vSphere 6.7 Update 2 and updated vRealize Suite 2018 Released

VMware has released a new versions for there vRealize Suite 2018 (Operations Manager 7.5, Automation 7.6, vRealize Orchestrator 7.6, Log Insight 4.8, Business for Cloud 7.6 and vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 2.1) and vSphere 6.7 Update 2 (vCenter 6.7 Update 2, ESXi 6.7 Update 2 and Replication 8.1.2).

Before updating/upgrading, check your compatibility and Interoperability with other VMware and 3th party applications.

vCenter 6.7 Update 2

There is a lot of new things in this release, and bug fixes.

What’s new:

  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2, you can configure the property config.vpxd.macAllocScheme.method in the vCenter Server configuration file, vpxd.cfg, to allow sequential selection of MAC addresses from MAC address pools. The default option for random selection does not change. Modifying the MAC address allocation policy does not affect MAC addresses for existing virtual machines.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 adds a REST API that you can run from the vSphere Client for converging instances of vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller instances into vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller connected in Embedded Linked Mode. For more information, see the vCenter Server Installation and Setup guide.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 integrates the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) into the converge utility.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 adds a SOAP API to track the status of encryption keys. With the API, you can see if the Crypto Key is available in a vCenter Server system, or is used by virtual machines, as a host key or by third-party programs.
  • Precheck for upgrading vCenter Server systems: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 enables a precheck when upgrading a vCenter Server system to ensure upgrade compatibility of the VMware vCenter Single Sign-On service registrations endpoints. This check notifies for possible mismatch with present machine vCenter Single Sign-On certificates before the start of an upgrade and prevents upgrade interruptions that require manual workaround and cause downtime.
  • vSphere Auditing Improvements: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 improves VMware vCenter Single Sign-On auditing by adding events for the following operations: user management, login, group creation, identity source, and policy updates. The new feature is available only for vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller and not for vCenter Server for Windows or vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller. Supported identity sources are vsphere.local, Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA), and Active Directory over LDAP.
  • Virtual Hardware Version 15: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 introduces Virtual Hardware Version 15 which adds support for creating virtual machines with up to 256 virtual CPUs. For more information, see VMware knowledge base articles 1003746 and 2007240.
  • Simplified restore of backup files: The vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface in vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 adds version details to the Enter backup details page that help you to pick the correct build to restore the backup file.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2, you can use the Network File System (NFS) and Server Message Block (SMB) protocols for file-based backup and restore operations on the vCenter Server Appliance. The use of NFS and SMB protocols for restore operations is supported only by using the vCenter Server Appliance CLI installer.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 adds events for changes of permissions on tags and categories, vCenter Server objects and global permissions. The events specify the user who initiates the changes.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2, you can create alarm definitions to monitor the backup status of your system. By setting a Backup Status alarm, you can receive email notifications, send SNMP traps, and run scripts triggered by events such as Backup job failed and Backup job finished successfully. A Backup job failed event sets the alarm status to RED and Backup job finished successfully resets the alarm to GREEN.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2, in clusters with the Enterprise edition of VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office, configured to support vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler in maintenance mode, when an ESXi host enters maintenance mode, all virtual machines running on the host are moved to other hosts in the cluster. Automatic VM-Host affinity rules ensure that the moved virtual machines return to the same ESXi hosts when it exits maintenance mode.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2, events related to adding, removing, or modifying user roles display the user that initiates the changes.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2, you can publish your .vmtx templates directly from a published library to multiple subscribers in a single action instead of performing a sync from each subscribed library individually. The published and subscribed libraries must be in the same linked vCenter Server system, regardless if on-prem, on cloud, or hybrid. Work with other templates in content libraries does not change.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 adds an alert to specify the installer version in the Enter backup details step of a restore operation. If the installer and backup versions are not identical, you see a prompt which matching build to download, such as Launch the installer that corresponds with version 6.8.2 GA.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 adds support for a Swedish keyboard in the vSphere Client and VMware Host Client. For known issues related to the keyboard mapping, see VMware knowledge base article 2149039.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2, the vSphere Client provides a check box Check host health after installation that allows you to opt-out vSAN health checks during the upgrade of an ESXi host by using the vSphere Update Manager. Before introducing this option, if vSAN issues were detected during an upgrade, an entire cluster remediation failed and the ESXi host that was upgraded stayed in maintenance mode.
  • vSphere Health Аlarm and Categories: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 adds an alarm in the vSphere Client when vSphere Health detects a new issue in your environment and prompts you to resolve the issue. Health check results are now grouped in categories for better visibility.
  • With vCenter 6.7 Update 2, you can now publish your VM templates managed by Content Library from a published library to multiple subscribers. You can trigger this action from the published library, which gives you greater control over the distribution of VM templates. The published and subscribed libraries must be in the same linked vCenter Server system, regardless if on-prem, on cloud or hybrid. Work with other templates in content libraries does not change.

