vSphere 6.0: Introduction (Part-1)

As I’m preparing for VCP6-DCV exam and certification, I have decided to start learning vSphere 6 and setting up my home-lab for the same purpose.

This exam preparation will consist of series of posts where installation, configuration, and management of its components will come into action. As comparing to vSphere previous version, a lot has been changed with its new version vSphere 6.0.

VMware recently launched its latest version as vSphere 6.5 and it will also be discussed in future, but currently I’m going to share vSphere 6.0 knowledge, because I’m interested in taking part in VMware’s vExpert program. Many IT pros have already shared their knowledge and expertise in vSphere 6.0, and I also want to contribute in this interesting area. So, let’s get started.

Introduction to VMware vSphere 6.0

I’ve mentioned earlier that many changes have been made in architecture and some new features are introduced in Vmware vSphere 6.0. the major changes that have been introduced in vSphere 6.0 is to remove dependency on built-in database server (MS SQL Express) by introducing vPostgres SQL as embedded database for vCenter server installation.

However, external database MS-SQL or Oracle (only for windows based vCenter Server) can also be used. For vCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) we are bounded to use embedded vPostgres SQL database (which I think a hard move from VMware).

vSphere 6.0 Editions

vSphrere 6.0 is available with 3 editions:

  1. Standard: This edition of vSphere 6.0 provides the following features:
  • HA and FT for 2 vCPU
  • Data protection (VDP) and vSphere Replication (For replicating VM from one vSphere Infrastructure to other)
  • vVOLS (Must be supported by backend storage) for creating virtualization aware storage
  • SPBM (Storage Policy Based Management): For creating storage policies and assign it to VM to place it on appropriate storage. This is achieved via API calls made by vSphere to storage
  • Content Library: A centralized place on vCenter to store iso images and vApps for a centralized management
  1. Enterprise: This version of vSphere 6.0 provides all the features provided by Standard Edition along with the following additional features:
  • VAAI (vSphere API for Array Integration)
  • DRS/DPM
  • BDE (Big Data Extensions)
  1. Enterprise Plus: This advance edition covers all the features of Enterprise along with the following additional features:
  • FT (Fault Tolerance) for 4 vCPU
  • vDS, Storage DRS, NIOC, SR-IOV
  • Host profile/Auto Deploy
  • Flash Read Cache-Requires SSD disks on each Esxi server. FRC is enabled per VM and when enabled it increases storage Read IO throughputs.
  • Long distance and cross vCenter vMotion

For a complete list of new features that are introduced in vSphere 6.0, you can refer to Eric Siebert’s blog, and for more detailed information on version comparison please read Thomas Krenn’s Article.

vSphere 6 Configuration Maximums

When VMware announces a new release of vSphere, the first thing which comes into pros mind is what are the configuration maximums and how a virtual infrastructure can scale-up and scale-out?

To understand what has been changed with vSphere 6.0 following is the comparison between vSphere 6.0 and 5.5.

 

vsphere-6 and 5-5-comparison

vSphere 6 Architecture

The major change in vSphere 6 architecture is the change in architecture of vCenter Server 6. In previous version vSphere 5.5, vCenter Server is installed along with 4 components (Inventory Service, SSO Server, Web Client Server, and vCenter Server). In vSphere 6, the architecture of vCenter deployment has been changed and new concept Platform Services controller (PSC) has been introduced which is further continued in latest version vSphere 6.5.

PSC is a replacement for SSO with some additional functionality such as licensing and certificate authorities. PSC takes SSO to next level by providing and synchronizing SSO, licenses and certificates across the virtual infrastructure.

psc-services

Following components will be deployed when PSC is installed

  1. VMware Certificate Aurthority (VMCA)
  2. Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Single Token Service (STS)
  • Identity Management Service
  • Directory Service
  1. VMware Licensing Service (controlled by vCenter Server in vSphere 5.5)
  2. Misc services
    • VMware Common Logging Service
    • VMware Component Manager Service
    • VMware HTTP Reverse Proxy

PSC Deployment

PSC can be deployed in two modes:

  1. Embedded
  2. Centralized

To know more about PSC in details, you can read Jonathan McDonald’s Blog. In future posts, both methods of PSC deployment will be discussed in details.

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Comments (4)

  1. rahul

    hi nisar,

    thank you for your blogs, they are too helpful.’

    can you please do let me know where you are doing all these labs and can you please share with me personally how you and where you are doing your lab experiments

    Reply
    1. Nisar Ahmad (Post author)

      Hi Rahul,
      I’ve done all my labs on my laptop. All details are mentioned here in this link regarding lab setup for vSphere 6.0 https://www.myvirtualjourney.com/vsphere-6-0-lab-setup-part-3/

      Reply
      1. Nisar Ahmad (Post author)

        Hi Rahul, for how to setup a homelab with vSphere 6.0 you can refer this free whitepaper from Gloabl Knowledge http://bit.ly/2jF7M1D

        Reply

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