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VMware: New Rollup Bulletins Simplify VMware ESXi Updating

July 14th, 2018 No comments

VMware ESXi patches are released periodically to resolve issues or address security vulnerabilities – just like any other software product. These updates can either be downloaded automatically through VMware vSphere Update Manager (VUM) or manually by logging in to My VMware. Regardless of delivery means, the contents are the same: a collection of software packages, knowns as VIBs, that are grouped into bulletins to ensure dependencies are satisfied during installation.

Bulletins, Patches, and Rollups

There are two different types of patch bulletins for VMware ESXi: patches and rollups.

For any given VMware ESXi patch release, there is typically, at a minimum, one bulletin that contains the core system packages – esx-base, vsan, and vsanhealth. Often, there are additional bulletins if other packages have been revised in order to remedy bugs or security issues. These types of bulletins, that include a small set of packages, are known as patches in Update Manager.

Occasionally, VMware releases a more comprehensive service pack, known as an Update, that includes the latest versions of all packages that comprise VMware ESXi. These Update releases are classified as rollups in Update Manager.

Rollup Bulletin Now Included in Every Patch Release

In between the large Update releases, however, there has not been a simple workflow for vSphere administrators to use that would ensure hosts are on the absolute latest version of every package. While this can be accomplished with dynamic Update Manager baselines that are configured to include all applicable patch bulletins, some customers may have opted to apply just specific critical patches. In that scenario, over time, hosts may lack many useful fixes and updates that were released since the GA.

Starting in June 2018, each VMware ESXi patch release will also feature an optional rollup bulletin that includes every package that has been updated since GA. This is a straightforward approach to keeping the vSphere infrastructure current, because the Update Manager baseline requires just a single bulletin.

For detailed information on software fixes, each VMware ESXi patch release is described in a KB article, with a link to a child article for each bulletin included in the patch release. Take a look at a recent VMware ESXi 6.7 patch KB for an example.

Takeaway

VMware issues a patch release when software fixes are required – these includes one or more bulletins. Each bulletin includes a set of VIBs, which are the ESXi software packages. Bulletins come in two different types: patch (a few packages) and rollup (complete system). Going forward, all patch releases will include the traditional patch bulletins, and will also be supplemented with a rollup bulletin. This offers a simple way to ensure hosts are running the latest version of every package.

 

Source: VMware

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VMware: Yeehaa I’m vExpert 2018

March 15th, 2018 No comments

I am very honored and very pleased to be awarded the VMware vExpert Award for the ninth time in a row! Thanks to VMware for continuing this award. Also congratulations to all new vExperts 2018 and again welcome to earlier vExperts!

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VMware: How to reset the lost or forgotten root password in vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

October 16th, 2017 No comments

To reset the lost forgotten root password in vCenter Server Appliance 6.5:

  1. Take a snapshot or backup of the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 before proceeding. (Do not skip this step.)
  2. Reboot the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.
  3. After the OS starts, loading the Photon splash press e key to enter the GNU GRUB Edit Menu.
  4. Locate the line that begins with the word Linux.
  5. Append these entries to the end of the line:rw init=/bin/bash

    The line should look like the following screenshot:

Image result for How to reset the lost or forgotten root password in vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

 

  • Press F10 to continue booting.
  • In the Command prompt, enter the command passwd and provide a new root password (twice for confirmation):

    passwd
  • Unmount the filesystem by running this command:

    umount /
  • Reboot the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 by running this command:

    reboot -f
  • Confirm that you can access the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 using the new root password.
  • Remove the snapshot taken in Step 1 if applicable.

More information: VMware

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VMware: vCenter 6.5 – warning message: RBD Health Alarm

October 13th, 2017 No comments

This monitor tracks the vCenter RBD (vSphere Auto Deploy) Health Alarm.

By default, the alarm is triggered by the following event:

  • vim.event.HealthStatusChangedEvent: Health status of the Sphere Auto Deploy Waiter changed.

For instructions on troubleshooting the Sphere Auto Deploy Waiter, see this VMware KB article.

VMware: VMSA-2017-0006 VMware ESXi, Workstation and Fusion updates address critical and moderate security issues

March 30th, 2017 No comments

VMware has released security patches for the VM-Escape Security Bug. http://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2017-0006.html

Products affected is ESXi, Workstation, Player and Fusion.