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.7/rn/vsphere-vcenter-server-67u2-release-notes.html

ESXi 6.7 Update 2

What’s new:

  • Solarflare native driver: ESXi 6.7 Update 2 adds Solarflare native driver (sfvmk) support for Solarflare 10G and 40G network adaptor devices, such as SFN8542 and SFN8522.
  • Virtual Hardware Version 15: ESXi 6.7 Update 2 introduces Virtual Hardware Version 15 which adds support for creating virtual machines with up to 256 virtual CPUs. For more information, see VMware knowledge base articles 1003746 and 2007240.
  • Standalone ESXCLI command package: ESXi 6.7 Update 2 provides a new Standalone ESXCLI package for Linux, separate from the vSphere Command Line Interface (vSphere CLI) installation package. The ESXCLI, which is a part of the vSphere CLI, is not updated for ESXi 6.7 Update 2. Although the vSphere CLI installation package is deprecated for this release and is still available for download, you must not install it together with the new Standalone ESXCLI for Linux package. For information about downloading and installing the Standalone ESXCLI package, see VMware {code}.
  • In ESXi 6.7 Update 2, the Side-Channel-Aware Scheduler is updated to enhance the compute performance for ESXi hosts that are mitigated for speculative execution hardware vulnerabilities. For more information, see VMware knowledge base article 55806.
  • ESXi 6.7 update 2 adds support for VMFS6 automatic unmap processing on storage arrays and devices that report to ESXi hosts an unmap granularity value greater than 1 MB. On arrays that report granularity of 1 MB and less, the unmap operation is supported if the granularity is a factor of 1 MB.
  • ESXi 6.7 update 2 adds VMFS6 to the list of supported file systems by the vSphere On-disk Metadata Analyzer (VOMA) to allow you to check and fix issues with VMFS volumes metadata, LVM metadata, and partition table inconsistencies.

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.7/rn/vsphere-esxi-67u2-release-notes.html

vSphere Replication 8.1.2

What’s new:

  • VMware vSphere Replication 8.1.2 is compatible with VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 2.

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vSphere-Replication/8.1/rn/vsphere-replication-812-release-notes.html

Operations Manager 7.5

What’s new:

Application Operations

  • Simplified workflows to monitor and troubleshoot off-the-shelf applications.
  • Newer Telegraf agents for application and OS monitoring.
  • Telegraf agent life-cycle management.

Continuous Performance Optimization

  • Ability to run workload optimization on vSAN clusters with support for vSAN datastores (aliased datastores will be supported in future releases).
  • Ability to visualize business-intent tag violations for both cluster and host-based placement in workload optimization.
  • Ability to assess CPU and memory workload for host groups created with host-based intent for efficient placement decisions.

