Release: Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5


Yesterday was the release day of Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5. The first backup solution with full support for vSphere 5.1 and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V 3.0.

An overview of the new features can be found in the this Youtube video:

I think the following features and enhancements are worth an upgrade. If you’re running a vSphere shop.

Features:

Restore from SAN snapshots
Version 6.5 also introduces Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots, which provides granular VMware recovery from HP StoreVirtual VSA and LeftHand snapshots. Codeveloped with HP, Explorer for SAN Snapshots lets you perform Veeam restores (Instant VM Recovery, Instant File-Level Recovery and Explorer for Exchange item
recovery) of VMware VMs directly from array-based snapshots.

You can find a short demo over here:

 

Reminder: Although SAN snapshots can provide excellent RPOs (recovery point objectives) for certain operational disasters, they cannot serve as real backups since they would be lost along with production data in the event of a storage disaster. Thus, you should never rely solely on SAN snapshots for data protection. To ensure protection against all types of disasters, continue to perform regular backup of all VMs to backup storage using Veeam backup jobs or VeeamZIP™.

vSphere 5.1 support:

Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 provides full support for VMware vSphere 5.1.
And like vSphere 5.1, Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 supports VMs running
Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 8.

Enhancements:

Engine:

  • Synthetic full transformation and reversed incremental backup. Improved performance (up to
    several times, depending on backup storage).
  • Storage optimization. New storage optimization setting provides improved performance and
    resource utilization for backup jobs with backup files over 16TB in size.
  • Memory consumption. Average memory consumption by the job manager process has been
    reduced up to 3 times.
  • Network packet loss. Increased the processing engine’s tolerance to network packet loss.
  • Network traffic verification engine. New network traffic verification engine detects and automatically recovers from in-flight data corruption caused by malfunctioning network equipment and similar issues.
  • Improved NAT support. Control whether the source backup proxy server or the backup repository/
    target backup proxy server establishes network connectivity. This is helpful when deploying Veeam
    Backup & Replication in a network with NAT and firewalls.
  • Storage space notification. Added support for low disk space notification for CIFS-based backup
    repositories.
    File-level restore
  • Direct file restore. When restoring a guest file back to its original location from the backup console
    (Backup Browser), perform the restore with a single click. You no longer need to supply destination
    information, and Veeam Backup & Replication does not have to stage the file locally on a backup server
    or on a network share.
  • Dynamic disks. Extended support for file-level restores from dynamic disks to include spanned,
    striped, mirrored and RAID-5 volumes.
  • Backup Browser UI. Updated the Backup Browser’s user interface (UI) to match the new product UI
    introduced in version 6.1. Removed the hidden system partition from the volume tree. Now retrieves
    actual drive letters from restored guest OS settings (rather than simply assigning in sequential order).

Enhancements specific to VMware:

  • Improved processing performance. Significantly reduced data transfer initialization time in all
    transport modes by disabling excessive VDDK logging.
  • Direct file restore. Perform a direct file restore (described earlier) without a network connection
    between the backup server and the destination VM.

You can read about the rest of the enhancements in the What’s new PDF here.

Personally I hope that I can find some time to test the Restore from SAN snapshots feature soon. We are running a huge Lefthand shop so this feature might become handy in the near future.

Release: vSphere 4.1 Update 1


Like many others already mentioned today: vSphere 4.1 Update 1 has been RELEASED!

I selected a couple of fixes from the release notes that made our life as a vSphere admin a lot better :

  • vCenter Storage Monitoring plug-in might not get enabled if vSphere Client 4.1 is connected to vCenter Server 4.0
    If you use vSphere Client 4.1 to connect to vCenter Server 4.0, and you then enable the vCenter Storage Monitoring plug-in, the Plug-in Manager Window might display an error similar to the following:
    The plug-in failed to load on server(s) vmvc38 due to the following error:
    Could not load file or assembly 'VpxClientCommon, Version=4.1.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=7c8-0a434483c7c50' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    This issue is resolved in this release.


  • Performance Overview data might not display after upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1
    Performance Overview data for the past day, week, and month might not be displayed after upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • Performance data might be missing for certain intervals after upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1
    After upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1 or every time that vCenter Server restarts, multiple threads might invoke the same stored procedure to process statistics in temporary tables (VPX_TEMPTABLE[1,2,3]) at the same time causing certain operations to not complete. This might lead to failure in collection of statistics. The performance data in the performance overview charts might be missing for certain intervals.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • Replacing SSL certificates in vCenter Server with custom certificates generated using OpenSSL 1.0.0 or later causes Storage Monitoring Service to fail
    For this issue, the following error is recorded in the sms.log files:
    Error constructing private key

    This issue is resolved in this release.
  • Search functionality might not display results if you use vSphere Client 4.1 to access vCenter Server 4.0
    If you use vSphere Client 4.1 to connect to a vCenter Server 4.0 system that is using vCenter Linked Mode, and you then perform a search function, the search results might not appear and might seem that the search function does not complete.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

  • vCenter Server alarm actions are triggered repeatedly even after the state of the alarm reverts to normal
    Some vCenter Server event and state-based alarm actions are triggered repeatedly even after the alert status reverts to green (normal).