VMware ESXi 6.5  

Downloads:https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/patch

Documentation:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2149573
VMware ESXi 6.0 patch on top of ESXi 6.0 U3

Downloads: https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/patch

Documentation:   http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2149569

VMware ESXi 6.0 patch on top of ESXi 6.0 U2  

Downloads:  https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?productId=491&downloadGroup=ESXI60U2

(Click on the above link and scroll down to ESXi600-201703003 Offline Bundle)

Documentation:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2149673

VMware ESXi 6.0 patch on top of ESXi 6.0 U1  

Downloads:  https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?productId=491&downloadGroup=ESXI60U1B

(Click on the above link and scroll down to ESXi600-201703002 Offline Bundle)

Documentation:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2149672

ESXi 5.5 

Downloads: https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/patch

Documentation:   http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2149577

VMware Workstation Pro 12.5.5 

Downloads and Documentation:

https://www.vmware.com/go/downloadworkstation

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/ws_pubs.html

VMware Workstation Player 12.5.5

Downloads and Documentation:

https://www.vmware.com/go/downloadplayer

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/player_pubs.html

VMware Fusion Pro / Fusion 8.5.6

Downloads and Documentation:

https://www.vmware.com/go/downloadfusion

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/fusion_pubs.html

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VMware: Yeah, vExpert 2017!

February 16th, 2017 No comments

This year’s vExperts 2017 were announced! Check it out. I’ve been honored again (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) as a vExpert this year. Great thanks to VMware and vExpert team behind the program!

It’s Correy Romero who announced the news on the VMTN blog. This year over 700 vExperts (exactly 754 vExperts this year) were named. Here is the full list of lucky people for 2017 – vExperts 2017.

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2017-k

vExpert program allows greater recognition between your coworkers, clients and in the overall professional life.

 

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VMware: VMware Remote MKS has stopped working

November 3rd, 2016 No comments

Running vSphere Client 6.0.0 build 2741530. Sometimes when opening the remote console, during boot virtual machine the resolution is swapping from small to a bigger resolution.

App crash with details:

vmware-remotemks.exe version 8.0.0.33578

 

Solution

Update the VMware vSphere cliënt, in my case to version: 6.0.0-3562874

VMware: What’s new in vSphere 6.5

October 18th, 2016 No comments

 

vCenter Server Appliance

  • Enhanced vCenter Install, Upgrade, Patch: Streamlined user experience while deploying, upgrading and patching for vCenter Server. Support for CLI template-based vCenter Server lifecycle management.
  • vCenter Server Appliance Migration Tool: Single-step migration process for existing Windows vCenter Server to latest release of vCenter Server Appliance. Assumes the identity of the source Windows vCenter (UUID, IP, OS Name). Support for both CLI and UI methods. Migrations for both embedded and external topologies. VMware Update manager is now included in the migration process.
  • Sphere Update Manager for vCenter Server Appliance: Fully embedded and integrated vSphere Update Manager experience for vCenter Server Appliance – with no Windows dependencies!
  • Enhanced Auto Deploy: New capabilities such as UI support, improved performance and scale, backup and restore of rules for Auto Deploy.
  • Improvements in Host Profiles: Streamlined user experience and host profile management with several new capabilities including DRS integration, parallel host remediation, and improved audit quality compliance results.
  • VMware Tools Lifecycle Management: Simplified and scalable approach for install and upgrade of VMware Tools, reboot less upgrade for Linux Tools, OSP upgrades, enhanced version and status reporting via API and UI.
  • vSphere Automation API: A new REST based API, SDKs and Multi-Platform CLI (DCLI) is now available to provide simplified VM management and automation of the VCSA based configuration and services.
  • Platform Service Controller High Availability: The PSC HA feature include zero configuration high availability with automatic vCenter failover to another PSC within a site. New PSC Site Management client side tools for viewing your topology and viewing PSC HA status. Available for both Windows and Appliance PSCs.
  • vCenter High Availability: Protect mission critical vCenter deployments with a native high availability solution that will not only protect against host and hardware failures, but also against vCenter application failures. The vCenter HA solution provides automated failover from active to passive vCenter with expected RTO < 5 mins. Uses synchronous replication so there is no data loss and operates in an Active-Passive configuration with a Witness. Requires 2 network adapters, one for the “public” network and one for the “private” network. And is only be available to the vCenter Appliance.
  • vCenter Server Appliance and Database Management: The new 6.5 Appliance Management Interface includes usage monitoring of the embedded vCenter Postgres database by data type and utilization trends, and sends database usage alerts directly into the vSphere web client. Monitor appliance CPU, Memory, and networking utilization trends for more targeted troubleshooting. Send syslog data to remote hosts.
  • Native vCenter Server backup and restore: Back up the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller in three simple steps in the Appliance Management Interface using industry-standard protocols like HTTP(S), SCP or FTP(S). The file-based backup (encryption optional) will include the embedded Postgres database, vCenter inventory, and all configuration files required to recover vCenter. Restore the appliance from the new vCenter Server 6.5 installer.

