VMware ESX Server 3.5 Update 5 has been released

December 4, 2009

VMware has finally released the long awaited Update 5 of VMware ESX 3.5. The releasenotes can be found here. When looking at the resolved issues section it seems that the Pegasus bug that can cause  a PSOD mentioned in post Pegasus memory leak causes PSOD has been resolved.  It is a big list of bug fixes and enhancements so I think surely worthwhile of deploying. Of course, don’t forget to test the update first :-).

Upgrading ESX 4.0 to 4.0 Update 1 on HP Proliant systems can fail or time out and leave the host in an unusable state if the host has HP Insight Management Agents running (PSOD)

November 27, 2009

From the VMware website.

VMware Announcement

 

 

On HP Proliant systems, when attempting to upgrade ESX 4.0 to ESX 4.0 Update 1 (U1), you may experience these symptoms:

  • Upgrade operation may fail or hang and can result in an incomplete installation
  • Upon reboot, the host that was being upgraded may be left in an inconsistent state and may display a purple diagnostic screen with the following error:COS Panic: Int3 @ mp_register_ioapic
WARNING: Rebooting the host means the host has to be reinstalled because it is not recoverable after a reboot.
 
WARNING: If you have virtual machines running on local storage, they may not be retained if you reinstall ESX 4.0 as a result of this issue. Contact VMware Support for assistance before reinstalling.

Solution

To avoid this issue, prior to the update, disable HP Insight Management Agents running on the ESX 4.0.0 server.
 
HP Insight Management Agents can be disabled using these commands:
  • service hpsmhd stop
  • service hp-snmp-agents stop
  • service hp-health stop
HP management agents can be enabled after the upgrade is completed. Refer to HP documentation on how to re-enable these management agents.
 
If you have already updated the ESX host, do not reboot the ESX host. Open a support request with VMware support. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.

Pegasus memory leak causes PSOD

October 27, 2009

While following this knowledge base article on increasing the timeout value of VMware Update manager during scan and/or remediation tasks, after restarting the management agents as stated in the article, the ESX server decided to turn purple. Since purple screens are so rare that they are even collector’s items to some people, I decided to investigate the problem.

After recovering from the PSOD by rebooting the system, iIt seemed that the hostd.log  log files were cluttered with messages like ‘Memory checker’ XXX warning] Current value 164768 exceeds soft limit 122880′. Luckily a screenshot was taken as well from the console and an interesting part stating that the Heartbeat was lost was filling the screen.  While I was reading that message I was starting to wonder. Could I have been that wrong? Was it not possible to restart the management agents while ESX was running AND hosting VM’s? It never gave me problems before!?

Let’s try the knowledge base. An invaluable resource of information. As I typed in Heartbeat lost and PSOD the following article popped up. It seems there is a memory leak in the Pegasus service.

Unhappy with the answer and workaround provided I decided to open a support call with VMware. After sending the logs and the vm-support files the same answer AND workaround was provided.

Curious for a more lasting fix I heard that this issue is scheduled to be resolved in VMware ESX 3.5 Update 5. Let’s hope it comes soon.

PSOD

VMware Workstation 7 is now available

October 27, 2009

VMware workstation 7 is now available.  There are several product enhancement like ESX 4 support for demo purposes and OpenGL support to get that nifty Aero support ;-). Furthermore Windows 7 is now officially supported. What is more to say, go try it yourself here.

PHD Virtual Releases esXpress 3.5.6

June 1, 2009

logo2

PHD Virtual has released version 3.5.6 of esXpress backup software. As the name suggests, it backups ESX hosts. As it states on the site, there is no support for ESX 4 (YET) but I was told that PHD Virutal is working very hard to make their product line ESX 4 ready ASAP. A trial can be downloaded here.  Below you can find a list of “What’s new” in esXpress 3.5.6:

New in 3.5 Features

esXpress is Compatible with VMware ESX v3, v3.5 and (coming soon) vSphere4

Use esXpress out of the box with multiple version of VMware, no need to wait for a move vSphere4 to use virtual technology to back up virtual machines

Multi-User Global Deployment & Configuration Application

Automate the deployment and configuration of esXpress from our web-based application, integrated into the Virtual Infrastructure Client or accessible via a web browser. The Management Console and De-Duplication are delivered as virtual appliances for easy installation and setup. No additional software is required.

  • Automatic deployment of esXpress
  • Hierarchical and policy driven configuration
  • Definable host groups with all hosts assigned to that group using the same standard configuration
  • Hosts can inherit their configuration from global and group policies
  • Host level overrides for esXpress configuration
  • Centralized Backup Targets – create backup targets one time and assign to hosts and groups

Source-Side Global De-Duplication Across Entire ESX Farm*

Our groundbreaking new data de-duplication engine provides data de-duplication across all VM guests eliminating duplicate blocks across VMs before they are sent to the backup target, reducing network, I/O capacity and disk space usage.

  • Greatly reduce LAN traffic and disk space usage by up 25:1 or greater**
  • Use any VMware supported datastore and external NFS server for scalability

Up to16 concurrent backup streams per ESX host

  • The fastest and most scalable solution available to backup up VMware

Multi-user File-level Restore

Quickly restore files, as compressed & uncompressed data to lessen LAN impact, directly back to the source.

