Last Updated December 15, 2011

VMware ESXi 5.0 on physical host servers and vCenter 5.0 for NETLAB+ VM management are not recommended or supported at this time due to several known issues.

VMware ESXi 4.1 U2 is currently recommended for physical host servers.

VMware vCenter 4.1 is currently recommended for NETLAB+ VM management.

VMware ESXi 5.0 and vCenter 5.0 are supported as virtual machines running in NDG ICM 5; the physical host servers that host ICM 5 pods are required to run ESXi 4.1 U2 to support this environment.

Known Issues with ESXi 5.0 and NETLAB+

The following known issues have delayed support for ESXi 5.0 support on physical host servers. Although NETLAB+ will interoperate with vSphere 5.0, it is not currently supported for the reasons listed here.

  • System performance on ESXi 5.0 may significantly degrade when booting more than 15 VMs at once. The vmkernel reports high disk latency and may further degrade after subsequent invocations of the same pods. This issue does not occur on ESXi 4.1 U2. The effective impact of this issue is shown in the table below. The time required to boot 8 ICM 5.0 pods on ESXi 5.0 (physical server) significantly increases after the second and third invocations. This would mean that a user could wait between 5 and 9 minutes for a pod to initialize (depending on when the pod was scheduled). The same pods on ESXi 4.1 U2 (physical server) are not affected and actually improve after the first boot (due to thin provisioning).
  • When using the NETLAB+ Remote PC Viewer Version 2, users will experience a double mouse cursor; one local mouse and one remote mouse. This issue does not occur with ESXi 4.1 U2. The correct behavior is to render only a local cursor in most cases.
  • The built-in ESXi firewall blocks all NETLAB+ remote display (VNC) traffic, even though NETLAB+ configures remote display ports through the vSphere API. This can be worked around by allowing most ports through the ESXi firewall.
ICM pod boot time

Known Issues with vCenter 5 Virtual Appliance and NETLAB+

  • Embedded database only support 5 hosts and 50 VMs. Most NETLAB+ sites working with virtual pods will easily exceed 50 VMs.
  • Only Oracle is supported as external database. Microsoft SQL Server is not supported.