VMware released update 2 for vCenter Server 5.1 which adds some nice features and enhancements. If you haven’t updated to vSphere 5.5 yet make sure you update your 5.1 environment.

What’s new?

So what’s new with this update?

  • vCenter Server is now supported on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Additional Guest Operating System Customization Support: vCenter now supports
    • Windows 8.1
    • RHEL 6.4
    • Windows Server 2012 R2
    • SLES 11 Service Pack 3
  • Database support added for Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Service Pack 1

Another interesting point is a security update: Update to OpenSSL version openssl-0.9.8y addresses multiple security issues.

There is quite a list of resolved issues (sadly there is also a long list of know issues without a real fix), make sure you read the release notes prior to upgrading so you don’t run into any problems.

Besides upgrading your vCenter also remember to upgrade your ESXi hosts which have a new update as well.

If you are using HotAdd to backup VMDK disks which are larger then 2TB while running vSphere 5.5 be warned that this will fail silently as described in KB2068424.

  • When using the HotAdd transport mode, you are unable to back up disks that are 2 TB or larger in size.
  • Backing up disks larger than 2TB in HotAdd transport mode fail silently, but report a successful back up on Windows virtual machines.

VMware currently has no workaround for this! If you are using Veeam make sure you check out the solution provided by Luca.

VMware Labs released a new Fling called Real-Time Audio-Video Test Application. The download is available for Windows.

What is it?

This application verifies the correct installation and operation of the View Horizon Real-Time Audio-Video functionality. It provides a player that displays the “virtual webcam” feed, and also loops back the audio if required. This allows for testing without a third party app (which often requires user accounts such as Skype, WebEx, etc.). The application can also perform load testing by forcing the video and audio stream to continuously run again, without a third party app dropping the call after a period of time.

Features

  • Displays webcam images at 1:1 resolution
  • Automatically starts streaming images when launched (and audio will be looped back if selected)
  • Ability to loop the audio-in back to audio-out
  • No need to create user accounts to see RTAV
  • Supports the VMware Virtual Webcam and Physical Webcams

Requirements

  • Runs in Windows x86 or x64
  • Intended to be used in conjunction with a View Agent and Feature Pack. However, it can be used on any physical machine too.
  • You have the “Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)” runtime installed. For example, it is already installed on a Horizon View desktop.

Installation

Download and run the exe.

VMware Labs released a new Fling called vCO-CLI. The download is available for Windows and Linux.

What is it?

vCO-CLI aims to provide exploratory programming to the vCO ecosystem. It connects to a running vCO server and presents a JavaScript REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop) to the user. All vCO plug-ins, workflows and the entire scripting API can be accessed, invoked and experimented with from the shell. This turns vCO-CLI into a powerful educational and experimentation tool.

Access to the plug-in’s inventory is integrated into the UI for easy navigation to managed entities (vCenter objects, LDAP entries, remote systems, HTTP endpoints, etc).

For advanced users, vCO-CLI can improve productivity considerably by minimizing the turnaround time between designing and running a workflow. It can also display a REPL right in the middle of a workflow. This powerful technique, similar to a breakpoint, allows the workflow developer to troubleshoot and fix bugs faster.

Screenshot

vCO-CLI

Requirements

  • You need to have JRE 1.6 or higher installed.

Installation

Simply install the vCOCLI plug-in on vCO Server (description below) and export the console or GUI based client on your machine (vcocli.bat/vcocli.sh or vcocli-gui.bat).

  1. Log into vCO Configurator.
  2. Click on Plug-ins and browse the o11nplugin-vcocli.vmoapp file.
  3. Click on Start-up Options and restart vCO service.
  4. To verify the installation, log in vCO Smart Client and check if vCO CLI plug-in is installed.

VMware Labs released a new Fling called VMware Tools for Nested ESXi. The download is available as vib and is about 1.8MB.

This VIB package provides a VMware Tools service (vmtoolsd) for running inside a nested ESXi virtual machine. The following capabilities are exposed through VMware Tools:

  • Provides guest OS information of the nested ESXi Hypervisor (eg. IP address, configured hostname, etc.).
  • Allows the nested ESXi VM to be cleanly shut down or restarted when performing power operations with the vSphere Web/C# Client or vSphere APIs.
  • Executes scripts that help automate ESXi guest OS operations when the guest’s power state changes.
  • Supports the Guest Operations API (formally known as the VIX API).

Screenshot

Nested ESXi with VMware Tools (Screenshot by William Lam)

Requirements

  • A VMware product on the host that is compatible with VMware Tools 9.7.
  • Nested ESXi running vSphere 5.x

Installation

There are 2 methods to install the VIB:

  1. Upload the VIB file to a datastore and run: esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/[DATASTORE]/esx-tools-for-esxi-9.7.0-0.0.00000.i386.vib -f
  2. Install from the internet: esxcli software vib install -v http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmw-tools/esxi_tools_for_guests/esx-tools-for-esxi-9.7.0-0.0.00000.i386.vib -f