During the last VMworld Europe VMware announced vSphere 6.5, the latest version of its industry-leading virtualization platform.
The new release brings Virtual Hardware v13 and VMs can now support up to 6 TB of memory. The UEFI secure boot for guest OS as well as a simplified user experience enforce the VMware platform introducing some big enhancements in the following areas:
- vCenter Server
- vSphere Client
The vCenter Server Appliance introduces several new features with a new modern look and feel. Linux and Mac are now supported platforms along with Microsoft Windows. The vCenter Server Appliance now brings new features such as:
- Improved Appliance Management
- VMware Update Manager
- Native High Availability
- Built-in Backup / Restore
Migrating to the vCenter Server Appliance is no longer an issue as the installer has a built in Migration Tool that allows a more granular selection of migrated data:
- Configuration, events, and tasks
- Configuration, events, tasks, and performance metrics
Compared with previous release, Migrate and Restore have been added enhancing the capabilities of the Installer.
VMware Update Manager
VMware Update Manager (VUM) has been fully integrated into vCenter Server Appliance. No need to have a separate Windows server for VUM.
During the migration process the vCenter configuration, inventory, and alarm data is migrated by default.
Improved Appliance Management
The new release brings an improved appliance management capabilities. The GUI now shows network and database statistics, disk space, and health in addition to CPU and memory statistics which reduces the reliance on using a command line interface for simple monitoring and operational tasks.
vCenter Server High Availability
vCenter Server 6.5 has a new native high availability solution that consists of Active, Passive, and Witness nodes which are cloned from the existing vCenter Server. Failover within the vCenter HA cluster can occur when an entire node is lost (host failure for example) or when certain key services fail.
Backup and Restore
It’s now possible to backup and restore vCenter Server 6.5 with its built-in backup and restore out-of-the-box functionality enabling customers to protect vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller appliances directly from the VAMI or API, and also backs up both VUM and Auto Deploy running embedded with the appliance.
vSphere Web Client
The version 6.5 is still based on the Adobe Flex platform and requires Adobe Flash to use. Most significant improvements introduced in the new release are the following:
- Inventory tree is the default view
- Home screen reorganized
- Renamed Manage tab to Configure
- Removed Related Objects tab
- Performance improvements, live refresh for power states, tasks, and more
It is available a fully supported version of the HTML5-based vSphere Client with limited features that will run alongside the vSphere Web Client. The vSphere Client will be reachable via http://<vcenter_fqdn>/ui.
Some of the benefits in the new vSphere Client:
- Clean, consistent UI built on VMware’s new Clarity UI standards
- Built on HTML5 so it is truly a cross-browser and cross-platform application
- No browser plugins to install/manage
- Integrated into vCenter Server for 6.5 and fully supported
- Fully supports Enhanced Linked Mode
With the new release 6.5 it is now possible to encrypt VMs in order to protect against unauthorized data access. Also vMotion is now encrypted increasing the security during data at-rest and data in-motion.
Secure Boot is another feature implemented in this release that prevents the loading of unauthorized components during startup. It protects both the hypervisor and the guest operating system.
The enhanced Audit-Quality Logging capabilities help the IT to better understand who did what, when, and where on a vSphere system.
vSphere 6.5 brings new features to the datacenter that confirms the evolution of vSphere and consolidating VMware’s leadership in virtualization market.