Release Notes V-Cube & V-Cube+ 6.0.10

Collax V-Cube / Collax V-Cube+
01.12.2011

Installation Notes

Auto Reboot

A new kernel is going to be installed and a reboot of the system is necessary. The output of the progress bar may stop before rebooting.

Note: Please wait, until all software packages are installed. The reboot of the system will then be initialized automatically and the server is going to be available after a few minutes.

Cluster Update from V-Cube 6.0.6 oder lower

An update from V-Cube 6.0.6 requires the installation of V-Cube 6.0.8. It is necessary to perform this intermediate step to assure the operation of the virtual machines during the update. The intermediate step is automatically enforced by the Collax update server.

If cluster nodes are being updated it is necessary to update all nodes to V-Cube 6.0.8 first. Only after all nodes are updated to Version 6.0.8 the Version 6.0.10 can be installed.

Install Update within Cluster

Please read the following release notes carefully, before continuing. When installing this update on a Collax V-Cube+ cluster the following steps have to be performed:

Note: If starting the update from 6.1.8 to 6.1.10 no down time of the running virtual machines or applications is required.

Procedure

  1. If the nodes have the version 6.1.8 or prior: Please read the appropriate notes for that release including the documented procedure first.
  2. The software packages can be downloaded whithin a running Cluster to prepare the update and minimize the planned downtime. Go to the local administration of each node and access the form System Operation → Software → Systemupdate. Then click Get Package List. This will download the list of available update packages. The successful update of the package list is indicated by the message Done!. Click Get Packages. If the packages are downloaded successfully then the message Done! will be displayed.
  3. Put one node into standby mode. Go to Status/Maintenance → Cluster Nodes and execute the action Standby. Please wait until the cluster resources are stopped or the VMs are migrated.
  4. Now, put this node into maintenance mode. Go to the dialog Status/Maintenance → Cluster Services and stop the service HA Cluster for this node.
  5. Click Install within the dialog Systembetrieb → Software → Systemupdate to install all update packages. The end of this process is indicated by the message Done!.
  6. If a new kernel is going to be installed the system will be rebooted automatically after installing the update. An appropriate note will be shown. Please wait for the reboot in that case.
  7. Start the service HA Cluster on the node that has been updated. Please wait until the service ist started and information about Cluster Resources are available before you proceed with the next step.
  8. Once the service HA Cluster has been started resume the node by using the action Set active within the dialog Status/maintenance → Cluster Nodes .
  9. Afterwards check the status of the eSAN-disk synchronization in the form Cluster Administration → Virtual Hard Disks. Do not continue with the next step until the column Status shows 100% or OK for all eSAN disks.
  10. Please repeat this procedure from step 2 on the next node that needs to be updated.

Install Update from Version 6.0.10 within Cluster

Please read the following release notes carefully, before continuing. Note that when installing this update on a Collax Inter-V cluster the following steps have to be performed:

Procedure

  1. This step has to be done on each cluster node before step 2 is performed. This steps prevents that virtual machines from stopping while updating the cluster nodes. Login to each node via SSH, execute the command #~ wget http://update.collax.com/pub/Run_before_update_6.1.4.sh. Start the script with the command #~ sh Run_before_update_6.1.4.sh
  2. Please shut down all virtual machines within the cluster management gui before continuing with the following steps. Please consider to disable the shutdown event tracker for Windows operating systems before shutting down the virtual machine.
  3. Put all nodes into standby mode. Go to Status/Maintenance → Cluster Nodes and execute the action Standby. Please wait until the cluster resources are stopped.
  4. Put one node into maintenance mode. Go to the dialog Status/Maintenance → Cluster Services and stop the service HA Cluster for this node.
  5. Go to the local administration of this node and access the form System Operation → Software → Systemupdate. Then click Get Package List. This will download the list of available update packages. The successful update of the package list is indicated by the message Done!.
  6. Click Get Packages. If the packages are downloaded successfully then the message Done! will be displayed.
  7. Click Install. This action installs all update packages. The end of this process is indicated by the message Done!.
  8. A new kernel is going to be installed. The system will be rebooted automatically after installing the update. An appropriate note will be shown if the update process is completed.
  9. After the reboot start the service HA Cluster of the node again: Go to the cluster administration form Status/Maintenance → Cluster services. Please wait until information about Cluster Resources are available.
  10. Repeat the steps 3 to 8 for the next cluster node.
  11. Once all cluster nodes are updated resume them one by one by using the action Set active within the dialog Status/maintenance → Cluster Nodes .
  12. Next check the status of the eSAN disk synchronization in the form Cluster Administration → Virtual Hard Disks. Do not continue with the next step until the column Status shows 100% or OK for all eSAN disks.
  13. If all nodes within the cluster are updated and active the virtual machines can be started again.