Efficient Capacity and Cost Management

  • Capacity Monitoring Enhancements
    • New capacity management use cases with allocation-aware capacity analytics.
    • Enhanced custom VM profiles to track the virtual machines remaining.
    • New capacity workflows to visualize allocation-based analytics, capacity remaining, and virtual machines remaining for simplified capacity management.
  • Capacity Optimization Enhancements
    • New capacity reclamation workflow to identify and reclaim orphan VMDKs and report potential savings.
  • Capacity Planning Enhancements
    • New and enhanced What-If scenarios for efficient capacity planning.
    • Enhanced capacity planning landing page with workload planning, physical infrastructure planning, hyper-converged infrastructure planning, and migration planning scenarios.
    • Options to remove VMs and remove hosts to support scenarios such as VM or hardware decommissioning, hardware refresh, and hardware upgrade.
    • Ability to run scenarios for adding new vSAN-ready nodes in a vSAN cluster.
    • Support for Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud in migration planning.
    • Ability to add third-party cloud providers with custom rate cards and to run migration planning scenarios.
    • Enhanced migration planning workflows for multi-cloud comparison.
    • Ability to combine multiple saved scenarios and stack them to visualize the impact on capacity and to plan efficiently.
  • Cost Management Enhancements
    • Allocation-aware cost models to compute cluster base rates and virtual machine costs.
    • Allocation-aware costs for reclamation of wasted resources such as powered off VMs, idle VMs, and snapshots.
    • New cost models for vSAN-ready nodes (HCI) which include storage costs.
    • Granular cost control by using the ability to specify costs for individual servers within an existing batch.
    • Ability to add ELA based or lump sum cost for licenses, facilities, maintenance, labor, and network.

Simplified Troubleshooting

  • Enhanced object relationship topology for complete line-of-sight from applications to infrastructure in the All Metrics tab and in dashboards.
  • Accelerated root cause analysis using metric correlation to find positive and negative correlation of desired metrics in the All Metrics tab.
  • Ability to preview super metrics using the new super metrics preview functionality in the All Metrics tab.
  • Simplified alert workflow with options to group recent alerts by 1-hour and 4-hour time-frames.
  • New alerts to monitor and troubleshoot issues related to Proactive HA in vCenter and VASA providers.
  • Integration with Service Now using an out-of-the-box Service Now plugin in the outbound alert settings.
  • New summary pages for important vSAN objects for quick and easy troubleshooting.

SDDC Configuration and Compliance

  • Ability to define, edit, and delete custom compliance templates based on pre-defined or custom compliance alerts.
  • Refreshed content in order to support the vSphere Security Configuration Guide 6.7 Update 1. 

Platform Enhancements

  • New wizard-based super metrics editor to create, preview, and enable super metrics in a simplified workflow. Includes auto-complete hints to easily create complex super metrics.
  • Ability to create custom properties for any object that uses smart filtering in the inventory or auto-assign them using the custom groups membership.
  • Ability to use custom properties for reporting and filtering.
  • New solutions Repository page to enable and disable native solutions with one-click. You can also add new marketplace solutions.
  • Enhanced audit capabilities to track user activities such as create, modify, and delete through audit logs.
  • New search options to search by notifications and recommendations.
  • All new Views navigation to pin and run favorite views.
  • Inline editing of global settings for a better user experience.
  • Support for VMware Tools version in a sequence-based identifier format (10.3.5) rather than its numeric build number (10249), with updates to the Summary|Guest Operating System|Tools Version property.
  • New options in global settings:
    • Ability to set the retention time for generated reports (in months).
    • Enable/disable non-imported VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) users to be created automatically as read-only users on first access.
    • Ability to set custom retention periods for different object types.
    • Ability to disable concurrent user login sessions.
    • Ability to specify a time period for orphan disk collection.
  • REST API enhancements
    • A new public API for custom groups has been implemented in this release. Custom group related internal APIs are deprecated and will be removed in the next release.
    • Ability to change the admin password.
    • Ability to get audit reports in XML and JSON formats.
    • Ability to delete a stale certificate.
    • Ability to compress large API responses.

Report and Views Enhancements

  • Report scheduling enhancements:
    • Ability to schedule report delivery with custom time options.
    • Ability to schedule report delivery daily.
    • Ability to add Copy (CC) and Blind Copy (BCC) for report delivery via emails.
  • Table cell coloring capability is extended to PDF formatted reports.
  • New option to configure a single custom designed cover page for all out-of-the-box and custom PDF reports.
  • Views are enhanced to track changes in metrics and properties over time, with relative and absolute timestamps.
  • Ability to group List views based on parent or descendant objects. Summaries at sub-groups levels are also available in views and reports.

