VMware just released the vSphere 6.5 Update 2 that introduces some new features and enhancements as well as the support for the Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) when the vCSA is deployed with an Embedded Platform Service Controller (PSC).
Upgrading to vSphere 6.5 Update 2 has some requirements and limitations:
- If you are migrating from vSphere 5.5, the minimum supported version is vSphere 5.5 Update 3b.
- If you are going to upgrade to latest vSphere 6.7 version, keep in mind that currently the upgrade from vSphere 6.5 Update 2 to vSphere 6.7 is not supported.
As reported by VMware, the Update 2 introduces the support for the Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) when deployed with an Embedded Platform Service Controller (PSC). This solution reduces the number of virtual machines to manage as well as removes the need for a load balancer for high availability. Enhanced Linked Mode using an Embedded Platform Service Controller is only supported for greenfield deployments.
Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) is a feature of vSphere that allows the administrators to connect multiple vCenter Servers if they need to manage a number of hosts or VMs that exceed the maximum supported by a single vCenter Server instance making the management easier.
Some improvements reported in the vCenter Server 6.5 U2 Release Notes are:
- A Windows vCenter Server that has custom HTTP & HTTPS ports are supported during migration to the vCenter Server Appliance.
- Backup and restore to Embedded Linked Mode with replication deployment topology API.
- vMotion and cold migration of virtual machines across vCenter Server versions 6.0 Update 3 and later.
Some additional features have been added to the hypervisor as reported in the ESXi 6.5 U2 Release Notes.
- IPv6 support for the Key Management Server (KMS) of VMware vSphere Virtual Machine Encryption (VM Encryption).
- Customization of default network ports for the HTTP Reverse Proxy service via the GUI or CLI during the deployment of the vCenter Server Appliance.
- Added the management of multiple namespaces compatible with the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) 1.2 specification and enhanced diagnostic log.
- Adding tags to the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware version 1.2 on ESXi using ESXCLI commands.
- New native driver to support the Broadcom SAS 3.5 IT/IR controllers with devices including the combination of NVMe, SAS, and SATA drives.
Before proceding with the upgrade to vSphere 6.5 Update 2 make sure to understand the requirements and limitations before affecting your network functionality.