New Release: VMware vSphere 6.5 Announced

VMware has been officially announced new release as VMware vSphere 6.5 on 18th October, 2016 at VMWorld Europe Conference, and this release is based on virtual hardware v.13. vSphere 6.5 released with lot of new features that most of them were waiting for. This release is currently the latest version of its industry-leading virtualization platform.  This new release of vSphere features a dramatically simplified experience, comprehensive built-in security, and a universal app platform for running any app. Now, we’ll discuss some new features which are announced by VMware.

VCSA 6.5

  • Enhanced vCenter Install, Upgrade, Patch: Streamlined user experience while deploying, upgrading and patching for vCenter Server. Support for CLI template-based vCenter Server lifecycle management.
  • vCenter Appliance Migration Tool: Single-step migration process for existing Windows vCenter Server to latest release of vCenter Server Appliance. Support for both CLI and UI methods.
  • vSphere Update Manager for vCenter Server Appliance: Fully embedded and integrated vSphere Update Manager experience for vCenter Server Appliance – with no Windows dependencies!
  • Enhanced Auto Deploy: New capabilities such as UI support, improved performance and scale, backup and restore of rules for Auto Deploy.
  • Improvements in Host Profiles: Streamlined user experience and host profile management with several new capabilities including DRS integration, parallel host remediation, and improved audit quality compliance results.
  • VMware Tools Lifecycle Management: Simplified and Scalable approach for install and upgrade of VMware Tools, Reboot less upgrade for Linux Tools, OSP upgrades, enhanced version and status reporting via API and UI.
  • (New) vSphere Automation API: A new REST based API, SDKs and Multi Platform CLI (DCLI) is now available to provide simplified VM management and automation of the VCSA based configuration and services.
  • Platform Service Controller High Availability: The PSC HA feature includes zero configuration high availability with automatic vCenter failover to another PSC within a site.
  • vCenter High Availability: Protect mission critical vCenter deployments with a native high availability solution that will not only protect against host and hardware failures, but also against vCenter application failures.
  • vCenter Server Appliance and Database Management: The new 6.5 Appliance Management Interface includes usage monitoring of the embedded vCenter Postgres database by data type and utilization trends, and sends database usage alerts directly into the vSphere web client.
  • Native vCenter Server backup and restore: Back up the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller in three simple steps in the Appliance Management Interface using industry-standard protocols like HTTP(S), SCP or FTP(S).

Storage

  • Enhancements to Storage I/O Control: Support for I/O limits, shares and reservations are now fully integrated with Storage Policy-Based Management.
  • Storage Policy-Based Management Components: Easily create and reuse Storage Policy Components in your policies to effectively manage a multitude of data services including encryption, caching, replication, and I/O control.
  • Enhancements in NFS 4.1 client: Support for stronger cryptographic algorithms with Kerberos (AES), support for IPV6 with Kerberos and also support for Kerberos integrity check (SEC_KRB5i). We have PowerCLI support for NFS 4.1 as well in this release.
  • Increased Datastore & Path limit: Number of LUNs supported per host increased to 1024 and number of Paths increased to 4096. (Note I heard this was scaled back to 512 LUNs & 2048 paths).
  • Enhancements in VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection:
    • Configurable VSS parameters such as VSS_BACKUP_TYPE
    • Configurable timeout for creating quiesced snapshots
    • Transfer compressed data using NBD mode
    • Reuse vCenter Server session

VSAN 6.5

  • Virtual SAN iSCSI support: Add support for native iSCSI support within VSAN. The main use cases are supporting physical servers and also Microsoft Clustering Technologies that require shared disks. One can create iSCSI Targets and LUNs on VSAN and use iSCSI initiator to access the storage.
  • 2 node direct connect: VSAN now has the ability to directly connect two nodes using crossover cables. This provides network higher availability and allows you to separate VSAN data traffic from witness traffic
  • All-Flash support available in VSAN Standard edition: New licensing models allows customers to use All-Flash with VSAN Standard but without space efficiency features (de-dupe, compression, erasure coding)
  • Power CLI Support: Enhanced Power CLI support for Health Check and remediation, capacity and resync monitoring, proactive testing and 2 node/stretched cluster support.
  • Support for Cloud Native Apps: To complement existing support for vSphere Integrated Containers, VSAN now supports the Photon Platform as well which is the non-vSphere SDDC stack for deploying containerized applications at scale.
  • Support for latest hardware: Support for 512e drives, 100 Gbps & InfiniBand networking technologies.

