VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5.6 Release Notes

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Updated on: 04 APR 2016

vSphere Storage Appliance Manager Installer 5.5.6 | 04 APR 2016 | Build 3671407

vSphere Storage Appliance Automated Installer 5.5.6 | 04 APR 2016 | Build 3671148

Standalone VSA Cluster Service 5.5.6 | 04 APR 2016 | Windows Build 3671148 | Linux Build 3670316

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

What's in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

These release notes provide information about VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5.6, a distributed shared storage solution.

What's New in vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5.6

This release of vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5.6 addresses the glibc security vulnerability that has been documented in the Resolved Issues section.

Earlier Releases

Features and known issues of VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5 are described in the release notes for each release. The for earlier releases of VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5 are listed below

VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5.2 Release Notes

VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5.1 Release Notes

Installation Notes

vSphere Storage Appliance supports the VSA Manager Installer wizard and the VSA Automated Installer script as installation workflows. The following table shows a comparison of the requirements for each workflow. Read the vSphere Storage Appliance Installation and Administration documentation to learn more about each workflow.

Installation Requirements VSA Manager Installer VSA Automated Installer
Hardware Requirements
Two or three servers with homogenous hardware configuration
  • CPU 64-bit x86 Intel or AMD processor, 2GHz or faster
  • Memory
    • 6GB, minimum
    • 24GB, recommended
    • 72GB, maximum tested
      Note: You can use more than 72GB memory for each ESXi host as there is no memory limitation for the VSA cluster.
  • NIC 4 single-port, or 2 dual-port 1 Gigabit Ethernet NICs or 10 Gigabit Ethernet NICs, or 1 quad-port NIC (does not provide NIC redundancy)
  • RAID controller RAID controller must support RAID10, RAID6, or RAID5
  • Hard disks All disks that are used in each host must be of the same capacity and performance characteristics. The maximum number of disks per host is 28.
    Do not mix SATA and SAS disks. For possible configurations, see RAID Settings and Requirements. Although disk drive configurations with heterogeneous vendor and model combinations, drive capacity, and drive speed might work, the write I/O performance of the RAID adapter will be a multiple of the slowest drive in the RAID set, and the capacity will be a multiple of the smallest drive in the RAID set. VMware strongly recommends that you do not use hybrid disk drive configurations except where you must rebuild a RAID set after acquiring a replacement drive from the server manufacturer that differs only slightly. Substituting a smaller drive than the current minimum capacity drive causes the RAID set rebuild to fail and is not supported.
Yes Yes
vCenter Server installed on a physical or virtual machine. You can run vCenter Server on one of the ESXi hosts in the VSA cluster. The following configuration is required for vCenter Server installation:
  • CPU 64-bit x86 Intel or AMD processor, 2GHz or faster
  • Memory and hard disk space The amount of memory and hard disk space needed depends on your vCenter Server configuration. For more details, see the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.
  • NIC 1 Gigabit Ethernet NIC or 10 Gigabit Ethernet NIC
For VSA Manager, additional hard disk space is required:
  • VSA Manager 10GB
  • VSA Cluster Service 2GB
Yes Yes
Network Hardware Requirements and Configuration
  • Two 1 Gigabit/10 Gigabit Ethernet switches, recommended
    Note: Network configuration with two switches eliminates a single point of failure in the physical network layer
  • One 1 Gigabit/10 Gigabit Ethernet switch, minimum
  • In a VSA environment, network must operate at speeds of 1 Gigabit or higher to support the configuration.
Yes Yes
Static IP addresses. vCenter Server and VSA Manager do not need to be in the same subnet as VSA clusters. Members of each VSA cluster, including the VSA cluster service for a 2-member configuration, need to be in the same subnet. Yes Yes
(Optional) One or two VLAN IDs configured on the Ethernet switches Yes Yes
Software Requirements
ESXi on each host Yes Yes
Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 64-bit Yes Yes
vCenter Server installed on a physical system or a virtual machine. You can run vCenter Server on one of the ESXi hosts in the VSA cluster. Yes Yes
vSphere Web Client Yes Yes

Note: The VMware Product Interoperability Matrix provides details about the compatibility of current and earlier versions of VMware vSphere Storage Appliance with ESXi and vCenter Server. For more information, see VMware Product Interoperability Matrix.

See the VMware vSphere Storage Appliance Installation and Administration document for more information about each workflow.

