High Availability for vCenter Server has never been as important as today when there are so many products dependant on vCenter, e.g. VMware NSX, vSAN, Horizon View, etc.
VMware tried different approaches to bring HA to the vCenter.
There has been vSphere HA for a long time. Although it can protect vCenter Server from hardware failure it doesn’t provide protection on the Guest OS level. So, if Postgres DB in vCenter Server Appliance gets corrupted you would have to restore vCSA from a backup copy or rebuild it from the scratch.
After hearing some news about Microsoft like, largely investing in Open Source hardware, PowerShell open source and for Linux, SQL Server for Linux, MS joining the Linux foundation, and so many others; you may think hell just starting freezing, but no, this is how Microsoft is engaging the world now. Integration is the keyword, and we salute them for that.
Adding a new feature among these is the recent update to their main backup tool for cloud: Azure Backup Server now supports VMware virtual machines. MABS (Microsoft Azure Backup Server) it is not a new tool, it’s been around for a while now offering backups for Hyper-V virtual machines, physical machines, file servers, SQL, SharePoint and Exchange.
This day has come – vSphere 6.5 has been just announced. As many of you I have been waiting for the presentation of new vSphere during VMworld event in the USA, but I guess VMware preferred to use vSphere 6.5 as a treat for those who were in doubt whether to attend VMworld Europe or not after all VMworld US were made available online to everyone; or perhaps VMware hasn’t decided what features should be included into the GA release.
In this post, I will try to cover all new features of vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5, but if I missed something feel free to let me know by leaving a comment.
To be honest, there is so much to talk about and some of the new features require separate posts to be explained properly. Therefore, please don’t expect detailed review of the every single feature.. This is more ‘What’s new in vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5′ overview, but in the future posts I will be talking about some of the most interesting improvements and enhancements in detail.
vRops 6.3 has been announced. I have already upgraded a test environment of mine and a few production environment and are talking to customers who what’s to upgrade asap. There are differently some great features in there that make an upgrade worthwhile.
Before I jump in and show case all the cool improvements and added features. A word of caution BEFORE upgrading make sure all endpoint operations agents have been upgraded. vRops 6.3 is not backwards compatible with 6.x agents.
The Auto Deploy is one of the underestimated vSphere features. I have seen many vSphere Designs where using Auto Deploy was outlined as overcomplicating and manual build of ESXi servers was preferred. That is pretty frustrating as we, as IT professionals, strive to automate as much as possible in our day to day work.
Configuring Auto Deploy is definitely not as simple as VSAN for instance, but using Auto Deploy really pays off when you manage hundreds and thousands of ESXi hosts.
VMware has long stopped adding newly released features and functionality into the old С# client in hopes to push their customers into using the vSphere Web Client. However, even by restricting new features only to the Web Client adoption has been slow – partly due to change, no one likes change, but mostly due to the slowness and the overall sluggishness that is experienced using the flash based vSphere Web Client.
Just this year with the release of vSphere 6.0 Update 2 we saw something called the “Embedded Host Client” make its way into a release – allowing us to manage our individual ESXi hosts with an HTML5 based interface built right into the product. Now we are seeing this same type of HTML5 technology being used with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client fling being released.
As far back as at VMworld 2014, VMware announced VMware Project Fargo technology, also broadly known as VMFork. It allows to make a working copy of a running virtual machine on VMware vSphere platform very fast.
The VMFork technology involves on-the-fly creation of virtual machine clone (VMX-file and process in memory), which uses the same memory (Shared memory) that the parent VM does. At the same time, the child VM cannot write to the shared memory and uses the allocated memory to write its own data. With disks, it is just the same: with the Copy-on-write technology, the changes of the parent VM base disk are written to the child VM delta disk:
When time comes to deciding whether to go with vSphere Distributed Switch or Cisco Nexus 1000v it is hard to tell which product is superior and you find many different and quite contradictory opinions.
While quite often it is the political decision based on the answer to the question “Who is going to manage the virtual networking?” there are many other aspects you, as an infrastructure designer, should be aware of.
Recently VMware announced End of Sale of Nexus 1000v which caused some confusion amongst clients. I know customers who were pretty sure Cisco discontinued Nexus 1000v, but rest assured, Cisco is still fully committed to continue development of virtual networking and to support Nexus 1000v in the latest and future versions of vSphere.