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VMware Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) 2 Release Notes

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Notes on VMware VDM 2.1.1, Build 663

Build 663 is a release build of VMware VDM 2.1.1.

The release notes contain the following:

New in VDM 2.1.1

VDM 2.1.1 includes changes to the virtual machine naming convention.

The new naming convention changes the way the desktop virtual machines in a VDM pool are named.

By default, a prefix is used to identify all desktops in a pool as part of the same group, and a numeric suffix is appended to this entry in order to distinguish each desktop from others in the same pool. The prefix can be up to 13 characters in length. You can override this behavior by entering a name that contains a token representing the pool number. The token can appear anywhere in the name. For example:

amber-{n}-desktop

After deployment,{n} is replaced with the pool number of the desktop. Fixed length tokens can be entered using the n:fixed= construction. For example:

amber-{n:fixed=3}

After deployment,{n:fixed=3} is replaced with a fixed‐length pool number for each desktop amber-001, amber-002, amber-003 and so forth.

When using the n:fixed construct, if you exceed the limit of virtual machines that can be created, provisioning is disabled for the pool. For example, if you are using pool-{n:fixed=2}, you can have a pool size of 99. After creating virtual machines pool-01 to pool-99, if you delete one virtual machine, the pool manager will try to create pool-100, and that will fail with a provisioning error. For enabling addition of such virtual machines, you can increase the fixed length size in the admin UI.

A 15 character limit applies to names that contain a token, but only to the "replaced" form where the token length is fixed. For example:

my-view-system{n:fixed=1}

If the token length is not fixed, a buffer of 1 is applied to the token, so the maximum "replaced" length is 14 characters. For example:

a-view-system{n}

Before You Begin

Before you begin with installation and configuration of VMware VDM, see the following guidelines.

General Installation Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all installations types (new installations and upgrades).

  • Synchronize time - Make sure that you have synchronized time across VDM Connection Server and desktop virtual machines.  By default, virtual machines pick up the time from the ESX host at boot, and you might have to synchronize time on the ESX hosts through the ntpd service.
  • Validate your Internet Explorer settings - VDM Client uses Microsoft Internet Explorer internet settings, including proxy settings, when connecting to VDM Connection Server. Ensure that your Internet Explorer settings are accurate and that you can access the VDM Connection Server URL through Internet Explorer.
  • Before creating an automatically provisioned desktop pool, do the following:
    • Validate the VirtualCenter guest customization specification if you intend to use one - Make sure that the guest customization specification in VirtualCenter is accurate. You should use VirtualCenter to deploy and customize a virtual machine from your template using that customization specification and fully test the resulting virtual machine (in other words, DHCP, authentication) before using that customization specification in VDM Administrator.
    • Validate network ports on ESX - Make sure you have a sufficient number of ports on the virtual switch which is used for the guest virtual machines. The default value for ESX is 24; it may not be sufficient when creating a large pool of desktop virtual machines.
  • Install required Microsoft Windows patches - For Windows XP desktop virtual machines, make sure you have RDP patches referenced by Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles 323497 and 884020.  Failure to do this may result in a Windows Sockets failed error message on the client.  You can find these KB articles at the following URLs:
  • Upgrade VDM Client machines to use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 6.0 - This recommendation applies to machines running Windows XP and Windows XPe. Windows 2000 does not support RDC 6.0.Windows Vista comes with RDC 6.0 installed.

    You can download RDC 6.0 from the following Microsoft download site: Microsoft downloads

  • VDM does not support using link-local (169.254.x.x) addresses for desktop virtual machines - Configure desktop virtual machines to use DHCP or static IP addresses.

Backing Up Configuration Data (VDM 2.1 and later)

VMware recommends that you back up configuration data. For information about backing up configuration data, see the VMware technical note at the following URL:

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vdm_config_data_export_import.pdf

Upgrading VDM

VDM supports upgrading from VDM 2.0 to 2.1.1 and from VDM 2.1 to 2.1.1. Keep in mind the following issues when upgrading VDM Clients:

Troubleshooting VDM

The following URLs for VMware KB articles contain troubleshooting information for VDM. The KB articles are continually updated with new troubleshooting information.

Resolved Issues

These are the resolved issues in VDM 2.1.1.

