VMware vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1g Release Notes

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vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1g | 20 MAR 2018 | ISO Build 8024368

Check for additions and updates to these release notes.

What's in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

What's New

Earlier Releases of vCenter Server 6.5

Features and known issues of vCenter Server are described in the release notes for each release. Release notes for earlier releases of vCenter Server 6.5 are:

For compatibility, installation and upgrades, product support notices, and features see the VMware vSphere 6.5 Release Notes.

Patches Contained in This Release

vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1g delivers the following patch. See the VMware Patch Download Center for more information on downloading patches.

Internationalization

VMware vSphere 6.5 is available in the following languages:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese

Components of VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 1, including vCenter Server, ESXi, the vSphere Web Client, the vSphere Client, and the vSphere Host Client do not accept non-ASCII input.

Compatibility

ESXi, vCenter Server, and vSphere Web Client Version Compatibility

The VMware Product Interoperability Matrix provides details about the compatibility of current and earlier versions of VMware vSphere components, including ESXi, VMware vCenter Server, the vSphere Web Client, and optional VMware products. Check the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix also for information about supported management and backup agents before you install ESXi or vCenter Server.

The vSphere Web Client and vSphere Client are packaged with vCenter Server.

Hardware Compatibility for ESXi

To view a list of processors, storage devices, SAN arrays, and I/O devices that are compatible with vSphere 6.5 Update 1, use the ESXi 6.5 information in the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Device Compatibility for ESXi

To determine which devices are compatible with ESXi 6.5, use the ESXi 6.5 information in the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Guest Operating System Compatibility for ESXi

To determine which guest operating systems are compatible with vSphere 6.5, use the ESXi 6.5 information in the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Virtual Machine Compatibility for ESXi

Virtual machines that are compatible with ESX 3.x and later (hardware version 4) are supported with ESXi 6.5. Virtual machines that are compatible with ESX 2.x and later (hardware version 3) are not supported. To use such virtual machines on ESXi 6.5, upgrade the virtual machine compatibility. See the vSphere Upgrade documentation.

Installation and Upgrade Notes for This Release

Installation Notes for This Release

Read the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation for guidance about installing and configuring ESXi and vCenter Server.

Although the installations are straightforward, several subsequent configuration steps are essential. Read the following documentation:

VMware Tools Bundling Changes in ESXi 6.5

In ESXi 6.5, only a subset of VMware Tools ISO images are bundled with the ESXi 6.5 host.

The following VMware Tools ISO images are bundled with ESXi:

  • windows.iso: VMware Tools image for Windows Vista or higher

  • linux.iso: VMware Tools image for Linux OS with glibc 2.5 or higher (for example, RHEL 5 or later, SLES 11 or later, Ubuntu 10.04 or later)

  • winPreVista.iso: VMware Tools image for Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 2003

The following VMware Tools ISO images are available for download from My VMware:

  • solaris.iso: VMware Tools image for Solaris

  • freebsd.iso: VMware Tools image for FreeBSD

  • winPre2k.iso: VMware Tools image for pre Windows 2000

  • linuxPreGlibc25.iso: VMware Tools image for Linux OS with glibc less than 2.5

  • darwin.iso: VMware Tools image for OS X 10.11 or later

  • darwinPre15.iso: VMware Tools image for Pre-OS X 10.11

  • netware.iso: VMware Tools image for Netware

Follow the procedures listed in the following documents to download VMware Tools for operating systems not bundled with ESXi:

Migrating Third-Party Solutions

For information about upgrading with third-party customizations, see the vSphere Upgrade documentation. For information about using Image Builder to make a custom ISO, see the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.

Upgrades and Installations Disallowed for Unsupported CPUs

Comparing the processors supported by vSphere 6.0, vSphere 6.5 no longer supports the following processors:

  • Intel Xeon 51xx series
  • Intel Xeon 30xx series
  • Intel core 2 duo 6xxx series
  • Intel Xeon 32xx series
  • Intel core 2 quad 6xxx series
  • Intel Xeon 53xx series
  • Intel Xeon 72xx/73xx series

During an installation or upgrade, the installer checks the compatibility of the host CPU with vSphere 6.5. If your host hardware is not compatible, a purple screen appears with an incompatibility information message, and the vSphere 6.5 installation process stops.

Upgrade Notes for This Release

vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1 supports upgrades and migrations from vCenter Server 6.0 Update 3 and above to vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1.

Open Source Components for VMware vSphere 6.5

The copyright statements and licenses applicable to the open source software components distributed in vSphere 6.5 are available at http://www.vmware.com. You need to log in to your My VMware account. Then, from the Downloads menu, select vSphere. On the Open Source tab, you can also download the source files for any GPL, LGPL, or other similar licenses that require the source code or modifications to source code to be made available for the most recent available release of vSphere.

