs in Administration > Settings > General Settings > Patching > Windows > Additional Settings. This prioritization might cause problems when many collections and patch deployment jobs are running, because time-critical patching jobs might become blocked by other collection jobs, particularly those that are running with high priority.
Workaround: Be aware of time-critical patching jobs that might become blocked by other activities such as collections, and use the Remote command patch stage priority option in Administration > Settings > General Settings > Patching > Windows > Additional Settings to set the priority for staging patches on the managed machines.
This issue is resolved in this release.
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.
Installation Manager cannot validate the SQL Server instance
The VCM Advanced Installation option, which runs the standard Installation Manager, might be unable 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:
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 184.108.40.2063. After you license an HP-UX 11.11 or 11.23 machine, install the VCM 220.127.116.113 Agent on the machine, and collect machine data, VCM displays the status of the Agent 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.
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 run 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 workarounds.
Modify the host name:
- Click Administration and select Machines Manager > Licensed Machines > Licensed UNIX Machines.
- 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:
- In VCM, click Administration and select Settings > General Settings > Collector.
- 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 to keep the deployment from stopping
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 assessment results nodes for Linux or UNIX platforms, 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, selecting Disable in the Job Manager scheduled jobs 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 Enabled column for the job continues to display Yes. 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.
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, when the installation is finished, 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.
VCM cannot exceed 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.
A warning message related to scripted remediation framework administrative parameters is unreadable on a Collector running a simplified Chinese locale operating system
On a Collector using a Chinese locale, in Administration > Settings > Scripted Remediation Framework > Administrative Parameters, when you are adding a machine group parameter in the 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.
A new VCM 5.7.1 installation does not support mixed-mode accounts
VCM only supports mixed-mode accounts with a VCM 5.7.1 upgrade. On a new VCM 5.7.1 installation, mixed-mode accounts such as a Domain service account for VCVP, and Built-in for other accounts, is not allowed.
If you use Built-in accounts for VCM Remote and VCVP during VCM installation, neither VCM Remote nor VCVP operate properly
Do not use Built-in accounts for VCM Remote and VCVP during VCM installation. Even if you select to install VCM with all built-in accounts, VCM Remote and VCVP will not work. You must update them to work with Service Accounts after the installation.
See KB 2065273.
A user that is assigned the Change Restricted role should not be able to edit the VCM Logins page to set the role as an administrator or to add or edit any user to any role, but can still access it
Be careful when you attempt to restrict users by assigning them the Change Restricted role, because they can still access user management.
Workaround: Create your own restricted role that does not have admin access to user management, but which does have the other rights you want to apply.
vCenter Hosts Datastores object type cannot be used to compare host snapshots
After using VCM to collect data from a vCenter, you can take host snapshots, view them, and use them for comparison. You can use these host snapshots to compare the vCenter Hosts virtual object type for the Compare objects feature under Compliance > VE Compliance > Templates. You cannot use the host snapshots to compare the vCenter Hosts Datastores virtual object type even though the host snapshots appear in the grid for selection.
On a Windows guest machine, data collection fails on the ProvPackageMgrs data type
After you discover a vCenter Virtual Appliance, then manage a Windows guest machine, after you install the VCM Agent on the guest machine and attempt to collect data from it, the data collection fails. The Debug Event Viewer indicates an error when VCM runs dbo.ecm_sp_raw_transform_data with the ProvPackageMgrs data type.
- Before you run a full collection on a Windows guest managed machine, verify that .NET 3.5.1 or 4.0 is installed on the managed machine.
- Use the default filterset to collect data from the Windows guest managed machine, or remove the Provisioning repository data classes from a full collection.
Help incorrectly describes the credentials for using built-in accounts
In the Advanced Installation, when entering built-in account credentials for VCM Remote or VCVP, do not enter a domain of NT Authority/. (with a slash and dot) as described in the Help.
Workaround: For these accounts, enter NT Authority (without the slash and dot) for the domain.
NOTE: Entering the wrong credentials might cause the VCM Installer to stop working.