Sunday, 13 April 2008

VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 1 - Upgrade Process Still Sucks!

Well what can I say... the old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days - they're back!

Once again, the VirtualCenter upgrade process is the equivalent of a full uninstall and reinstall. Someone better let the developers of the VMware management tools suite (or at least whoever writes the installers) that VMware are supposed to be an enterprise software company.

I have a video of the process, but until I find that elusive video host that allows resolutions of 800 x 600, I can't post it up. But the usual caveats apply... here are the main ones:

1. The VirtualCenter service is removed and reinstalled to run under the context of LocalSystem. So for all you ppl who have enterprise class deployments with the database on another host and vpxd running as a domain account in order to use Windows Authentication to the database, you need to reset the service account credentials. I would strongly advise doing this after the VC installer has run but BEFORE proceeding with the database upgrade wizard.

2. The VirtualCenter database user must have sysadmin rights on the entire database server in order for the upgrade the work. Why this is the case is anyone's guess - a clean install only requires 'dbo' rights on the VC database itself. But that isn't enough for the upgrade.

3. The bug with ADDLOCAL=VPX is still present if you're doing a clean install. I can't remember if I logged a bug report for that already, but looks like I need to raise another one. We don't use WebAccess in my organisation, and given the choice I'd rather not have to install Tomcat on the VC box - it's just one more bit of software that will require security patches. Might need to log a feature request for an IIS based web console.

The support matrix document still isn't updated to reflect whether managing ESX 3.5 U1 with VirtualCenter 2.5 GA is a supported configuration. It will be a small consolation if it is, and an absolute disappointment if it is not.

For anyone running VC 2.5 already, it's not worth upgrading IMHO. The release notes really don't provide any compelling reason to upgrade unless you're running a lot of ESXi and want non-experimental HA (which suggests that the HA code has been moved into the VC agent). For anyone doing fresh installs or upgrading from 2.0.x it would be worth going straight to Update 1 though.

1 comment:

vinternals said...

Reader 'Hey Birder' advises:

Regarding your recommendation that people not bother upgrading from 2.5 to 2.5.1. For anyone who uses an Oracle database (I can't be the only one left doing that) this upgrade is 100% required. There is a nasty bug in their 2.5 Oracle codebase I've been hounding them to fix for almost 3 months and it's now in 2.5.1. Tested, and confirmed it fixes the problem.


Thanks for the heads up!