    This issue is resolved in this release.

Grab your copy of vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1 here: VMware

 

I made also a short list of fixes in ESX:

  • Some virtual machines stop responding during storage rescan operation when any LUN on the host is in an all-paths-down (APD) state
    During storage rescan operation, some virtual machines stop responding when any LUN on the host is in an all-paths-down (APD) state. For more information, see KB 1016626 at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1016626. To work around the problem in the KB, manually set the advanced configuration option /VMFS3/FailVolumeOpenIfAPD to 1 before issuing the rescan and then reset it to 0 after the completion of the rescan operation. The issue is resolved in this release. You need not apply the workaround of setting and not setting the advanced configuration option while starting the rescan operation. Virtual machines on non-APD volumes will no longer fail during a rescan operation, even if some LUNs are in an all-paths-down state.
  • Creation of large .vmdk files on NFS might fail
    When you create a virtual disk (.vmdk file) with a large size, for example, more than 1TB, on NFS storage, the creation process might fail with an error: A general system error occurred: Failed to create disk: Error creating disk. This issue occurs when the NFS client does not wait for sufficient time for the NFS storage array to initialize the virtual disk after the RPC parameter of the NFS client times out. By default the timeout value is 10 seconds. This fix provides the configuration option to tune the RPC timeout parameter using the esxcfg-advcfg -s <Timeout> /NFS/SetAttrRPCTimeout command.
  • Updates for the WDDM driver
    In this release, the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver is updated to fix some infrequent issues where a Windows virtual machine fails and displays a blue screen.
  • Cannot take quiesced snapshots of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine running vCenter Server 4.1
    When creating a snapshot of a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine that has vCenter Server 4.1 installed, the snapshot operation might fail to complete. This issue occurs on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machines when the ADAM database is installed.

    The issue is resolved in this release.

Grab your copy of ESX(i) 4.1 Update 1 here: VMware

Release: PowerCLI 4.1.1


Just noticed the new release of PowerCLI 4.1.1 on twitter:

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There are a lot of new features:

  • Added support for the ESX CLI functionality through the Get-EsxCli cmdlet.
  • Added support for ESX Top statistics through the Get-EsxTop cmdlet.
  • Enhanced Get-VirtualSwitch, Get-VirtualPortGroup, Get-VMHost, Get-VM, New-NetworkAdapter, Set-NetworkAdapter, and Get-VMHostNetworkAdapter to add support for distributed switches and distributed switch port groups.
  • Added support for SCSI controllers through the New-ScsiController, Get-ScsiController, and Set-ScsiController cmdlets, and the new Controller parameter of New-HardDisk and Set-HardDisk.
  • Added support for querying and modifying vCenter Server alarms through the Get-AlarmDefinition, Set-AlarmDefinition, Get-AlarmAction, New-AlarmAction, Remove-AlarmAction, Get-AlarmActionTrigger, New-AlarmActionTrigger, and Remove-AlarmActionTrigger cmdlets.
  • Added the Get-AdvancedSetting, Set-AdvancedSetting, New-AdvancedSetting, and Remove-AdvancedSetting cmdlets for managing advanced vCenter Server settings and Cluster HA advanced options.
  • Added the Wait-Tools cmdlet that allows you to wait for VMware Tools of the specified virtual machines to load before proceeding.
  • Added support for querying disk and disk partition information of hosts through the Get-VMHostDisk and Get-VMHostDiskPartition cmdlets.
  • Added support for formatting host disk partitions through the Format-VMHostDiskPartition cmdlet.
  • Added support for querying the primary HA cluster nodes through the Get-HAPrimaryVMHost cmdlet.
  • Added support for zeroing out a virtual machine hard disk through a new ZeroOut parameter to Set-HardDisk cmdlet.

looking forward to test the new Get-EsxCli and the Get-EsxTop cmdlets.

The complete change log is available here.

You can download the new release from here: download link.

Release: vCenter 2.5 Update 5


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Be sure to read the release notes: vi3_vc25u5_rel_notes.html especially the Know Issues: vi3_vc25u5_rel_notes.html#knownissues 

What’s new:

Support for High Consolidation in VMware HA Clusters – VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 5 includes significant performance and scalability improvements to VMware HA. Use VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 5 for environments with more than 35 virtual machines per host in an HA cluster.
For information on the ESX Server host settings required for this scalability improvement, see ESX Server host settings required for environments with up to 80 virtual machines per host in an HA Cluster (KB 1012002).

