VMware Infrastructure 3 Release Notes - ESX Server 3.0, VirtualCenter 2.0

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

ESX Server Version 3.0 | 6/13/06 | Build 27701

VirtualCenter Version 2.0 | 6/13/06 | Build 27704

Last Document Update: 8/28/06

What's in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

What's New

Details of What's New and Improved in VI 3.
  • NAS and iSCSI Support
    ESX Server 3.0 can store virtual machines on NAS and iSCSI. iSCSI LUNs, like Fibre Channel LUNs, can be formatted with the VMware file system (VMFS). Each virtual machine resides in a single directory. Network attached storage (NAS) appliances must present file systems over the NFS protocol for ESX Server to be able to use them. NFS mounts are used like VMFS with ESX Server creating one directory for each virtual machine. iSCSI enabled through a software initiator (100% implemented as a software layer over TCP/IP) is fully supported in this release.
  • Clusters
    A cluster is a collection of hosts that can be managed as a single entity. The resources from all the hosts in a cluster are aggregated into a single pool. A cluster looks like a stand-alone host, but it typically has more resources available.
  • VMware DRS
    VMware DRS allows resources from all hosts in a cluster to be treated as a single, aggregated pool. When changes occur in the environment, DRS can tune the resource scheduling on individual hosts as well as use VMotion to rebalance workload across hosts in the cluster. When a virtual machine is powered on, DRS calculates the optimal host on which to start it, given current resource levels and the resource configuration of the new virtual machine.
  • Resource Pools
    A resource pool provides a way of subdividing the resources of a stand-alone host or a cluster into smaller pools. A resource pool is configured with a set of CPU and memory resources that are shared by the virtual machines that run in the resource pool. Resource pools can be nested.
  • VMware HA
    VMware HA (HA) increases the availability of virtual machines by detecting host failures and automatically restarting virtual machines on other available hosts. HA operates on a set of ESX Server 3.0 hosts that have been grouped into a cluster with HA enabled.
  • Creating 64-Bit Virtual Machines
    By default, 64-bit guests are now visible in the Virtual Infrastructure Client interface and marked as "experimental."
  • Remote CD/Floppy
    Using either the Virtual Infrastructure Client or Virtual Infrastructure Web Access, a virtual machine can access a CD or floppy device from the client's machine.
  • Hot-Add Virtual Disk
    ESX Server 3.0 supports adding new virtual disks to a virtual machine while it is running. This is useful with guest operating systems capable of recognizing hot-add hardware.
  • New Version of the VMware File System: VMFS 3
    There is a new generation of VMFS in ESX Server 3.0. Scalability, performance, and reliability have all improved. Furthermore, subdirectories are now supported. ESX Server system will create a directory for each virtual machine and all its component files.

  • VMware Consolidated Backup
    Consolidated Backup enables offloaded and impact-free backup for virtual machines running on an ESX Server system by allowing traditional file-based backup software to leverage VMware virtual machine snapshot technology and efficient SAN-based data transfer.
  • Virtual Infrastructure Client
    The VirtualCenter Client has been renamed the Virtual Infrastructure Client or VI Client to convey its ability to connect to a VirtualCenter Management Server or to individual ESX Servers. When connected to VirtualCenter 2.0, the VI Client provides full monitoring and management of multihost configurations and multihost functionality, such as VMotion, DRS, and HA. When connected to ESX Server 3.0, the VI Client provides the subset of functionality needed to manage the virtual machines and configurations of single hosts. In both cases, the VI Client contains all the functionality previously available through the separate Web-based Management User Interface (MUI) in ESX Server Server 2.x and provides an interface to configure ESX Server 3.0.
  • New Guest SDK Available
    The VMware Guest SDK allows software running in the guest operating system in a VMware ESX Server 3.0 virtual machine to collect certain data about the state and performance of the virtual machine. Download the Guest SDK package from www.vmware.com/support/developer/
  • Tools Auto-Upgrade
    VMware Infrastructure 3 (ESX Server 3.0/VirtualCenter 2.0) supports the ability to install or upgrade VMware Tools on multiple virtual machines at the same time without needing to interact with each virtual machine. Detailed instructions are provided in the Installation and Upgrade Guide.
  • Licensing Scheme

  • ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 introduce new licensing mechanisms based on FlexNet mechanisms. The first option is called "License Server Based" licensing and is intended to simplify license management in large, dynamic environments by allowing licenses to be managed and tracked by a license server. The second option is called "Host Based" licensing and is intended for smaller environments or customers preferring to keep ESX Server systems decoupled from a license server.

    Use "License Server Based" license files to unify and simplify the license management of many separate VirtualCenter and ESX Server licenses by creating a pool of licenses centrally managed by a license server. Licenses for the VirtualCenter Management Server and for the VirtualCenter add-on features, such as the VirtualCenter Management Agent, VMotion, VMware HA, and VMware DRS are only available in this form.

    "Host Based" license files are not centrally managed and not dynamically allocated but might be placed directly on individual ESX Server hosts. Only the licenses for ESX Server and VMware Consolidated backup are available in this alternative form.

  • VMware Experimental Feature Support Definition
    VMware includes certain experimental features in some of our product releases. These features are there for you to test and experiment with. We do not expect these features to be used in a production environment. However, if you do encounter any issues with an experimental feature, we are interested in any feedback you are willing to share. Please submit a support request through the normal access methods. You will receive an auto-acknowledgement of your request. We cannot, however, commit to troubleshoot, provide workarounds, or provide fixes for these experimental features.

Before You Begin

ESX Server, VirtualCenter, and GSX Server Compatibility

This release version requires or functions with the listed version of the following servers:

 VirtualCenter version  ESX Server version  GSX Server version
2.0 2.0.1, 2.1.x, 2.5.x, 3.0  
1.3, 1.3.1 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.5.x 3.1, 3.2
1.2 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.5.0, 2.5.1 3.1, 3.2
1.1 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.1.1 3.1
1.0.1 2.0.1, 2.1  
1.0 2.0.1  

Known Issues

For any known issue that has a Knowledge Base article link, use this path to access the article. Change the Knowledge Base number in the URL.


Security Alerts for This Release

Please refer to KB 1107 for VMware product security alerts.

The Known Issues are grouped as follows:

Note: Some known issues with this release are covered in the VMware Virtual Infrastructure SDK Release Notes for VMware VirtualCenter 2.0.

Note: Windows 2000 must be updated with Rollup 1 for Service Pack 4. Download this Rollup from http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/evaluation/news/bulletins/rollup.mspx. Refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816542/ for details. This fix is essential for VirtualCenter Server to operate correctly..

For information about third-party software and the new VMware Service Console firewall, see KB 2143. View all the Knowledge Base articles related to the ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0 releases.


Upgrade Issues



VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) Issues Server Configuration Issues



VirtualCenter, VI Client, and Web Access Issues Virtual Machine Management Issues

Guest Operating System

You can find the latest version of the Guest Operating System Installation Guide by following these links: HTML | PDF | Japanese PDF.

Miscellaneous Issues

Installation Notes for This Release

Upgrading or Migrating to VMware Infrastructure 3

This release supports upgrading from ESX Server 2.x and VirtualCenter 1.x to VMware Infrastructure 3, which is ESX Server 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0. VMware highly recommends that you review the detailed upgrade instructions and guidelines that are provided in the Installation and Upgrade Guide.