[Citrix] XenServer 7.0 released

May 27th, 2016 No comments

XenServer 7 was released in May of 2016.  It was available in pre-release form under the project name of Dundee.  All new XenServer installations should be made using XenServer 7.

Microsoft Technology integration

Citrix has a long history of integrating with, and supporting Microsoft operating systems and infrastructure products, and XenServer 7 is no exception.

  • Automated Microsoft Windows VM driver management
    Do you administer a larger XenServer environment? We currently support up to 1000 VMs per host, and have customers running thousands of hosts, so when time comes to updating the Windows VMs’ XenTools, it can be quite a challenge. Even with smaller infrastructures, the process of updating many Windows VMs can be a headache, something we’ve heard loud and clear from our customers. Our solution? Automation.
    In XenServer 7, it is now possible to let Microsoft Update Services automatically install and/or update the Windows VM I/O drivers contained within those VMs, moving this once cumbersome process into the standard organizational framework for how their Windows machines are updated.
  • Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) support
    Adding to the wide variety of host storage connectivity, XenServer 7 now includes SMB to enable IT admins to use Windows storage devices running SMB for their XenServer VM’s disks.
  • Docker containers in Windows Server 2016
    In May 2015, XenServer introduced Docker container management for Linux VMs, opening up visibility and management to IT admins, of the containers being used within their XenServer infrastructures. This year for XenServer 7, we are really excited to be supporting Docker containers on Microsoft Windows Server 2016 OS, rounding off our of Docker support across both Linux and Windows, the first and only commercial hypervisor to do so.
  • A new Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) management pack is now integrated and licensed in XenServer 7. For customers wanting greater Microsoft SCOM management visibility, this ties in well across the Citrix stack.
  • The Microsoft Active Directory integration within XenServer has been improved, changing the underlying connectivity components, which increases the scalability to support large AD forests, whilst also increasing performance.
  • XenServer 7 includes templates for Microsoft Windows 10 and preview of Windows Server 2016.

Revolutionary Security

Infrastructure security is always a challenge, and whether it’s protection from viruses, malware or hackers, there are a variety of tools and methods used by security vendors to help businesses protect their IT infrastructures from the variety of tools and methods used by the people with malicious intent. A big challenge is how malware and hackers get around, disable, or hide themselves from existing security solutions.

If someone can leverage a software vulnerability to gain access to a system, they tend to work their way up the security chain, seeking to get the highest level of system privileges from where they can disable security software and do the most damage or gain access to the most sensitive data.

XenServer 7 is different.

Working closely with Bitdefender, Citrix is proud to announce XenServer Direct Inspect APIs, which allow integration from third party security software companies to leverage hypervisor memory introspection (HVMI). This uses a privileged security appliance (SVA), one per-host to inspect the memory of VMs running on the host. As introspection is happening from outside the guest VM, there are no agents required within the VMs, and as such, nothing for a virus, piece of malware or hacker to disable within the VM. Should anyone also hack into a VM OS, they would also only be able to see within the boundaries of that VM container, and be completely unaware that a host-based SVA could be monitoring and blocking their activity; we call this “better than physical” protection.

diagram-6

Security products based on virus or malware signatures protect you from known risks, however what about day-zero attacks? How do you protect yourself against something for which there is no known signature? Bitdefender’s integration goes beyond the standard signature checking, by examining the techniques used by viruses or malware rather than their signatures, enabling protection of systems against day-zero attacks.

This solution isn’t targeted at replacing all disk based scanning protection, as the Direct Inspect APIs feature is a memory based solution, yet it extends protection through either a kernel-mode or user-mode (for specific applications), providing protection against a variety of security threats, including existing security products from being disabled. As such it complements existing disk based protection solutions. Find out more from Bitdefender on this blog and data sheet.

Some papers:

More information: Citrix