VMware VirtualCenter 2.0.2 Release Notes

Check back frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

VMware VirtualCenter 2.0.2 | 07/19/2007 | Build 50618

Release notes last updated on 6/11/2008 with the following correction:

  • Corrected the procedure for modifying the task timeout value.

Release notes last updated on 8/29/2007 with the following new additions:

  • User Names Containing Non-ASCII Characters Are Disallowed added to Known Issues

Release notes updated on 8/23/2007 with the following new additions:

  • Customizable Settings in VMware HA added to What's New
  • VirtualCenter Upgrade Installer Fails When Run From a USB Device added to Known Issues
  • VMware HA Agents May Fail to Automatically Reconfigure After Network Connectivity is Restored added to Known Issues
  • Pre-Installation Tasks For Upgrade Using ISO Image or CD-ROM added to Before Installing VirtualCenter 2.0.2

Release notes updated on 7/31/2007 with the following additions:

  • VMware Consolidated Backup added to Resolved Issues.
  • The VI Client Rejects the Backslash Character if Using the English Version of VirtualCenter 2.0.2 added to Known Issues.

What's in the Release Notes

VirtualCenter 2.0.2 is a maintenance release that includes several high-priority resolved issues from earlier patch releases, as well as several enhancements and improvements. This release resolves issues associated with databases, virtual machine management, and other critical issues. This release also implements improvements to license administration by making license allocation and distribution more effective, and to VMware HA by adding a few customizable settings.

This maintenance release includes changes to VirtualCenter Management Server and VI Client software. If you upgrade a VirtualCenter Server host using this maintenance release, you must also upgrade all VI Client hosts. You can upgrade the Windows client hosts by downloading the software from an upgraded VirtualCenter Server host, or by selecting VI Client from the VirtualCenter installation startup page.

The release notes cover the following topics:

What’s New

License Administration
VirtualCenter Server 2.0.2 release now provides granular control over ESX Server and VCB (VMware Consolidated Backup) license redistribution and allocation. This option lets administrators restrict access to the license server, so only specified hosts can obtain licenses. It is also possible to specify the number and type of licenses that should be granted to particular hosts. For more information, see KB 1000955 "License Administration using an Options File."

Newly Supported Database for VirtualCenter 2.0.2 Release
VirtualCenter Server 2.0.2 release adds support for these additional database management systems:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP2 (both 32 bit and 64 bit)

Note: The Microsoft SQL Server 2005 native client driver is not supported for installation or upgrade. You must use the SQL Server driver (not the native SQL or other drivers). If you are using Microsoft SQL Server 2005, verify that the ODBC driver configured for the database is the SQL Server driver. If not, you must reconfigure the SQL Server driver prior to attempting to upgrade or install this update. Otherwise, the installation will not succeed.

Permission Can Be Assigned to Users and Groups With Long Names
In VI Client, you can now create permissions and assign them to users or groups with names that are up to 250 characters long. The datatype of the 'PRINCIPAL' column in the 'VPX_ACCESS' table has been changed to accommodate this.

Customizable Settings Added to VMware HA
VirtualCenter Server 2.0.2 release includes support for two advanced configuration settings that can be used to customize VMware HA:

  • The timeout value used for failure and isolation detection can be configured to be different than 15 seconds (default).
  • More than one isolation response address can be specified to give redundant service console networks independent isolation addresses.
For more information about these settings, see KB 1002080.

Resolved Issues

VirtualCenter 2.0.2 (Build 50618) resolves a variety of issues and includes several improvements:

Security Issues

  • Possible Denial of Service Issue Addressed
    This release fixes a Denial of Service issue where VirtualCenter fails if it received specially crafted input through the Web Access interface. VirtualCenter now sends the Web Access remote management client an exception instead of shutting down. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project, cve.mitre.org, assigned the name CVE-2007-1272 to this issue.

Installation Issues

  • VirtualCenter Service Is Configured to Restart Automatically
    In this release, service recovery options are configured for automatic restart by default in the VirtualCenter installer for both the VirtualCenter Server service and the VirtualCenter Web Access service. The services are configured to restart five minutes after each failure. The previous release required manual configuration of restart settings for second and subsequent failures.