Install Update on a Collax V-Cube

To install this update on a Collax V-Cube without a Cluster interconnection please follow these steps:

Procedure

  1. Please read this document before proceeding to the next step.
  2. In the administration interface go to System → System Operation → Software → System Update and then click Get Package List. This will then download the listed update packages. The successful update of the package list is indicated by the message “Done!”.
  3. Click Get Packages to download the software packages.
  4. Click Install. This action installs the update. The end of this process is indicated by the message Done!.
  5. A new kernel is going to be installed. The system will be rebooted automatically after installing the update. An appropriate note will be shown once the update process is completed.
  6. If the server is updated and booted the virtual machines can be started again.

New Functions - New Name: Collax V-SAN

The functionality of Collax V-Cube could be extended with the modules Inter-V and V-Store so far. The latter managed the embedded SAN Storage. Due to the extension of the functionality of the highly available, embedded SAN with this update, the module Collax V-Store is getting replaced by the new Collax module V-SAN.

New in this Version

Virtualization: Live Snapshot of Running Virtual Machines

When creating snapshots, the virtual machine used to be briefly suspended for the duration of the backup of the memory content. As of this update, the memory content can backed up live, without interrupting the operation. The live snapshot option greatly increases the availability of the virtual machine to users during operationpresent snapshots. This is resolved with this update.

The new option is available in the Snapshots dialog.

Virtualization: HDD Caching for Images, Snapshots, Backups

Collax V-Cube opens disk image files and snapshots as normal files, which results in them being cached by the V-Cube like any other file. If disk image files and snapshots (also backup) are used the cache mode is to be set correctly from this update on. On principle the setting of the HDD caching mode depends on the filesystem used within the virtual guest. For File systems like NTFS, ext4 and XFS that support barrier by default the mode “Performance” is to be set. The file systems FAT/VFAT and ext3, which do not support barrier by default, the value “Data security” needs to be set. The Setting HDD-Caching is found within the dialog for configuring a virtual machine.

V-Cube+: Remove Cluster Filesystem

From this version on the action Remove Cluster filesystem is available for drives (Embedded SAN- or iSCSI-drive) not being used as cluster share anymore. This is useful to provide these drives, which prior were used as cluster share, as disk again within virtual machines.

Backup/Restore: V-Recovery ‒ Quick Access to Backup Data of Virtual Machines

With this update, the V-recovery function set is made available for quick access to backed-up virtual machines. The function scope enables quick access to the file system of backed-up machines. This File Recovery can make the file system of the selected machine available in the network via FTP. In this way, individual files can be restored from the backup data of the virtual machine without restoring the original VM. Supported file systems: VFAT, NTFS, Linux Ext, ReiserFS, XFS. File systems in dynamic disks (SFS) or Logical Volumes (LV) are not supported.

Alternatively, the entire virtual machine can be booted temporarily from the backed-up data without affecting the original VM or the operating environment. This subfunction is called Instant VM.

The third function that V-recovery supports is the verification of the backup data for completeness and integrity. This function can be used to ensure that the backed-up data are correct and can be restored and that the virtual machine including snapshots can be booted if necessary.

GUI: Installing Add-on Modules During Registration

To facilitate the initial setup, the registration wizard now enables the automatic installation of all licensed modules immediately after the successful registration. This speeds up the initial setup considerably.

GUI: Automatic Logout

Version 6.0.8 introduced an automatic logout from the system. As of this update, you can modify the idle time of the administration session under Settings → Usage Policy → Environment → Administrator (the default setting is one hour).

GUI: Hardware Information of Snapshots

Besides the information about the disk delta, machine state or online/offline mode additional hardware information about CPU and RAM is going to be shown from this update on in the list of snapshots of a virtual machine.

System Management: Emultated Intel® 6300ESB Watchdog Timer - 25AB

A watchdog timer is a component in a system that monitors other system components that contact the watchdog timer at certain intervals (dead man’s switch). In the case of an error, the watchdog triggers a predefined action to eliminate the error. As of this update, the Intel® 6300ESB Watchdog Timer is available to Collax V-Cube virtual machines. This watchdog timer can be initialized by virtual machines in order to confirm the correct system operation at certain intervals. If the signal is no longer transmitted to the watchdog timer, the defined action (e.g. reset) will be executed.

System Management: New Monitoring Options for Virtual Machines

By default, all services of the involved nodes are actively monitored in a Collax cluster array. From this update, VM-side services can also be monitored. On the one hand, the test spectrum comprises several network-based services like DNS, HTTP, POP3, and SMTP. On the other hand, system-internal functions and values such as CPU, RAM, swap, processes, running services, events, and hard disks of the virtual machines can also be monitored. A detailed description of the use and configuration is provided at www.collax.com.