Compute/Host

  • Expanded Support for New Hardware, Architectures and Guest Operating Systems: Expanded support for the latest x86 chipsets, devices and drivers. NVMe enhancements, and several new performance and scale improvements due to the introduction of native driver stack.
  • Guest OS and Customization Support: Continue to offer broad support for GOSes, including recent Windows 10 builds, the latest from RHEL 7.x, Ubuntu 16.xx, SUSE 12 SPx and CoreOS 899.x. and Tech Preview of Windows Server 2016.
  • VMware Host Client: HTML5-based UI to manage individual ESX hosts. Supported tasks include creating and updating of VM, host, networking and storage resources, VM console access, and performance graphs and logs to aid in ESX troubleshooting.
  • Virtual Hardware 13: VMs up to 6TB of memory, UEFI secure boot for guest OS.
  • Increased Scalability and Performance for ESXi and vCenter Server: Continued increases in scale and performance beyond vSphere 6 – stay tuned for more information. For reference, with vSphere 6, cluster maximums increased to support up to 64 nodes and 8K VMs. Virtual Machines supported up to 128 vCPUs and 6TB vRAM and Hosts supported up to 480 physical CPUs , 12 TB RAM, 64 TB data stores, 1000+ VMs. Also adding support for 25G and 100G Ethernet as well as 32G fiber channel.
  • vSphere Fault Tolerance: Performance improvements, multi-NIC aggregation on the FT network for better performance with shared 10Gb+ NICs, interop with DRS (automated initial host placement)

Management

  • Content Library Improvements: Enhancements to Content Library including ISO mount to a VM directly from Content Library, VM Guest OS customization, simplified library item update capabilities and optimizations in streaming content between vCenter Server.
  • Enhanced DRS: Enhancements to DRS settings with addition of DRS Policies that provides an easier way to set several advanced options such as even distribution of virtual machines, consumed vs. active memory, CPU over-commitment.
  • Orchestrated VM Restart using HA: Orchestrated restart allows admins to create dependency chains on VMs or VM groups, allowing for a restart order of these dependencies chains or multi-tiered applications (should an HA restart occur). Not only will Orchestrated Restart do this in the order specified by the admin, it can also wait until the previous VM is running and ready before beginning the HA restart of a dependent VM
  • vSphere Web Client enhancements: New Web Client UI features like Custom Attributes, Object Tabs, and Live Refresh are presented alongside other performance and usability improvements.
  • Client Integration Plugin (CIP) removal: Client Integration Plugin was previously necessary for a certain set of functions in the vSphere Web Client. Most of these have been redesigned to remove any dependency:
    • Datastore File Upload/Download
    • OVF Export, Deploy
    • Content Library Import/Export
    • The only remaining function that has dependencies is Windows Session Authentication, so any user that does not use this functionality does not need to install CIP.
  • vSphere HTML5 Web Client: The popular fling has been integrated within vCenter. Integrated into vCSA 6.5 and can be accessed via https://vcsa.fqdn/ui
  • Proactive HA: Proactive HA leverages sensor data from server vendors to add an additional layer of availability for VMs by proactively leveraging DRS to vMotion virtual machines off of a degraded host prior to the host failing.
  • Upgrades over IPv6: Upgrade vCenter management network over IPv6 protocol. Management network must entirely run on IPv6 or entirely on IPv4.
  • Virtual Machine Console: VMRC 9.0 supports Linux as well as Windows and Mac OS, auto-detect proxy settings, and access to VM consoles without host permission. Network-aware DRS: Network-aware DRS is used to determine if the host that DRS has chosen for workload placement of a VM is network-saturated or not. If the chosen destination host is above 80% saturated, it will attempt to place the workload on a different host.
  • PowerCLI: This release of PowerCLI will be fully module based so no more snap-ins. New modules for VSAN and VMware View. PowerCLI will be multi-platform so you can run it on any OS via PowerCLI Core fling.

Security

  • VMDK Encryption Manageability: Scalable and easy to manage encryption that is managed via Storage Polices. When you apply a Storage Encryption Policy, no modification takes place within the guest OS. The guest OS is also not aware of the encryption and has no access to the encryption keys.
  • Secure Boot Support for ESXi Host and Guest VM: At boot time, we have assurance that ESXi and Guest VM’s are booting the right set of vibs. If the trust is violated, ESXi and the VM’s will not boot (PSOD) and you can capture the outcome. Requires hardware that supports UEFI.
  • Enhanced vCenter Events, Alarms and vSphere Logging: Enhancements to vSphere Logging and events to provide granular visibility into current state, changes made, who made the changes and when.
  • Encrypted vMotion: Data transferred over vMotion protocol will be encrypted providing confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of data transferred during live migrations.
  • New Role – No Cryptography Administrator: This is a new role within the vCenter Server and members of this group can still do things like power on/off a VM, vMotion it, etc. However, they can’t get access to the console or download the VM files off a datastore. Nor can they do any crypto operations like encrypt or decrypt.

Networking

  • Improved performance for Nested ESXi: Added MAC learning to avoid promiscuous mode for outer vNIC and avoids unnecessary packet deliveries to VMs, high CPU usage, and low network throughput.
  • Improved manageability for infrastructure networks: Allow different gateway for different services like DRS, iSCSCI vMotion. Eliminate need to add static routes on all hosts, which is cumbersome, difficult to manage and not scalable.

Source: VMware vSphere Blog

Leave a Reply