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.
Just recently one of the main virtualization conferences VMworld Europe 2016 has finished. Traditionally, it has been held a while after the main VMworld in the USA. While in the USA VMware was speaking about the new technologies and the future of datacenters, in Europe much more attention was paid to the new features of updated VMware products. The main of them is, of course, VMware vSphere 6.5 server virtualization platform. We’ll start our overview with it.
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.
vSphere Replication has proved to be a great bonus to any paid vSphere license. It is an amazing and simple tool that provides cheap and semi-automated Disaster Recovery solution. Another great use case for vSphere Replication is migration of virtual machines.
vSphere Replication 6.x came with plenty of new useful features:
The goal of traffic separation is to enhance network performance by ensuring the replication traffic does not impact other business critical traffic. This can be done either by using VDS Network Input Output Control to set limits or shares for outgoing or incoming replication traffic. Another benefit of traffic isolation addresses security concern of mixing sensitive replication traffic with other traffic types.
As we know, VMware‘s first attempt in the field of hyperconvergence, the EVO:RAIL, was a good quality software product set, which nevertheless failed because of the licensing policy. Specifically, it demanded that buyers acquire new vSphere licences, with no exception for existing vSphere users who liked the idea of adopting hyperconverged infrastructure.
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.
Many of you know that VMware has a technology called vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC). It involves launch of Docker (and others) virtualized containers in small virtual machines with a lightweight operating system based on Linux distribution.
This operating system is VMware Photon OS 1.0, which has been finally released just recently. This is the first release version of this operating system from VMware, but in the long view it can become the main platform for virtual appliances by replacing the everlasting SUSE Linux.