PlateSpin Portability Suite 8.1 Release Notes

July 24, 2009

1.0 About this Release

These release notes apply to both PlateSpin® Portability Suite version 8.1 products, PlateSpin® Migrate and PlateSpin® Protect.

The two products share a common client, runtime execution engine, installation program, and a product documentation set.

Your specific product’s functionality, feature set, and user interface details, including the product name, are determined by your Portability Suite license type.

2.0 New Features in Version 8.1

This section provides information about new features and capabilities of your Portability Suite version 8.1 products.

2.1 Support for New Source Workload Operating Systems

Version 8.1 supports the following new operating systems of source workloads in portability operations:

  • Solaris 10: You can now use the product to migrate Solaris* physical machines or zones into native zones on Solaris 10 zone servers (Solaris 10, U5 and U6, and SPARC* architecture only). See Section 2.4, Support for New Virtualization Platforms.

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11: Novell® SLES 11 is now supported as a source workload for migration jobs.

  • Windows Vista: Supported editions are Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate, for both migration and protection jobs.

  • Windows Server 2008: Supported editions are Standard and Enterprise, for both migration and protection jobs.

2.2 Improved Migration and Replication Performance

Portability Suite version 8.1 includes a new data transfer module, the VSS Block-based Transfer Component, which supports live, block-level transfers of Microsoft* Windows* workloads by leveraging the Microsoft Volume Snapshot Service (VSS).

2.3 Enhanced Server Sync Functionality and Performance

  • Functional Enhancements: In Portability Suite version 8.1, the Server Sync feature has been expanded to cover physical machines as Server Sync targets. This applies to both Windows and Linux workloads.

  • Performance Enhancements: This release brings increased speed for initial workload relocation and setup of protection contracts, in part because of the introduction of the new, VSS-based block-level data transfer module. See Section 2.2, Improved Migration and Replication Performance.

2.4 Support for New Virtualization Platforms

  • Solaris 10: You can now migrate Solaris workloads into native zones on Solaris zone servers with the same OS and update version (Solaris 10, U5 and U6, and SPARC architecture only). See Section 2.1, Support for New Source Workload Operating Systems.

  • Citrix XenServer 5: Now supported as a target for fully automated workload portability jobs.

  • VMware ESX 4: Now supported as a target for fully automated workload portability and protection jobs.

2.5 Enhanced Support for Target Virtualization Platform Technologies

Portability Suite can now access VMware* ESX Servers through a VMware vCenter* server. For example, discovering a VMware vCenter server results in the discovery of all affiliated VMware ESX servers.

In addition, Portability Suite enables you to toggle the ESX Server access mechanism between direct access to an ESX server and access through a vCenter.

2.6 Enhanced Flexible Image Handling

During a disaster recovery effort or a business continuity exercise, you can selectively restore files in your production server’s file system by using backup versions of those files that are stored in PlateSpin® Flexible Images. To do this, you can use the new Image Browser utility, which enables you to browse, search, sort, and extract files from an image or an image increment. You can use the utility either through its intuitive Windows Explorer-like interface or at the command line.

2.7 User Experience Enhancements for the Discovery Feature

In Portability Suite version 8.1, when you are carrying out a Discover Details operation, the user interface provides a list of discrete machine types that you can select to specify a machine’s workload portability role for that discovery operation (Windows, Linux, Solaris, VMware ESX, VMware vCenter, and Citrix* XenServer*).

2.8 Portability Suite Version 8.1 Product Documentation

This release is supported by a Web-based documentation set for both PlateSpin® Migrate and PlateSpin® Protect products. You can view the product documentation online or download individual PDF files according to your information needs.

Visit the PlateSpin® Portability Suite version 8.1 Documentation Web site.

Integrated help (PortabilitySuiteHelp.chm) continues to ship with both products and contains most of the information in the Web-based documentation set. However, the integrated help file will be updated only for major or minor (hotfix) releases, while content at the PlateSpin® Portability Suite version 8.1 Documentation Web site will be updated on a regular basis.

3.0 Discontinued Support for Product Installation on Windows 2000

In version 8.1, installation of Portability Suite Server or Portability Suite Client software on Windows 2000 hosts is no longer supported.

However, you can still migrate or protect Windows 2000 workloads.

For detailed system requirements, see your Installation Guide.

4.0 Discontinued Support for Virtualization Platforms as Targets for Workload Protection

For workload protection using the PlateSpin® Protect product, support for the following virtualization platforms has been discontinued:

  • All VMware ESX Server platforms earlier than version 3.x

  • VMware Server 1.0

  • Microsoft Virtual Server (MSVS)

5.0 Bugs Fixed in Version 8.1

A large number of bugs were fixed for the 8.1 release. The following list gives details of the major issues that were resolved through these fixes.

  • 497665 Error when upgrading Portability Suite: An issue with how upgrades were performed in prior releases might occasionally cause an upgrade error An entry with the same key already exists, requiring manual intervention. An upgrade to version 8.1 does not have this issue.

  • 488444 Saved jobs no longer updatable when reloaded: After loading a saved job, Portability Suite failed to update additional changes. This issue has been resolved.

  • 474081 Incremental updates of Flexible Images producing large amounts of data: In this release the data footprint of incremental image update jobs has been significantly reduced, resulting in improved transfer times.

  • 473109 Unnecessary disk space usage on ESX hosts resulting from multiple WinPE ISO uploads: In prior releases, uploading a WinPE ISO image per datastore caused disk space waste. In the current release, during a migration or replication, the product requires access to a local Windows PE ISO stored on a single datastore.