Database Issues

  • VirtualCenter Installer Gives a Helpful Warning About Transaction Logs to Non-DBA Users
    In this release, VirtualCenter installer is modified to give a helpful warning about transaction logs to non-DBA users. Since transaction logs can grow very long over a period of time (unless regular backups are scheduled), VMware recommends that you configure the recovery model of the database appropriately to suit this need. If the user's database recovery model is currently 'FULL,' the user is notified to refer to KB 1001046 "SQL Server Recovery Model Affects Transaction Log Disk Space Requirements" to set the recovery option appropriately.
  • Database View VPXV_HIST_STAT is Incomplete
    In this release, the database view VPXV_HIST_STAT has been modified to reflect the correct definition.

Virtual Machine Management Issues

  • Monitoring the Virtual Machine Heartbeat Using Alarms
    This release includes an option in the VI Client to create an alarm for monitoring the virtual machine heartbeat. This feature was available in VirtualCenter 1.x, but was not implemented in version 2.0. In this release, this feature is enabled.
  • Virtual Machine Automatic Startup Settings are Preserved After Migration
    This release adds new functionality to preserve information about automatic startup during virtual machine migration. Virtual machine startup and shutdown settings are preserved during manual hot or cold migration and during automatic VMotion migration for DRS.
  • Successive Template Deployment Sets the Specified Static IP Address for the Virtual Machines
    This release resolves a networking configuration error encountered when deploying successive templates. In previous releases, when a template was successively deployed three times with a static IP address, the third virtual machine set its virtual NIC to DHCP instead of the specified IP address.
  • Time Synchronization Option Is Now Preserved During VMotion Migration
    This release fixes an issue where the time synchronization option was not preserved when a virtual machine was migrated to a destination host such as an ESX Server 2.5.2 host. Now, during migration, the time synchronization option is preserved.
    Note: If tools.syncTime value is changed when the virtual machine is powered on, the time synchronization option will not be preserved.
  • DRS Migrates Virtual Machines to a Host That Has Exited Maintenance Mode
    In earlier releases, DRS did not move virtual machines to hosts that just exited maintenance mode. If no other hosts besides the ones that just exited the maintenance mode were available, DRS failed. This issue has been fixed in this release.
  • VirtualCenter Server Checks the Block Size of the VMFS Partition on the Target ESX Server Host Before Moving the Virtual Machine
    In this release, VirtualCenter Server checks the block size of the VMFS partition on the target ESX Server host and calculates the maximum virtual disk size supported by the partition. If the size of the source virtual disk is greater than the maximum size supported on the target ESX Server host, VirtualCenter Server sends an error message indicating that the file is too large. In earlier releases, this check was not performed and migration failed without sending any error message.

Other Issues

  • NAT Support for VirtualCenter 2.0 Only
    This release provides support for connecting ESX Server 2.5 and 3.0 hosts to VirtualCenter using network address translation (NAT). To configure ESX Server to connect to a VirtualCenter Server configured behind NAT, you must add the following configuration parameter in vpxd.cfg:


    Where ipAddress is the address the ESX Server host uses to communicate with the VirtualCenter Server.

    See KB 2195771 "Manually Setting Cluster IP Address for Clustered VirtualCenter Server" for information about manually configuring the IP address in vpxd.cfg file.
    Also note that the NAT must be configured to allow UDP packets to port 902 of this IP address.