Functionality Caveats

The vSphere Client is written in an HTML5-based language and frameworks supported by all browsers. However, different browsers have different performance characteristics regarding the HTML5 standard. In particular, performance with Internet Explorer 11 can be slower than with other browsers, because of the rendering engine that Internet Explorer 11 uses. If you experience such issues, try using another supported browser.

Product Support Notices

  • The VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix provides detailed information about all supported and unsupported products. Check the VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix also for further information about the End of General Support, End of Technical Guidance, and End Of Availability.

  • VMware is announcing discontinuation of its third party virtual switch (vSwitch) program, and plans to deprecate the VMware vSphere APIs used by third party switches in the release following vSphere 6.5 Update 1. Subsequent vSphere versions will have the third party vSwitch APIs completely removed and third party vSwitches will no longer work. For more information, see FAQ: Discontinuation of third party vSwitch program (2149722).

  • As of vSphere 6.5, VMware is discontinuing the installable desktop vSphere Client, one of the clients provided in vSphere 6.0 and earlier. vSphere 6.5 does not support this client and it is not included in the product download. vSphere 6.5 introduces the new HTML5-based vSphere Client, which ships with vCenter Server alongside the vSphere Web Client. Not all functionality in the vSphere Web Client has been implemented for the vSphere Client in the vSphere 6.5 release. For an up-to-date list of unsupported functionality, see Functionality Updates for the vSphere Client Guide.

  • Cross vCenter Server provisioning, which was introduced in vSphere 6.0, is not supported across vCenter Server versions. The cross-vCenter provisioning operations not supported across different versions of vCenter Server include vMotion, cold migration, and cloning. For example, a vMotion operation from vCenter Server 6.0 to vCenter Server 6.5, and vice versa, are not supported.

  • VMware vCenter Operations Foundation 5.8.x is no longer offered, interoperable or supported with the release of vSphere 6.5. If you want to continue using vCenter Operations Foundation 5.8.x products, you can do so only with vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0.

  • vSphere 6.5 is the final release that supports binary translation mode virtualization of operating systems. Future vSphere releases will not include binary translation mode. For more information, see https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2147608.

  • vSphere 6.5 is the final release that supports Software-Based Memory Virtualization. Future vSphere releases will not include Software-Based Memory Virtualization.

  • You cannot create new legacy (Record & Replay / uni-processor) Fault Tolerance virtual machines on vCenter Server 6.5 and ESXi 6.5 hosts. If you want to continue running legacy Fault Tolerance virtual machines, remain with ESXi 6.0 or earlier. Existing legacy Fault Tolerance virtual machines continue to be supported on ESXi hosts earlier than 6.5 and managed by vCenter Server 6.5.

    If you wish to upgrade ESXi hosts to 6.5, turn off legacy Fault Tolerance (do not only disable Fault Tolerance) on the protected VMs prior to upgrading. SMP-FT (multiprocessor Fault Tolerance) is not automatically enabled on the VM. You must manually turn on Fault Tolerance (which becomes SMP-FT) for VMs on the newly upgraded 6.5 ESXi host.

Resolved Issues

The resolved issues are grouped as follows.

Security Issues
  • This updated version of vCenter Server provides part of the hypervisor-assisted guest mitigation of CVE-2017-5715 for guest operating systems. For important details on this mitigation, see VMware Security Advisory VMSA-2018-0004.3.

Miscellaneous Issues
  • You are unable to place an ESXi host into an empty Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) cluster even though the host meets the requirements

    Some EVC modes now contain additional CPU features that were previously not included in the EVC requirements for hosts. To support smooth upgrade, the EVC cluster would implement the new requirements only after all the hosts in it have been upgraded to meet them. However, attempting to add a non-upgraded ESXi host to the empty EVC cluster fails.

    This issue is resolved in this release.

Known Issues

The known issues are grouped as follows.

Miscellaneous Issues
  • An EVC cluster might not show new CPU IDs such as Indirect Branch Predictor Barrier (IBPB) if you add a host in maintenance mode

    If you create an empty EVC cluster and add a host in maintenance mode, you might not see the new CPU IDs exposed by that EVC cluster. The new CPU IDs are the Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS), Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors (STIBP) and Indirect Branch Predictor Barrier (IBPB).

    Workaround: To work around this issue, you must not add hosts in maintenance mode to empty EVC clusters. If you had added a host in maintenance mode to an empty EVC cluster and then added another host, not in maintenance mode, you must exit the first host from maintenance mode and remove the second host. As result, the cluster will upgrade and resync with the new CPU IDs.

  • An EVC cluster might show new CPU IDs such as IBPB even if you revert an ESXi host to an older version

    When you apply the current patch to an ESXi host and add that host to an EVC cluster, if you revert the host to an older version of ESXi, the EVC cluster might still expose the new CPU IDs, such as IBRS, STIBP and IBPB. However, the ESXi host will not have any of the new CPU ID features.

    Workaround: To work around this issue, you must put the ESXi host in maintenance mode and move the host out of the EVC cluster. 

Known Issues from Earlier Releases

To view a list of previous known issues, click here.