  • Upgrades Apache Tomcat to version 5.5.26 from 5.5.23
    For more information about security issues fixed in version 5.5.26 and in earlier versions and their CVE identifiers, see the Apache Tomcat 5.x Vulnerabilities page.
  • Changes to Encryption Suites for Web Access and Administrative Access
    This release changes the available encryption suites that VDM accepts to provide web access and administrative access. From this release, only 128-bit and higher cipher suites are supported. As a result, browsers that exclusively use cipher suites with 40-bit and 56-bit encryption cannot connect to VDM. Microsoft has made the Internet Explorer High Encryption Pack available for Internet Explorer 5.01 and earlier. Internet Explorer 5.5 and higher versions already use 128-bit encryption. For a complete list of supported cipher suites, see http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1007405
  • WTOS Devices Fail to Reconnect to a Desktop Session
    Wyse Thin OS (WTOS) devices such as Wyse S10, used with desktops that have the Allow multiple sessions per user setting enabled, fail to reconnect to a disconnected desktop session. Instead, users might be allocated a new virtual machine with a new session, or encounter an error message similar to This desktop is currently not available...
    This is true for non-persistent pools only. For this to work properly, set the Automatic logoff after disconnect to Never.

    This issue is resolved in this release. Users can reconnect to their disconnected desktop sessions, provided they use the same Wyse device.

  • The Admin UI Login Page Does not Display the Domain Used in the Previous Session
    This issue is fixed in this release.

  • VDM Agent Service Appears to Run, but Does Not Initialize
    The VDM agent service waits for the VirtualCenter bootrun service to be removed before finishing the startup process. Since certain bootrun registry entries might not be removed after the VirtualCenter customization process, the VDM agent service appears to be running, but would not fully initialize. Users connecting to these virtual machines might encounter a desktop not available error message.

    This issue is fixed in this release. The agent service now performs explicit verification that the bootrun service is not a lingering set of registry entries but instead denotes the actual completion of the customization process.
  • Extraneous Error Messages Are Logged in the VDM Server Log
    Extraneous error messages are logged in the VDM Server log when routine GET / server health check messages are sent to the VDM server in the non-SSL mode. These messages might look similar to:

    javax.servlet.jsp.JspTagException: java.lang.NullPointerException
    com.vmware.vdi.ob.broker.r.doEndTag(SourceFile:214)
    jsp.styles.default_.login_jsp._jspService(SourceFile:65)
    org.apache.jasper.runtime.HttpJspBase.service(HttpJspBase.java:98)
    javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:803)
    com.vmware.vdi.broker.servlets.MainServlet.doGet(SourceFile:76)


    Because the error messages are sent at regular intervals, the VDM log file gets filled up, resulting in reduced disk space. This issue is fixed in this release.
  • The Summary Page of VDM Desktop Pools Takes a Long Time to Load
    The summary page of VDM desktop pools takes a long time to load, depending on the pool size. This issue is fixed in this release. The page load time is now independent of the pool size.
  • Deployed Virtual Machines in the VDM Desktop Pool do Not Move to the Ready State
    Deployed virtual machines in the VDM desktop pool do not move to the ready state from the customizing state. This condition might occur due to various reasons, including:
    • If the VDM agent is not installed in the virtual machine template that was used for provisioning the virtual machines.
    • If the VirtualCenter fails to complete the sysprep process.
    This issue is resolved in this release. The fix provides for the display of a provisioning error in the admin UI if a virtual machine remains in the customizing state for more than two hours.
  • New Sessions Are Blocked From Being Launched Through VDM
    The session manager instance is not started immediately when the VDM 2.0 and 2.1 agent is installed in a desktop virtual machine. If the virtual machine is then added as an individual desktop, the session used to install the agent is not displayed in the admin UI, but blocks new sessions from being launched through VDM.

    This issue is fixed in this release. The fix starts the session manager instance immediately after the VDM agent installation, and the session information is reported back to the connection server and is displayed in the admin UI.
  • On the desktop summary page, the value selected for Do not power on virtual machine after creation does not display correctly. The policy follows what has been selected in the desktop wizard. (1005390)
  • Image customization specifications in VirtualCenter must have a NIC configured in order to create a desktop pool. (1005392)

Known Issues and Restrictions in VDM 2.1.1

The following are known issues and restrictions for VMware VDM 2.1.1. The items listed in this section are links to Knowledge Base articles.

VDM Administrator

VDM Connection Server

VDM Web Access

VDM Client

USB Redirection

The USB redirection feature of VDM Client provides generic support for redirecting locally attached USB devices to the desktop virtual machine. The feature has been successfully tested with a range of devices, including printers, scanners, mass storage devices, phones, and PDAs. See the KB article at http://www.vmware.com/info?id=346 for details about known issues with redirecting specific USB devices in VDM.