  • VirtualCenter Server Version is Added to the Registry
    In this release, the 'InstalledVersion' string is added to the registry. The value of this string provides the version of the VirtualCenter Server installation on your system. The format of the value of this string is 'VirtualCenter Server version.' 'Build version.' In earlier releases this string was not available in the registry entry for VirtualCenter Server. You can also find the version of your VirtualCenter Server installation by connecting to the VirtualCenter Server using the VI Client and clicking Help > About Virtual Infrastructure.
  • A New Setting Added to Enable or Disable VirtualCenter 1.x Backward Compatibility
    This release adds a new setting to the Web Server Settings dialog screen to enable or disable VirtualCenter 1.x backward compatibility. Unlike previous versions, where the selection option was available only during installation and setup, this option is now available in the VirtualCenter Management Server Configuration screen and is accessible any time.
    Note: Changes to settings require a manual restart of VirtualCenter server.
  • New VI Client Warning Message When Deleting a Virtual Machine
    This release includes a new error message for the Delete from Disk option. The message appears if the user is attempting to delete virtual machines with non-persistent disks. The message indicates that removing these disk types also removes the associated base disk and virtual machines sharing the disk will no longer have access to the disk.
  • No Uptime Values Displayed for ESX Server Hosts
    This release fixes a problem with missing uptime values for ESX Server hosts after upgrading VirtualCenter. The uptime values now display in the VI Client when VirtualCenter connects to ESX Server hosts.
  • Effective Permissions of Users After Modifying User-Group Relationship Are Reflected On Next Log In
    Prior to this release, when a user-group relationship was modified, the effective permissions of the affected user was not reflected on the next login attempt. User-group relationship modifications include adding a user to a group and removing a user from a group. In this release, the effective permissions of the user after user-group relationship modification are reflected on the next login attempt.
  • Mozilla Web Browser Plug-ins Fail to Update When Connecting to VirtualCenter or ESX Server
    This release resolves an issue with failed server-certificate verification on Web Access clients using Mozilla browsers. This version of VirtualCenter includes Web Access plug-in verification of the server certificate, assuming that server certificate verification has been enabled. See KB 4646606 "Enabling Server-Certificate Verification for Virtual Infrastructure Clients" for information about enabling server-certificate verification. See the VMware technical note Replacing VirtualCenter Server Certificates for additional background information.
  • Default Server Certificates Expire in 730 Days
    The default (self-signed) certificate provided with VirtualCenter Management Server expires 730 days after installation. If you are upgrading from an earlier version of VirtualCenter Management Server, the certificate will expire 730 days after that (earlier) installation. Expired default certificates prevent login to the VirtualCenter Management Server. Replace the default certificate before it expires. See the VMware technical note Replacing VirtualCenter Server Certificates for additional background information.
  • Mounting Two Volumes to the Same Mount Point in a Virtual Machine Causes VirtualCenter to Crash
    This release fixes an issue that caused VirtualCenter Server to fail when two volumes were mounted to the same mount point in a virtual machine.
  • When an Alarm Is Triggered Only the First Action Item in the Alarm Settings Is Implemented
    In this release, when a user creates an alarm with multiple action items, all the action items in the alarm settings will be invoked when the alarm is triggered. Prior to this release, in VirtualCenter 2.0.1 Patch 2 release, only the first action item was invoked.
  • Task Timeout Value Can Be Manually Set in the vpxd.cfg File
    The default task timeout for VirtualCenter Server is set to 900 seconds. This value can be manually set in the vpxd.cfg file by adding:

    Where timeout_value is specified in seconds. The maximum value is 1800 seconds.
    Note: You must restart VirtualCenter Server after making changes to the vpxd.cfg file.
  • VI Client Immediately Reflects the Available Datastore Free Space on the Target LUN After a Migration Operation
    In this release, after a migration operation, the free space available in the datastore on the target LUN is immediately updated and reflected in the Virtual Infrastructure Client UI. In earlier releases, there was a considerable delay before the free space available in the datastore on the target LUN was updated.
  • Updated Alarm Scripting variable Names in VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 Basic System Administration Guide
    Virtual Infrastructure 3 Basic System Administration Guide lists the following incorrect alarm scripting variable names:

    A PDF update section listing the correct details has been added to the Basic System Administration guide. The update now lists the following entries:

Performance Issues

This release includes several performance fixes. These are in the areas of efficient caching, optimization for lookups of inventory objects and reduced command latencies.

  • Faster checking of permissions, resulting in improved property collector performance, better operation latencies, and faster client responsiveness.

  • Improved property collector performance by fast-pathing certain property collector algorithms.

  • Improved diagnostic information on performance issues by providing additional counters and logging to collect performance related data.

  • Improved VirtualCenter Server agent synchronization latencies.

  • Increased efficiency of alarms processing in both the VirtualCenter Server and agents.

  • Improved virtual machine creation and removal latency.

  • Reduced the frequency of VirtualCenter Server agent synchronization, thereby improving VirtualCenter responsiveness and operational latencies.
VMware Consolidated Backup Issues

  • Virtual Machine Disks on Two Different Datastores
    This release fixes a bug that prevented committing of snapshots of virtual machines that had virtual disks on two different datastores. This fix allows those virtual machines to be protected with VCB. See KB 10043 for more information on this resolved issue.

  • Enhancements in Snapshot Functionality
    This release includes a feature in the integration modules for VCB to remove old snapshots remaining from previous backup jobs if the previous backup job failed to remove the old snapshots.