System Management: GUI Notification of System Jobs

The ease of use of the Collax administration GUI is based among other things on triggering background processes which take away a lot of the work from the operator. From this update, an interface is implemented into the administration GUI which visualizes background processes including their result.

System Management: Checking Cluster Resources

Among other things, the cluster management is based on the administration of resources, which are described with an actual state and a target state. This update activates a test that monitors these states. If the actual state corresponds to the target state, the result is OK. If the states do not match, the situation will be classified as CRITICAL, meaning that there is an error. In the case of an error, the system administrator is automatically informed by e-mail.

Misc: Important System Packages

The following important system packages are installed with the new version:

  • Replicating block device driver and tools drbd 8.3.11-ak33
  • Corosync Cluster Engine 1.4.1-ak17
  • kernel 2.6.32.45-ak83

Issues Fixed in this Version

Virtualization: VM Damaged Upon Modification of Disks with Snapshots

If the hard disk of a virtual machine of which snapshots had been generated was changed, e.g. if it was resized, and if the snapshots were subsequently merged with the base image, the file system of the virtual machine could be defective. To avoid this error, this update prevents the resizing of the hard disk in such a case.

V-Cube+: Faulty MTU or Network Objects When Joining a Cluster

Previously, joining a cluster could fail if there were different jumbo frame settings or different network objects with the same name. With this update, these items are verified before joining the cluster, and the user is provided with information on how the problem can be solved. In this way, it is made sure that the node can duly join the cluster.

V-Cube+: FQDN, Cluster Domain, and Join Cluster

Previously, the cluster domain could be selected independently from the FQDN. To prevent the cluster domain from being different from the FQDN, which would cause authentication problems between the nodes, the cluster domain can no longer be selected freely from this update on. Rather, it is set automatically according to the FQDN set for the node. The pseudo TLD .local won’t be allowed any more. Additionally, the integrity of the DNS, FQDN, cluster domain and software version of a cluster node is verified when joining a cluster.

Backup/Restore: Incremental Backup of VM Images

The backup of virtual machines also requires the backup of the virtual hard disks, for which a lot of storage space is needed on the backup medium. From this release on, the incremental backup method can be selected in order to reduce the need for storage space when backing up virtual machines. For the incremental backup, only the data of the virtual machine that changed since the last backup are stored in the form of a snapshot. The option can be found under Settings → Virtualization → General. Incremental backups are now performed by default if the backup type is duly configured.

Backup/Restore: Storage Space Not Checked for Snapshot for VM Backup

To back up a virtual machine without interrupting the operation or to perform incremental backups, a snapshot is generated prior to the backup. The snapshot is stored in the vmData share or in the cluster share, depending on whether it is a local VM or a VM in the cluster. Before the backup, it was previously not checked whether the storage space was sufficient for the maximum size of the snapshot. From this update on, the free storage space is checked prior to the backup, and the process is canceled in case the storage space is insufficient.

Backup/Restore: Split Backup Items of Cluster Share

Up to now ISOs, snapshots, Collax templates and disk image files located on the cluster share were written to backup media, when the cluster share was selected for data backup. Since snapshots and disk image files are also included in the data backup of a virtual machines, data was written redundantly and more space was used than necessary. From this update on ISOs and Collax templates can be chosen separately for data backup, whereby less storage space is required.

GUI: Firefox and Focus in Tables

Previously, the table row focus did not work correctly in tables displayed in a section in the dialog with scroll bars. This error only occurred in connection with scroll bars and the Firefox browser. From this update on, the qx.html.Scroll method is deactivated in the AJAX framework; thus, the table row focus works correctly in new browsers.

GUI: Popup Appears in a Wrong Place in the Dialog

When scrolling in dialogs and accessing pop-up objects such as list boxes or context menus, these pop-up objects were not displayed in the correct place. This update corrects the qx.ui.popup.Popup method, ensuring correct display of all pop-up objects in dialogs.

System Management: System Information Graphs Are Not Displayed

Under certain circumstances, the system information graphs of virtual machines were not displayed from Collax V-Cube version 6.0.8 on. This was caused by the process name of VMs, which had the prefix qemu: from version 6.0.8 onward. For this reason, the directories of the statistical records could not be accessed via the GUI. This error has been eliminated as of this update; the graphical system information for virtual machines is displayed correctly, and the previous records are retained.

Misc: Limitation to 16 Virtual CPUs per VM instead of 64

Previously, it was not possible to specify more than 16 virtual CPUs via the administration interface, although 64 CPUs are possible per VM. This limitation has been eliminated as of this update.

Notes

Misc: Windows Setup notes Error Message 0x80300001

If Windows Server 2008 R2 and above is to be installed on Virtio hard disks using the Virtio driver CD for Windows, Windows reports the error code 0x80300001. The error message occurs if the partitions are recognized and the user clicks the button Next. The message means, that the installation CD of Windows needs to be inserted again.

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