You can download the new version here: http://www.vmware.com/download/vi/

VMware: Workstation 6.5.2. Released


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I was looking at the VMware Download site and saw a new build of VMware Workstation.  You can find the release notes here: releasenotes_ws652.html

The following issues are resolved in Workstation 6.5.2:

Security Fixes

  • Windows-based host privilege escalation in hcmon.sys
    A vulnerability in an ioctl function in hcmon.sys might be used to escalate privileges on a Windows-based host. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the name CVE-2009-1146 to this issue.
    New releases of hosted products address a denial-of-service problem described in CVE-2008-3761, which can only be exploited by a privileged Windows account.
  • A remote denial-of-service vulnerability in authd for Windows-based hosts
    A vulnerability in vmware-authd.exe might cause a denial-of-service condition on Windows hosts. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the name CVE-2009-0177 to this issue.
  • A VMCI privilege escalation on Windows-based hosts or guests
    Virtual Machine Communication Interface (VMCI) is an infrastructure that provides fast and efficient communication between a virtual machine and the host operating system and between two or more virtual machines on the same host. A vulnerability in vmci.sys might allow privilege escalation on Windows-based machines. This might occur on Windows-based hosts or inside Windows-based guest operating systems. Current versions of ESX Server do not support the VMCI interface and hence they are not affected by this vulnerability. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the name CVE-2009-1147 to this issue.
  • VMnc codec heap overflow vulnerabilities
    The VMnc codec assists in record and replay sessions. Record and replay records the dynamic virtual machine state over a period of time. Two heap overflow vulnerabilities might allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on VMware hosted products. For an attack to be successful, the user must visit a malicious Web page or open a malicious video file.
    The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the names CVE-2009-0909 and CVE-2009-0910 to these issues.
Miscellaneous
  • Creating ACE package fails on Windows virtual machines
    Creating ACE package fails with the error Tools is out of date, on virtual machines running Windows NT, Windows 9x and Windows Millennium Edition. This issue is resolved in this release.
  • Unable to install the latest version of VIX API on Workstation 6.5.0
    On Workstation 6.5.0, you cannot install VMware VIX API 1.6.2 due to an issue with the MSI installer for VIX API. This issue is resolved in this release.
  • Unable to connect to PPTP VPN using VMware NAT on Microsoft Windows guest operating systems
    When you try to open a PPTP VPN connection by using VMware NAT with Microsoft XP Service Pack 2, the following error appears:
    Disconnected. 619 connect to the remote machine could not be established.
    The issue is found on Cisco 1841 VPN and other PPTP VPN connections, and is applicable to all supported versions of Microsoft Windows host machines. This issue is resolved in this release.
  • Workstation displays wrong message after installing the latest version of VMware Tools
    After installing the latest version of VMware Tools and rebooting the guest operating system, Workstation displays the following message on the status bar:
    Your version of VMware Tools is out of date.
    This issue is resolved in this release.
  • Novell SLES 11 Beta is displayed as not supported when installing VMware Tools
    Virtual machines running the Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Beta operating systems as guests display the following warning message while installing VMware Tools:
    WARNING: Cannot determine dependencies of kernel module 'vmxnet'.
    This issue is resolved in this release.
  • vsock fails to load using load-vmware on Linux kernel 2.6.26 and later
    If CONFIG_MODVERSIONS is defined, vsock does not load when you run load-vmware command as the Module.symvers is missing on Linux kernels 2.6.26 and later. This issue is resolved in this release.
  • In Workstation, Google Earth displays extra lines for the country borders
    In Workstation, Google Earth displays extra yellow lines to draw the country borders, when the Direct3D Acceleration option is enabled.
    This issue is resolved in this release.
  • Unable to invoke vi editor from VMware Tools on SLES11 guest operating system
    When you try to edit VMware Tools scripts from vmware-toolbox window on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (SLES11), the following error appears in the console:
    Cannot edit script because the vi editor was not found
    This issue is resolved in this release.
    To edit vmware-tools scripts:
    1. Launch VMware Tools and select the Scripts tab.
    2. Select Custom script option and click Edit.
  • Only the first attempt succeeds when mapping original and cloned virtual disk files to drive letters
    On Windows hosts, if you make a linked or full clone of a virtual machine and then try to map the virtual disk files of the original virtual machine as well as of the clone to drive letters on the host, only the first mapping succeeds. Because both disks have the same signature, you can map only one of the disks at a time. This issue is resolved in this release.