Built-in Incremental Replication*

Replicate just changed blocks and inject them directly to into the replicated VM without having to do a full restore of the virtual machine

Smart Dynamic Export*

esXpress is the only solution with predefined date based directories, providing critical flexibility in deciding what data is exported to your medium of choice (tape, disk). The Smart Dynamic Export eliminates sending duplicative data to storage.

  • Use up to 50% less tapes and tape library capacity
  • Lower administrative overhead

Veeam Backup & Replication 3.1 ESX 4 compatible

May 29, 2009

 veeam-logo

Veeam has released version 3.1 of its backup solution Veeam Backup & Replication 3.1 which is compatible with ESX 4. It can be found here. To find out what’s new click here.

It is one of several backup offerings and I was very enthousiastic about the previous version. I will have to try out this version as well and see how it relates to it’s competitors vRanger Pro 4.0 DPP (still in beta), and esXpress 3.5

ESX Patches Released

May 29, 2009

VMware has released several patches  on May 28-2009. The patches for ESX 3.5 with their descriptions are listed below:

ESX350-200905405-BG – PATCH

Issues fixed in this patch (and their relevant symptoms, if applicable) include:

 This patch updates kernel-source and kernel-vmnix to support the aacraid software driver update.The driver update fixes an issue where ESX 3.5 might fail on IBM, Fujitsu and SUN servers installed with Adaptec aacraid_esx30 driver. The failure occurs when the ESX host is running management agents and heavy I/O load on the volumes owned by aacraid_esx30 driver. Issues fixed in this patch (and their relevant symptoms, if applicable) include:

  ESX350-200905404-BG – PATCH

 This fix updates the tzdata package. The tzdata package contains data files with rules for various time zones around the world.This updated package addresses the following changes to Daylight Saving Time (DST) observations:* Future transition dates for Brazil were fixed
* Several Argentinian provinces decided not to observe Daylight SavingUsers in the affected locales, or users interacting with people or systems in the affected locales, are advised to upgrade to this updated package, which adds these enhancements.

ESX350-200905403-BG – PATCH

 Issues fixed in this patch (and their relevant symptoms, if applicable) include:

   ESX 3.5 might fail on IBM, Fujitsu and SUN servers installed with Adpatec aacraid_esx30 driver. This issue occurs when ESX host is running management agents and heavy I/O load on the volumes owned by aacraid_esx30 driver.

 ESX350-200905402-BG – PATCH

 Issues fixed in this patch (and their relevant symptoms, if applicable) include:

  This fix includes an updated VMX RPM which addresses a robustness issue in VMX. Issues fixed in this patch (and their relevant symptoms, if applicable) include:

 ESX350-200905401-BG – PATCH 

  Virtual machines using a NFS data store might fail after a HA failover event. This issue might result in two scenarios:1. When you have memory overcommitment with virtual machines on a NFS datastore, it results in the creation of a vswp file, which is a non-zero size swap file. In this scenario if HA failover events occur and the HA has the setting “Leave VM powered on”, then you might have a virtual machine failure on the host where the virtual machine was originally running before the HA event.2. If you do not have memory overcommitment with virtual machines on a NFS datastore, if HA failover events occur with the setting “Leave VM powered on”, further vmotions of the virtual machine running on the original host might fail.

  • When an invalid license is specified to a license server or if the network is intermittent, the ESX server goes to an unlicensed state. The ESX server does not try again to acquire the licenses from the license server. This fix allows the ESX server to try to acquire licenses after a few minutes.

Issues fixed in this patch (and their relevant symptoms, if applicable) include:

  • ESX 3.5 might fail on IBM, Fujitsu and SUN servers installed with Adpatec aacraid_esx30 driver. This issue occurs when ESX host is running management agents and heavy I/O load on the volumes owned by aacraid_esx30 driver.

Ultimate Deployment Appliance Beta 2.0 (UDA)

May 28, 2009

Today I stumbled upon the Ultimate Deployment Appliance Beta 2 as being available for download on www.ultimatedeployment.org. Many people are familiair with this tool to deploy their ESX server environment, however this beta already has support for ESX 4. That alone makes it very well worth to testdrive it yet again. Hopefully the ESX Deployment Appliance will follow soon.

VMware vSphere Release

April 1, 2009

Beginning of this week I got contacted by VMware with a small questionaire about VMworld Europe 2009. It was quite the usual questionaire about how I liked VMworld Europe 2009. If I had some comments. What VMware could do to improve the event. Things like that.

An inventory was made about the location of VMworld Europe. In general VMware got suggestions about an alternative location. Germany was mentioned as a more central location in Europe. Personally I suggested Barcelona as a candidate. It should have all the facilities as well since Teched is also being held there.

Also I shared my disappointment about the lack of availability of a public VMware “4” beta. Many people expected to receive a public beta on USB drive much like the way ESXi was distributed at VMworld 2007 (I believe) in San Francisco. I was told that the private beta is closed, furthermore that there was no real use anymore to participate in the beta since the product would probably be released in April.

With all the secrecy about the release date, this was more than I hoped to hear and I am looking forward to the final release of ESX somewhere in April? I hope this is more than a rumor.

VMware ESX3.5/i Update 4 available

March 31, 2009

VMware released VMware ESX3.5/i Update 4 on March 30th. The release notes for ESX 3.5 can be found here. The release notes for ESXi 3.5 update 4 can be found here.

A small summary of the updates is that the OS support has been increased. Also the VMXNET network driver has been optimized (which requires VMware Tools to be upgraded on the VM’s). And a lot of CRITICAL updates. Make sure to check it out.