Dashboard and Widgets Enhancements

  • Wizard-based workflow with consistent widget and views configuration to simplify learning of widgets capabilities.
  • Output filter functionality in widgets for increased control over the information displayed.
  • Ability to specify the depth of a relationship, beyond simply parent or children.
  • New relationship widgets to provide full stack visibility from application to infrastructure.
    • Overlay of active alerts based on events, logs, anomalies, and metrics threshold breaches.
    • Quick understanding of upstream and downstream impact of a health issue across the stack, to zero down on the root cause.
  • Ability to filter objects within dashboard widgets using smart filters based on metrics and properties.
  • Ability to copy one or more existing widgets, along with the configuration, while creating new or editing existing dashboards.
  • Single-click option to set a pre-configured time for all the widgets with the dashboard level time.

Content Enhancements

  • New out-of-the-box dashboards to monitor and troubleshoot:
    • Applications
    • vSphere compute stack
    • vSphere storage stack
    • vSphere network stack
    • Stretched vSAN clusters
  • New out-of-the-box reports:
    • vSphere Cluster Allocation
  • New out-of-the-box alerts to monitor:
    • VASA Providers (vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness)
    • vSphere Proactive HA
    • vSAN encryption status

Apache Version

The Apache version has been upgraded to version 2.2.34 in this release. 

RHEL Support

This release of vRealize Operations Manager does not support RHEL upgrade. 

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Support for Internet Explorer in vRealize Operations Manager 7.5 is limited, and Internet Explorer will not be supported in the next major release of vRealize Operations Manager. It is recommended to switch to another supported browser. See KB 67539 for more details.

Metrics and Properties Enhancements

The following KB article describes all the metrics and properties that have been added in vRealize Operations Manager 7.5:

Metrics added in vRealize Operations Manager 7.5 (67734)

New Management Packs and Compliance Packs: 

  • The new VMware Management Packs and Compliance Packs for vRealize Operations Manager 7.5 are:
    • vRealize Operations Management Pack for NSX-T 2.0
    • vRealize Operations Management Pack for vRealize Orchestrator 3.0
    • vRealize Operations Management Pack for Cloud Provider Pod 2.0
    • vRealize Operations Management Pack for AWS 3.1
    • vRealize Operations Management Pack for VMware Identity Manager 1.0
    • VMware SDDC Health Monitoring Solution 6.0
    • vRealize Operations Compliance Pack for PCI 1.0.2

Refer to the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix for all VMware Management Packs supported with vRealize Operations Manager 7.5.
The 3rd party authored Management Packs that are supported with 7.5 are listed in the VMware Compatibility Guide.

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Operations-Manager/7.5/rn/vRealize-Operations-Manager-75.html

Automation 7.6

What’s new:

  • nstall and configure
    • New VAMI UI summary page
    • New VAMI Additional cluster health alerts that are configurable
    • SNMP service – facilitates the monitoring of the vRA node resources such as CPU, Memory and many other. Configurable to actively monitor resources and send snmp trap when certain threshold is exceeded, API available
  • Upgrade enhancements:
    • Bug fixes and small enhancements
    • Upgrade will back up all configuration files
    • API improvements – fine grained progress reporting at API level
    • Upgrade flow is now more configurable – some of the steps could be configured for later execution
  • Custom Forms Enhancements – Providing a higher level of flexibility for customers wishing to customize and enhance their request forms in vRA
    • API Validation
    • DatagridEnhancement – out of the box RegExsupport
  • NSX Integration – Support NSX-V to NSX-T migrations
  • vRO UI Enhancements – Improved user experience for customers creating workflows with vRO
    • Enhancements across Design, Content Management and Troubleshooting in the Web client (refer to vRO What’s new and release notes for more detailed information) 

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Automation/7.6/rn/vRealize-Automation-76.html

vRealize Orchestrator 7.6

What’s new:

