Vcenter and Vsphere 5.5 U2 released!

Here is the link to the release notes: https://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-vcenter-server-55u2-release-notes.html

Of major note to me, especially a proud supporter of the thick client:
Unable to edit settings for virtual machines with hardware version 10 using the vSphere client
When you attempt to perform the Edit Settings operation using the vSphere Client (C# Client) in a virtual machine with hardware version 10 (vmx-10), the attempt fails with the following error message:

You cannot use the vSphere client to edit the settings of virtual machines of version 10 or higher. Use the vSphere Web Client to edit the settings of this virtual machine.

This issue is resolved in this release.

Also database support updates:
vCenter Server database support: vCenter Server now supports the following external databases:

Oracle 12c. Important: For pre-requisite requirements, see KB 2079443.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1
Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Temporarily adjust the Customization Wizard missing from Web Client

It was brought up on the forums earlier this year and I have confirmed that this is an issue in Vsphere 5.5 U1.  There is an option in the C# thick client when trying to deploy a VM where you can select the a Customization Spec and then choose to temporarily adjust before deployment.  See screen below:

 

customization

This is a great option for those that want to keep most of the details, but maybe want to just change the IP address. This option appears to now be gone in the web client.  So, until it is resolved users will have to continue using the thick client for this.

If you look at the screenshots below, you can attempt to choose that option, but it takes you to a screen to create a brand new PERMANENT customization spec.  I plan on following up with VMware to determine if this was by design somehow.

 

 

missing

newcust

Mass Schedule Both VM Tools and Hardware on Reboot Vsphere 5.5

Using both VUM and the web client you can set all of your VM’s to do both VMware tools and VM hardware upgrades. Unfortunately, the web client doesn’t have a good way to mass set the VM tools on reboot setting so we will need to use fat client with VUM.

VM Tools
1. Go to VMs and templates view at whichever object level you want to set your VM’s.
2. Make sure the vmware tools baseline is attached.
3. Click VMware tools upgrade settings.
4. Select all the machines to set to upgrade on reboot. Hit ok.

tools

Web Client
1. Click on the object you would like to select your VM’s from.
2. Hightlight all your VM’s under the Related Objects->Virtual Machines Tab.
3. Right click the higlighted machines and go to All Vcenter Actions -> Compatibility -> Schedule Upgrade

hardware hardware2
4. Select compatibility level and on guest reboot check box if you want a clean shutdown.

hardware3
5. Hit ok and you are done.

I have tested what happens on reboot and it does indeed do the hardware without a shutdown. It did it without even the blink of an eye. I am not sure how it does it so quickly but it was extremely fast.

VCenter 5.1 to 5.5 U1 Custom Upgrade with SRM and Linked Mode

Recently, we upgraded our 2 datacenter virtual infrastructure that included Linked mode, Vcenter (with SSO, Inventory, SQL Server and Vcenter/webclient split among 4 servers), and SRM.  It went very smoothly and I documented the steps and screen shots.  I am hoping this will help anyone else planning this upgrade!  This was 5.5, but it should work just fine with the U1 bit as well.  I will do a posting on each component with the screenshots and this will be the main landing page.

Here is the high level steps that we followed and it worked great:

  1. Create clones of all servers to be able to restore in case of any issues.
  2. Have SQl team verify these permission:
    Grant these permissions to the vCenter user in the vCenter Server database:
    GRANT ALTER ON SCHEMA :: <schema> to <user>;
    GRANT REFERENCES ON SCHEMA :: <schema> to <user>;
    GRANT INSERT ON SCHEMA :: <schema> to <user>;
    GRANT CREATE TABLE to <user>;
    GRANT CREATE VIEW to <user>;
    GRANT CREATE Procedure to <user>;
  3. Run full SQL Database backup at both sites.
  4. Unlink Vcenters as the first step.
  5. Upgrade SSO at Primary
  6. Upgrade Vsphere Web Client at Primary
  7. Upgrade Vcenter Inventory Service at Primary
  8. Upgrade Vcenter Service at Primary
  9. Reboot Servers, SQL first, SSO, Inventory, and Vcenter
  10. Upgrade VUM service at Primary
  11. Upgrade SRM Server on the protected site.
  12. Upgrade SRA at Primary (if applicable)
  13. Upgrade any vSphere Replication server instances on the protected site.
  14. First site is complete, move to secondary site
  15. Upgrade SSO at secondary
  16. Upgrade Web Client at secondary
  17. Upgrade Inventory Service at secondary
  18. Upgrade Vcenter Service at secondary
  19. Reboot Servers, SQL first, SSO, Inventory, and Vcenter
  20. Upgrade VUM service at secondary
  21. Upgrade SRM Server on the recovery site.
  22. Upgrade SRA at recovery (if applicable)
  23. Upgrade any vSphere Replication server instances on the protected site.
  24. Relink MS and SV Vcenters
  25. Configure the connection between the SRM sites and vSphere Replication appliances.
  26. Verify that your protection groups and recovery plans are still valid.

The following posts will show the screenshots for a single site and then the steps will be repeated for the secondary site:

1.  SSO Upgrade Part 1

2.  Web Client Upgrade Part 2

3.  Inventory Service Upgrade Part 3

4.  Vcenter Service Upgrade Part 4

5.  VMware Update Manager Upgrade Part 5

6.  SRM Upgrade Part 6

7.  Vsphere Replication Upgrade Part 7

 

VCenter 5.1 to 5.5 U1 Custom Upgrade with SRM and Linked Mode (Part 1 SSO)

First step of the 5.5 upgrade is to do the Primary site SSO server.  Below are the steps needed, I did not run into any issues on this upgrade.  5.5 will automatically replicate the data for SSO so you don’t need to worry about exporting and importing the database like in 5.1

1. Login to the VI client of the ESXi host that your Vcenter resides on and mount the install ISO to your SSO server.

2.  Kick off the SSO installer under custom upgrade:

Vcenter_1 Read more of this post

VCenter 5.1 to 5.5 U1 Custom Upgrade with SRM and Linked Mode (Part 2 Web Client)

In the first part we installed SSO and next step of custom upgrade is the web client.

1.  Start the installer for the Web Client and you will see it should detect that there is an earlier version to be upgraded.

web_1 Read more of this post

VCenter 5.1 to 5.5 U1 Custom Upgrade with SRM and Linked Mode (Part 3 Inventory Service)

Part 3 of the Vcenter Upgrade is the Inventory Service.

1.  Start the installer on the Inventory Service Server.inv_1 Read more of this post