VMware vSphere 6 has now officially been announced introducing new interesting features and enhancements in any part of the platform.
In addition to pre-announced enhancements of vMotions, VCSA, FT and so on, the new release highlights the Virtual Volumes (VVols) that completely change the way storage is presented.
vSphere configuration maximum
The new release double the maximum of previous version.
- 64 nodes per cluster
- 480 CPU
- 12TB of RAM
- 2.048 virtual machines per host
- 8.000 virtual machines per cluster
- 128 virtual CPUs
- 4TB virtual RAM
- Hot-add RAM enhancements to vNUMA
- WDDM 1.1 GDI acceleration
- USB 3.0 xHCI controller
- Serial and parallel port enhancements
- Virtual hardware 11
Two deployment models are available for vCenter Server 6.0:
- embedded, the new Platform Services Controller (PSC) and vCenter Server system deployed on the same machine
- external, PSC and vCenter Server instance deployed on different machines
To simplify the deployment process, for services like VMware vCenter Inventory Service, VMware vSphere Web Client, auto deploy and so on, there are no longer separate installers.
Both platforms support an embedded PostgreSQL database, while for external database the Windows based vCenter Server supports Microsoft SQL or Oracle, and VCSA supports Oracle.
VMware vSphere Update Manager remains as a standalone Windows installation and its database can resides in an external Microsoft SQL Server or in the embedded MSL Server Express (SQL Express 2012 SP2) for a maximum of five hosts.
If VCSA is used as vCenter Server, VUM must be installed on a separate Windows based machine.
vCenter Server appliance
vCenter Server is still available in two platforms:
- Linux (Suse Linux Enterprise Server based VCSA).
In this release, however, VCSA offers same functions as Windows installable vCenter Server supporting the embedded PostgreSQL database or an external Oracle Database.
Both vCenter Server platforms support now the same numbers scalability.
Linked Mode is now enable for any vCenter Server deployment but all vCenter Server instances must be joined to the same vCenter Single Sign-On domain. This eliminates extra configuration steps required in previous versions.
vSphere Web Client
vSphere Web Client includes significant performance and usability improvements.
- Login 13 times faster
- Right-click menus 4 times faster
- Other actions are now 50% faster
- Right-click menu has been flattened to be consistent
- Task pane has been relocated to the bottom of the screen
Speed, usability and performance have been dramatically improved making vSphere Web Client on a par with the standalone VMware vSphere Client.
The biggest enhancement of vMotion technology is the possibility to perform live migration of VMs across virtual switches, vCenter Server systems and long distances of up to 100ms RTT.
It’s now possible to migrate VMs from a Windows version of vCenter Server to VCSA or vice versa without disruption to virtual machine management.
VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance
vSphere FT has been enhanced and now supports protection of virtual machines with up to:
- 4 vCPUs
- 64GB RAM
vSphere FT 6.0 enables vSphere administrators to use VMware Snapshot–based tools to back up virtual machines protected by vSphere FT, enabling easier backup administration.
vSphere FT now supports all virtual disk formats: eager-zeroed thick, thick and thin.
Host compatibility for vSphere FT is now the same as for vSphere vMotion.
VMware vSphere High Availability
vSphere HA now includes Virtual Machine Component Protection (VMCP), which provides enhanced protection from All Paths Down (APD) and Permanent Device Loss (PDL) conditions for block (FC, iSCSI, FCoE) and file storage (NFS).
vSphere VMCP detects APD and PDL conditions on connected storage, generates vCenter alarms and automatically restarts impacted VMs on fully functional hosts.
vSphere HA can now protect:
- 64 ESXi hosts
- 6.000 virtual machines – up from 32 and 2.048 –
- Compatible with VMware Virtual Volumes, VMware vSphere Network I/O Control, IPv6, VMware NSX and cross vCenter Server vSphere vMotion.
Virtual Volumes makes SAN and NAS storage systems capable of being managed at a virtual machine level and enables the leveraging of array-based data services and storage array capabilities with a virtual machine–centric approach at the granularity of a single virtual disk.
Virtual Volumes implements a significantly different and improved storage architecture, enabling operations to be conducted at the virtual machine level using native array capabilities. With Virtual Volumes, most data operations are offloaded to the storage arrays.
Virtual Volumes eliminates the need to provision and manage large numbers of LUNs or volumes per host.
VMware vSphere Data Protection
vSphere Data Protection virtual appliances can be deployed with up to 8TB of deduplicated backup data capacity. To reduce time for backup and restore and bandwidth changed block tracking (CBT) is utilized.
vSphere Data Protection now includes agents that enable application-consistent backup and reliable recovery of Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server.
With the availability of external proxies deployed to remote locations, network bandwidth requirements can be reduced.
VMware vSphere Replication
In vSphere Replication efficiency has been improved with the option to compress replicated data as it is sent across the network.
It’s now possible to isolate network traffic associated with vSphere Replication improving performance and security.
The way full synchronization takes place has been enhanced. vSphere Replication can query vSphere for storage allocation information, to reduce the amount of time and network bandwidth required to perform a full synchronization.
It’s now fully compatible with VMware vSphere Storage vMotion at both the source and target locations making the balance storage utilization easier with vSphere Storage vMotion and VMware vSphere Storage DRS.
vSphere Network I/O Control
New version of vSphere Network I/O Control allows the administrators to reserve bandwidth to a vNIC in a VM or an entire distributed port group.
This enhancement allows to preserve the SLA of VMs or tenants who shares the same upstream links.
Multiple TCP/IP stack for vMotion
Allows vMotion traffic to a dedicated networking stack.
vMotion can now use it’s own TCP/IP stack and cross L3 boundaries.
Additional info can be found in the VMware website.