Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ESX 3.5 Update 4

Just surprisingly found out VMware just released ESX 3.5 Update 4 yesterday on 30 Mar 2009. A couple months back, a consultant told me that VMware ESX 3.5 Update 3 was the last VI3 updates, and the next release is going to be ESX 4, or vSphere. Well, we will have to wait for a while before ESX 4 come out. It is not like I can't wait for ESX 4 coming out (well, maybe I do), I just wish VMware does a better job in QA. There is no need to have a buggy major release. I think I can wait.

After glancing at the release note, I found a couple things that I don't want to use ESX 3.5U4 in my production environment. Using these will japordize my currently stable environment. Normally when VMware has new update release for ESX, the first thing I would check out is What's New, which will contain the major change. The second thing is Known Issues, which will determine how soon I will be putting it into our production environment.

In this realse ESX 3.5U4, What's New mainly brings out more hardware support, and Network drivers, HBA drivers updates, along with a couple newer version of OS support. What really stop me from putting ESX 3.5U4 into production is the Known Issues.

And here are the major Known Issues that I don't like.
  • x64-based versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 guest operating systems require Microsoft hotfix x64-based versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 guest operating systems without Microsoft hotfix http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950772 might encounter a situation where the guest operating system stops responding and returns the following error:
MONITOR PANIC: vcpu-3:ASSERT vmcore/vmm/cpu/segment.c:430
  • Linux guest operating systems lose network connectivity after automatic tools upgrade

    If the version of VMware tools in a Linux guest operating system becomes out of date and an automatic tools upgrade is performed, the guest operating system loses network connectivity. After an automatic tools upgrade, the guest operating system stops the network service and does not restart the service automatically after tools upgrade.

    Workaround: Restart the network service in the guest operating system manually or reboot the guest operating system after an automatic tools upgrade.
  • The cursor disappears after VMware Tools has been configured

    This issue has been observed on ESX Server 3.5 Update 4 with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 (with or without SP4) guests. Immediately after you configure VMware Tools, the mouse cursor is not visible.

    Workaround: Reboot the virtual machine.
  • Virtual Machines Might Not Power on After a Failover When the Host Is Isolated

    Virtual machines might not start after a failover when a host is isolated and the isolation response is set to Guest Shutdown, which is the default configuration for a cluster. This might occur on clusters with fewer than five nodes and can happen on virtual machines
    that take more time to complete the guest shutdown.

    Workaround: Set the Isolation Response to either Leave powered on or Power off for clusters which have fewer than five nodes. To set the Isolation Response for a virtual machine, select the cluster, click the Edit Settings link, and select Virtual Machine Options under VMware HA. From the Isolation Response pop-up menu, select either Leave powered on or Power off options for the specific virtual machine.
There might be more dislikes in the Known Issues sections, since here is just what I have at the first glance. Another thing that make me think twice before an upgrade is the VMware tools upgrade. It is painful for Windows and Linux. Well, back to reality. All of these known issues wont' prevent me from installing it in my lab.

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