Known Issues

Known issues and limitations of this update include the following:

  • VirtualCenter Upgrade Installer Fails When Run From a USB Device
    Upgrade Installer fails when upgrading from VirtualCenter 2.0.x to VirtualCenter 2.0.2 using a USB device. VMware recommends that you copy all the setup files from the USB device to the local disk and then run the setup locally.
  • VirtualCenter May Fail to Start After Installation
    If a fresh installation of VirtualCenter 2.0.2 was performed and not upgraded from a previous release, but pointed to a database created by a previous VirtualCenter 2.0.x release, VirtualCenter will fail to start after the installation completes. Under these conditions, the database is not upgraded during the installation process. See KB 1001680 for database upgrade instructions.
  • Resource Pool Permissions and Viewing Virtual Machines and Templates
    Under the "Virtual Machines and Templates" Inventory view, users with propagating privileges at the resource pool level can see the undiscovered virtual machines only. Users are unable to view the discovered virtual machines folder and any discovered virtual machines in that folder.
  • NAT for ESX Server 2.5 and 3.0 Hosts Is Not Supported
    This release does not provide support for connecting NAT-configured ESX Server 2.5 and 3.0 hosts to VirtualCenter Server.
  • Virtual Machines With CD-ROMs Attached Are Not Migrated by DRS
    Virtual machines that have CD-ROMs connected to them will not be migrated to another host by DRS. DRS does not display or log any warning message to indicate that the virtual machines are not migrated.
  • Add Host Operation Fails When /tmp/vmware-root Directory is Missing in the ESX Server 3.0.x Host
    VirtualCenter Agent fails to upgrade on the host that is missing the /tmp/vmware-root directory. To avoid this issue, ensure the /tmp/vmware-root directory exists in the ESX Server 3.0.x host before you install VirtualCenter 2.0.2 upgrade. See KB 4478241 for complete details.
  • Unable to Cancel VirtualCenter Database Upgrade Process
    Canceling the VirtualCenter Database Upgrade process closes the Upgrade Wizard UI, but the process continues to run in the background.
  • Correction to VMware Infrastructure SDK Reference Guide for Alarms on Virtual Machines
    The VMware Infrastructure SDK Reference Guide incorrectly lists runtime.connectionState as an available value for alarm.StateExpression (on type="VirtualMachine"). The value runtime.powerState should be the only value listed. The API Reference will be updated in the next major release.
  • The VI Client Rejects the Backslash Character if Using the English Version of VirtualCenter 2.0.2
    The VI Client fails to accept the backslash character ( \ ) in some entry fields if using the English version of VirtualCenter 2.0.2. For example, if you try to enter a backslash in a text field such as "virtual machine name" an error message reports that the input is not formatted correctly. The only exceptions where backslash is allowed are in the following two dialogs: assignment of a role to a domain user in the "Add Permissions" dialog, and specifying a license file path for an ESX Server host in the license dialog.
  • VMware HA Agents May Fail to Automatically Reconfigure After Network Connectivity is Restored
    In cases where multiple hosts experience a simultaneous network isolation (all of them losing network connectivity at the same time), the VMware HA agents running on these hosts may fail to automatically reconfigure and rejoin the HA cluster after the network connectivity is restored. You can try to manually reconfigure VMware HA either by reconfiguring VMware HA on each host or by performing a cluster-wide VMware HA reconfiguration. For more information, refer to KB 1002126
  • User Names Containing Non-ASCII Characters Are Disallowed
    This limitation is applicable to Virtual Infrastructure Client, Web Access, and SDK. For more information, refer to KB 1002224

Before Installing VirtualCenter 2.0.2

Before you begin the installation process, complete the following pre-installation tasks relevant to your Virtual Infrastructure configuration:

Managed ESX Server 3.0.x Pre-installation Tasks
Before you begin your installation process you must ensure that the /tmp/vmware-root directory exists in ESX Server 3.0.x host. If the directory does not exist, the VirtualCenter agent update will fail. See KB 4478241 for complete details on this issue.

As with any upgrade on a production system you should back-up the VirtualCenter database before you install this maintenance release.