  • 465034 Migrations to ESX 3.5 targets over a slow network failing intermittently: This issue has been resolved.

  • 492370 Discovery failure with error: Multiple machines with multiple zero IP address ( entries caused the server to reject machine discovery requests and display a Machine has already been discovered error. Portability Suite products have been updated to ignore these malformed entries.

  • 495182 Device drivers not installing during Linux X2P migrations: In some cases during a Linux X2P migration, Portability Suite did not install certain device drivers, even though they were required. All known issues in this area have been resolved.

  • 481810 Daemon run level not configurable for some RHEL Servers: Portability Suite is now able to set the specified run level on certain Red Hat* Enterprise Linux (RHEL) workloads.

  • 498129 Problem restoring an OS service: An issue in the prior release prevented the migration or replication job from automatically restoring an operating system service found on a source workload on the target machine, even with an explicitly enabled Restore after Conversion option. This issue has been resolved.

6.0 Known Issues in Version 8.1

  • Portability Suite Server installer not enforcing the minimum disk space requirement: In some situations the Server installation program might fail to properly safeguard problems on hosts that do not meet the minimum disk space requirement. To avoid installation problems, make sure your Portability Suite Server host meets system requirements stated in your installation documentation. In particular, make sure that the host has a minimum 10 GB of disk space. See your Installation Guide.

  • Discovery stalling if target VMware ESXi has SSH enabled: A recently discovered issue might cause a discovery job in this configuration to hang at 80% completion. Note that VMware does not support SSH servers with ESXi. To ensure that an ESXi discovery is successful, disable SSH on your ESXi server. This issue does not apply to VMware ESX servers.

  • Migration problem to a VMware ESX 4 server in a VMware cluster: A recently discovered issue might prevent a migration to an ESX 4 server from using the correct HA and DRS settings if that server is a Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) cluster member. If the VMware HA feature reboots the target VM during the migration process, the migration job fails. If a fully automated DRS attempts a vMotion* operation on the target VM during the migration process, the migration might experience problems with network connectivity. No problems are expected with migrations to DRS clusters whose VM migration automation levels are set to Partially Automated or Manual. This issue is currently under investigation.

  • 522325 Volumes with no drive letters causing Server Sync to fail during VSS block-based transfer: A recently discovered issue might cause the Server Sync migration of a workload with volumes that have no drive letters assigned to unexpectedly fail during VSS block-level transfer. As a workaround, assign a drive letter to the corresponding target volumes for the migration to proceed correctly.

  • 506154 Special characters in ESX datastore names causing migration problems: Special characters (such as #, +, and =) in the name of an ESX datastore prevent Portability Suite from interacting with the ESX server, throwing an error Failed to put file from c:\xxxxx to http://xxxxx ... Unable to write file to the transport connection: An established connection was aborted by the software in your host machine. To work around this issue, eliminate special characters in your ESX datastore name, rediscover that ESX target, and rerun the job.

  • 509713 Inaccurate progress report for certain migrations and replications: The progress bar might be inaccurate for very long-running (more than 24 hours) migrations or replications. The issue is under investigation.

  • 502778 Failure discovering dual-boot Windows Server 2003 workloads: If your Windows Server* 2003 workload has Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista* volumes, the discovery of that workload might fail with an Access denied error. This is an issue in the Windows Server 2003 operating system. For details, see Knowledge Base Article Q21167.

  • 503466 Failure to display correct RAM size on Windows 2008/Vista x86 workloads: Upon discovering a Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista workload on x86 platforms, Portability Suite reports a maximum of 4 GB RAM on that workload, even if Physical Address Extension (PAE) is properly enabled. This is a display issue and does not impact the product’s ability to interact with the workload. For details, see Knowledge Base Article Q21163.

  • 509159 Failure to discover a SLES workload with a default SUDO configuration: Portability Suite requires sudo to be properly configured before the product can begin interacting with the server. For details, see Knowledge Base Article Q21162.

  • 510409 Problem migrating a Windows Server 2003 (x64) workload with a German OS to Citrix XenServer 4.1: A recently discovered issue might cause the migration of a workload in this specific configuration to stall at the end of the migration process. The completion of the job might require some user intervention. For details, see Knowledge Base Article Q21162.

  • 515761 Protected workloads that use VSS Block-based Live Transfer not picking volume additions or removals: After running a Windows workload protection job that uses the new VSS Block-based Transfer Component, further volume additions or removals are not monitored, even if the protection job is resubmitted. To work around the issue, uninstall the VSS Block-based Transfer Component, make the required volume changes, reinstall the VSS Block-based Transfer Component, and then rerun the protection job.

  • 516878 Unable to use VSS Block-based Live Transfer method to protect volumes with no drive letters: Currently you can use the VSS Block-based Live Transfer method to protect only volumes that are a assigned a drive letter. To work around the issue, assign a drive letter to all volumes that need protection. This issue is under investigation.

  • Citrix XenServer 5 VMs appear as machines with an unknown OS: The discovery of a VM on a Citrix XenServer 5, following the discovery of the XenServer 5 host itself, might cause the VM to appear as a machine with an Unknown OS tag. This results in the Prepare for Synchronization command being unavailable in the required item’s context menu. As a workaround, use the semi-automated virtualization process, where the system regards the target VM (booted with the PlateSpin ISO boot image) as a physical machine.