RAID Settings and Requirements

RAID Type
SATA Drives
SAS Drives
RAID5
Not supported
The following RAID configurations show a sample of valid combinations of number of drives and maximum drive capacities for SAS disks. Capacities smaller than those shown in this sample are also supported:
  • 10 X 0.5T => 4.5T VMFS data store
  • 8 X 0.75T => 5.25T VMFS data store
  • 7 X 1T => 6T VMFS data store
  • 6 X 1.5T => 7.5T VMFS data store
  • 5 X 2T => 8T VMFS data store
  • 3 X 3T => 6T VMFS data store
  • 4 X 2.5T => 7.5T VMFS data store
  • 4 X 3T => 9T VMFS data store
RAID6
Maximum supported VMFS datastore limit per host is 24T. Maximum supported VMFS data store limit per host is 24T. This capacity maximum applies in aggregate across all VMFS data stores created on the ESXi host.
RAID10
Maximum supported VMFS datastore limit per host is 8T. This is not a VMFS datastore limit, it is the limit imposed by the expected aggregate disk drive resiliency for a RAID set. Beyond this limit, the storage resiliency is below the acceptable limit.
Disk Rotational Speed
At least 7200 RPM
At least 10000 RPM
Note: For best performance, select 15000 RPM disks.

Upgrade Notes

If you use earlier versions of vSphere Storage Appliance, upgrade you environment to version 5.5 or later. The upgrade process you use depends on the current version of vSphere Storage Appliance. For an upgrade from vSphere Storage Appliance version 1.x, you can use the VSA Manager Installer to upgrade all components at the same time. The single upgrade procedure upgrades VSA Manager, the VSA cluster service, and the VSA cluster appliances.

If you upgrade from a 5.1.x version, the VSA Manager Installer upgrades VSA Manager only. Any existing cluster appliances remain at their original version and you can upgrade them separately.

Note: The VSA Manager and VSA cluster appliance should be of the same version after the upgrade is complete. A particular version of VSA manager is only compatible with its corresponding version of VSA cluster appliance.

For upgrade procedure, please see Upgrading vSphere Storage Appliance Environment in the vSphere Storage Appliance Installation and Administration guide

Resolved Issues

  • Update to glibc package to address a security issue
    The vSphere Storage Appliance glibc package is updated to resolve a security issue. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CVE-2015-7547 to this issue. For more information, see KB 2144491.

Known Issues

The known issues in vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5.6 are grouped as follows:

Known issues not previously documented are marked with the * symbol.

Upgrade Issues

  • VSA upgrade fails if the vCenter Server IP is changed
    If the vCenter Server IP address is modified after installing VSA, then attempts to upgrade fail with an error similar to the following:

    Error 29463. VSA Manager should be installed on the vCenter Server. Please ensure this is the vCenter Server and type the correct host name
  • Workaround: Change the IP address in the registry entry

    1. In the registry, go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\vSphere Storage Appliance Manager\VC
    2. Update the entry VCServerAddress with the new IP address of the vCenter Server
      This address is stored in the registry during installation.
  • An upgrade of a VSA cluster fails when a non-default password is used
    When you use a password other than default for a VSA cluster upgrade from version 5.1.x to 5.5, your attempts to upgrade the cluster fail. An error message indicates that the cluster is unavailable.

    Workaround: Before upgrading a VSA cluster, change the password to default. You can change it back to a password of your choice after the upgrade completes.

vSphere Web Client Issues

  • The VSA Manager page in the vSphere Web Client might not automatically refresh as expected
    Typically, the VSA Manager page automatically retrieves and displays new information. In certain circumstances, this does not happen.

    Workaround: Manually refresh the VSA Manager page by pressing the F5 button. If this operation does not help, restart the vSphere Web Client.

  • The VSA Manager page fails to load in the vSphere Web Client
    When the VSA Manager page does not load, you might see the following error message:
    An internal error has occurred - Unable to load resource module from /vsa-ui/locales/vsa-ui-en_US.swf

    Workaround: Disable 5.5 VSA plug-in and revert to 5.1 vSphere Web Client plug-in for accessing VSA:

    1. In webclient.properties, set the following values to revert the VSA specific configuration:
      scriptPlugin.enabled=true
      allowHttp=false
    2. Delete cached vSphere Web Client data for theVSA 5.5 plug-in from the following locations on the vCenter Server:
      • C:\ProgramData\VMware\vSphere Web Client\vc-packages\vsphere-client-serenity
      • C:\ProgramData\VMware\vSphere Web Client\catalog\VirtualCenter\5.5.0\en
    3. Restart the vSphere Web Client service on the vCenter Server.
    4. Use the 5.1 version of the vSphere Web Client to access VSA Manager.