  • With the Orchestrator Client you can:
    • Create, run, edit, and delete workflows and policies.
    • Use the new input forms presentation when designing workflows.
    • Debug a scriptable task.
    • Use the built-in autocomplete capability for scripting.
    • Create, edit, and delete actions and configuration elements.
  • Easy content management
    • Version history capability – automatic version creation and ability to restore Orchestrator objects from previous versions.
    • Automatic merge and resolve of code conflicts in your content items.
  • Troubleshooting
    • System dashboard on the main page, that provides system-level metrics about your Orchestrator environment.
    • Performance tab, that provides metrics about your workflow runs.
    • Workflow token replays collect contextual information about transitions between workflow items.
    • Detailed logs per workflow item
    • Audit logs accessible through the main Orchestrator navigration manu and the individual workflow object editors.
    • Wavefront integration for Orchestrator instance monitoring – configured through the Extension Properties page of the Orchestrator Control Center.
    • Opentracing integration for monitoring of the workflow execution – configured through the Extension Properties page of the Orchestrator Control Center.
  • Roles and permissions assignment (this is only for the vRA authenticated users)
    • Assign roles to the users accordingly to the functionalities they want to use
    • Create groups, assign and delete users accordingly to the permissions they need to have in the group
    • Assign content items to a group

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Orchestrator/7.6/rn/VMware-vRealize-Orchestrator-76-Release-Notes.html

Log Insight 4.8

What’s new:

  • Data retention configuration options based on time:
    • Option to configure the data retention period based on your needs from a few days to 12 months
  • Better insight into possible user privilege issues on vROps integration page includes:
    • Checking vROps user privileges when testing the vROps connection
    • Displaying descriptive information to the user if the test alert is not received in the vROps side
    • Details on vROps integration UI related to required user privileges via help tips
  • Agent configuration UI fields for new agent side features:
    • JSON parser configurations
    • Conditional decoder configurations
  • Extracting Selected Content Pack fields for a query
  • Users with ‘View Only Admin’ role now have the possibility to see the list of integrated ESXi hosts
  • The minimum key size for the virtual appliance certificate must be 2048 bits or greater
  • The OSI usage is now calculated based on usage over a 3 month period

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Log-Insight/4.8/rn/vRealize-Log-Insight-48-Release-Notes.html

Business for Cloud 7.6

What’s new:

  • Cost Calculation Optimization
    • The cost calculation process has been optimized for Microsoft Azure cost allocation, cost driver reference synchronization and pricing.
  • API Enhancements
    • Included support for new Microsoft Azure APIs and deprecated old ones.
    • The filter by month option is introduced for Public Reports API.
  • Support for VMware Identity Manager and vCloud Director
    • vRealize Business for Cloud now supports VMware Identity Manager version 3.3
    • vRealize Business for Cloud now supports vCloud Director version 9.7
  • Reference Library Enhancements
    • The reference library is updated, and rate cards are refreshed.
  • Performance Enhancements
    • Performance improvements and fixes have been made in vRealize Business for Cloud reports.

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/vRealize-Business-for-Cloud/7.6/rn/vRealize-Business-for-Cloud-76-Release-Notes.html

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 2.1

What’s new:

  • vRealize Management
    • You can now manage the lifecycle of a VMware Identity Manager provider.
  • Content Management Enhancements
    • Enable source support for an SCM endpoint like Bitbucket cloud and server.
    • Allow capturing of multiple content in one click.
    • Support for newer vRealize Automation content types
  • Improve VMware Validated Design with Lifecycle Manager
    • VVD specifications as a marketplace content now describe that the environment configuration is consumable from Lifecycle Manager.
  • Certificates Management
    • With Lifecycle Manager 2.1, you can now add and support Product component level certificates.
  • Other Improvements:
    • You can now delete a single product from an environment.
    • Ability to deploy products to a specific folder.
    • Support for NTP server configuration for the LCM appliance.
    • Embedded vRealize Orchestrator and Cloud Client is removed.
    • UI\UX improvement: Settings view and user flow enhancements.

See the full release notes here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vRealize-Suite-Lifecycle-Manager/2018/rn/VMware-vRealize-Suite-Lifecycle-Manager-21-Release-Notes.html

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