Download the new version here: http://www.vmware.com/download/ws/

VMware: ESX(i) 3.5 u4 released


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VMware ESX 3.5 Update 4 has been released. You can find the download and release notes here:

What’s New:

 

Not all combinations of VirtualCenter and ESX Server versions are supported and not all of these highlighted features are available unless you are using VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 4 with ESX Server 3.5 Update 4. See the ESX Server, VirtualCenter, and VMware Infrastructure Client Compatibility Matrixes for more information on compatibility.

  1. This version of ESX Server requires a VMware Tools upgrade.

The following information provides highlights of some of the enhancements available in this release of VMware ESX Server:

Expanded Support for Enhanced vmxnet Adapter This version of ESX Server includes an updated version of the VMXNET driver (VMXNET enhanced) for the following guest operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit)

The new VMXNET version improves virtual machine networking performance and requires VMware tools upgrade.

Enablement of Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series — Support for the Xeon processor 5500 series has been added. Support includes Enhanced VMotion capabilities. For additional information on previous processor families supported by Enhanced VMotion, see Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support (KB 1003212).

QLogic Fibre Channel Adapter Driver Update — The driver and firmware for the QLogic fibre channel adapters have been updated to version 7.08-vm66 and 4.04.06 respectively. This release provides interoperability fixes for QLogic Management Tools for FC Adapters and enhanced NPIV support.

Emulex Fibre Channel Adapter Driver Update The driver for Emulex Fibre Channel Adapters has been upgraded to version 7.4.0.40. This release provides support for the HBAnyware 4.0 Emulex management suite.

LSI megaraid_sas and mptscsi Storage Controller Driver Update — The drivers for LSI megaraid_sas and mptscsi storage controllers have been updated to version 3.19vmw and 2.6.48.18 vmw respectively. The upgrade improves performance and enhance event handling capabilities for these two drivers.

Newly Supported Guest Operating Systems — Support for the following guest operating systems has been added specifically for this release:

For more complete information about supported guests included in this release, see the Guest Operating System Installation Guide: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/GuestOS_guide.pdf.

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (32-bit and 64-bit).
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (32-bit and 64-bit).
  • Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition and Server Edition (32-bit and 64-bit).
  • Windows Preinstallation Environment 2.0 (32-bit and 64-bit).

Furthermore, pre-built kernel modules (PBMs) were added in this release for the following guests:

  • Ubuntu 8.10
  • Ubuntu 8.04.2

Newly Supported Management Agents — Refer to VMware ESX Server Supported Hardware Lifecycle Management Agents for the most up-to-date information on supported management agents.

Newly Supported I/O Devices — in-box support for the following on-board processors, IO devices, and storage subsystems:

    SAS Controllers and SATA Controllers:

The following are newly supported SATA Controllers.

  • PMC 8011 (for SAS and SATA drives)
  • Intel ICH9
  • Intel ICH10
  • CERC 6/I SATA/SAS Integrated RAID Controller (for SAS and SATA drivers)
  • HP Smart Array P700m Controller

    Notes:

    1. Some limitations apply in terms of support for SATA controllers. For more information, see SATA Controller Support in ESX 3.5 (KB 1008673).
    2. Storing VMFS datastores on native SATA drives is not supported.

Network Cards: The following are newly supported network interface cards:

  • HP NC375i Integrated Quad Port Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter
  • HP NC362i Integrated Dual port Gigabit Server Adapter
  • Intel 82598EB 10 Gigabit AT Network Connection
  • HP NC360m Dual 1 Gigabit/NC364m Quad 1 Gigabit
  • Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter
  • Intel 82574L Gigabit Network Connection
  • Intel 10 Gigabit XF SR Dual Port Server Adapter
  • Intel 10 Gigabit XF SR Server Adapter
  • Intel 10 Gigabit XF LR Server Adapter
  • Intel 10 Gigabit CX4 Dual Port Server Adapter
  • Intel 10 Gigabit AF DA Dual Port Server Adapter
  • Intel 10 Gigabit AT Server Adapter
  • Intel 82598EB 10 Gigabit AT CX4 Network Connection
  • NetXtreme BCM5722 Gigabit Ethernet
  • NetXtreme BCM5755 Gigabit Ethernet
  • NetXtreme BCM5755M Gigabit Ethernet
  • NetXtreme BCM5756 Gigabit Ethernet

Expanded Support: The E1000 Intel network interface card (NIC) is now available for NetWare 5 and NetWare 6 guest operating systems.

Onboard Management Processors:

  • IBM system management processor (iBMC)

Storage Arrays:

  • SUN StorageTek 2530 SAS Array
  • Sun Storage 6580 Array
  • Sun Storage 6780 Array