This release also includes modifications to the VirtualCenter database SQL scripts (required to support the changes to the statistics roll-up.) These changes are mostly transparent and occur during the installation process. However, depending on the database service that you are using, you (or your organization's DBA) must perform the pre-install tasks described below:

Oracle Database Server Pre-installation Tasks
The schema used to manage the VirtualCenter objects must be able to use Oracle's DBMS_LOCK built-in package, which means it requires execute privileges on the package. Prior to installing the upgrade on an existing system, you (or your Oracle Database administrator (DBA)) must log on to the Oracle Database server as the sysdba and grant the privilege, as follows:

sqlplus system/<password>@<systemname> as sysdba
grant execute on dbms_lock to vpxadmin;

Note that the [@<systemname>] is relevant for a remote database host connection only. For example, assuming a database instance installed on the same host as the VirtualCenter Server system, the session might look as follows:

C:\oracle\product\10.2.0\10gR2_Home\BIN>sqlplus system/techpubs as sysdba
SQL*Plus: Release - Production on Fri Jan 5 10:01:51 2007
Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle. All rights reserved.

Connected to:
Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition Release - Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP and Data Mining options

SQL> grant execute on dbms_lock to vpxadmin;

Grant succeeded.

SQL> exit
Disconnected from Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition Release - Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP and Data Mining options


For a fresh install of VirtualCenter on an existing Oracle Database Server, you must create the schema and grant it the appropriate privileges prior to VirtualCenter installation. Here's an example of a SQL*Plus schema-creation session for an Oracle Database Server 10gR2 instance, from a Windows console:

sqlplus system/<password>[@<systemname>] as sysdba



Microsoft SQL Server Pre-installation Tasks
If your current VirtualCenter installation is configured to use an ODBC System Data Source Name (DSN) that points to the master database, perform the following tasks:
  1. Create a new database for VirtualCenter Server.
  2. Stop the VirtualCenter Server service.
  3. Migrate all VirtualCenter-related data from the master database to the new database. Database objects associated with a VirtualCenter installation start with 'VPX.' It is advisable that the data migration be performed by a qualified database administrator (DBA).
  4. Modify the ODBC System DSN used by your VirtualCenter installation to point to the new database.

For a fresh install of VirtualCenter Server, perform the following tasks:

  1. Create a new database for VirtualCenter Server.
  2. Create an ODBC System DSN that points to this database.
  3. For information on using SQL Server 2005 as a VirtualCenter Server database, please see KB 6565318.

Pre-Installation Tasks For Upgrading From VirtualCenter 1.x to 2.x
If you are upgrading a SQL database, you must first enable bulk logging in the database.

To enable bulk logging:

  1. Open SQL Server Enterprise Manager.
  2. Right-click the database and click Properties > Options > Recovery Model.
  3. Select Bulk-logged.

Pre-Installation Tasks For Upgrade Using ISO Image or CD-ROM
If you are upgrading an existing VirtualCenter 2.0.1 instance using an ISO image or a CD-ROM disc, then perform the instructions given in KB 1001900 before you run the upgrade installer.

Installing VirtualCenter 2.0.2

VirtualCenter software maintenance releases comprise a complete software installation (rather than being supplemental software or "patches"). As with a fresh install, the VirtualCenter installation program examines the local system, identifies any existing VirtualCenter installation, and guides you through the installation (or upgrade) process.

Note: If VirtualCenter components are already installed on the host machine, the installation program prompts for confirmation that you want to upgrade.

  1. Back up your VirtualCenter database (as recommended above).
  2. Download the software installation file from http://www.vmware.com/download/vi/.
  3. Stop the VirtualCenter Server service.
  4. Use autorun.exe to start the installation. Select VirtualCenter Management Server from the VMware VirtualCenter Installer startup page.
  5. Select Yes to upgrade an existing Installation.
  6. Note: If you are using Microsoft SQL Server as your database server, using the "master" database for VirtualCenter Server tables is not a supported configuration. If your previous VirtualCenter Server installation was configured to use the "master" database instead of a specific database created for VirtualCenter Server, then a warning message displays stating that your current configuration is not supported and that it has to be manually corrected. This warning message is displayed in a GUI-based installation only.

  7. Step through the VirtualCenter Install wizard, which guides you through several configuration details, including identifying your database instance. You will need to select your existing VirtualCenter database and enter the VirtualCenter database user name and password.
  8. After upgrading the VirtualCenter Server, you must also upgrade all Windows host systems to the upgraded VI Client software. Use the autorun.exe again to start the installer but select Virtual Infrastructure Client from the VMware VirtualCenter Installer startup page.

Note: If you installed VirtualCenter 2.0.2 as a fresh installation against the database from a previous installation, VirtualCenter will not start. The database from the previous installation has to be upgraded. See KB 1001680 for database upgrade instructions.

For complete information about installing or upgrading VirtualCenter, see Installing and Upgrading the VirtualCenter Product.