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vSphere 6.0 Announced!

Well, finally, VMware has announced vSphere 6.0.  It’s been a long beta, with the typical NDA’s that have kept anyone from talking about what they’ve been testing.  For the last while, it’s been an open beta, so those interested were able to take a look at what’s under the hood. 

First some VMware links to get some information collected all in one spot, and some summary:

What’s New In vSphere v6.0

* Jumbo VM support – this probably won’t matter to most of us, but to think that we can do 128 vCPU and 4TB vRAM per VM is crazy. 

* Instant Clone using a forking technology to deploy VM’s up to 10x faster than today

* vVols!  Policy based storage containers for everyone, not just for VSAN.

* Long distance vMotion up to 100ms round trip – this means vMotion across the country is now possible. 

* 4 vCPU Fault Tolerance – again, probably not something we’ll see a lot of use for, in my opinion.   Anything that needs this level of uptime, probably has some manner of HA or clustering already – but it sure is nice to have the option.

* Content library – now we can make VM’s, Templates, and ISO’s available without having to keep them on a datastore.  We can also set it up to replicate this content between library’s, making it easy to keep this information in sync.

* Cross vCenter Clone and Migration – this goes hand in hand with the long distance vMotion, and allows migration from Private to Public, Private to Private, and more.  Tons of options.

* A faster Web UI – yeah, it’s the Web UI.  But it IS faster!  Smile  (Please keep the C# client VMware, we truly despise the Web Client. 

If you’re looking for deeper levels of information, I highly recommend these other links:

http://vsphere-land.com/news/summary-of-whats-new-in-vsphere-6.html

http://www.wooditwork.com/2015/02/02/whats-new-vsphere-6-0-introduction/

http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2015/02/vsphere-6-epic-on-every-level.html

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2015/02/03/vsphere-6-0-finally-announced/

Now, I’ve been spending considerably more time in the SMB to SME space as of late.  Even without that role, my experience tends to lead me towards smaller environments.  And at that, small is not always “Small”.  Hosts with 384-768GB of RAM, can run a pretty decent sized environment with less than 10 hosts.  For me, it’s not all the “big” things that impress me – or make my work life that much better.  It’s the trickle down, and how it helps me help businesses of this size. 

Some of THOSE features that make me excited, which repeat some of the above:

* Long distance vMotion is going to change some of the options we can provide for DR and disaster avoidance.  The bigger issue is getting networks that support this at the 3-5 host level without tons of fancy software or licences.  Otherwise, it’s going to be something that’s stuck on other side of the glass.

* Simplified installer will make installations quicker and easier.  It’ll be nice to have a single installer, with all the questions asked up front, that runs through the rest in the background.

* Content library’s will be a great way to keep Template’s and ISO’s standardized and up to date.  In a previous multi-site environment, keeping those templates updated with all the patches, software deployments, etc, was a pain. 

* vSphere Replication can compress replication traffic on a per VM basis. 

* vSphere Data Protection now includes everything from VDP Advanced – up to 8TB of DeDuplicated data per appliance, up to 800 VM’s, application level backup/restore of Exchange/SQL/SharePoint, replication to other VDP appliances, and Data Domain support.  I’ve always preferred Veeam Backup & Recovery to VDP, but hopefully this will help those customers that just can’t (or won’t) step up to an excellent backup product.  Something, is better than nothing, and this is a lot better than what it used to be.

* VSAN 6 now supports All Flash configurations.  With the price of decent Enterprise class SSD’s dropping, this is actually starting to be a possibility.  Especially for those that can keep host counts down to keep licencing costs at bay.  We can now specify fault domains to ensure that nodes aren’t in the same chassis/rack/etc.  Hybrid (SSD+HDD) configurations can see an increase of 2x from 20K IOPS to 40K, and All-Flash can see 90K.  Still lacking features like DeDupe and Compression, so there may still be places for the traditional array’s.  Deep integration with VDP and vSphere Replication, however, start to offset some of the traditional array’s core features. 

All in all, I can’t wait to get my hands on the GA bits and start deploying this.  Remember kids, always check  your application/3rd party compatibility.  No one wants to upgrade and find out their antivirus, backup, monitoring, etc, solutions don’t work on the new version yet. 

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Categories: vCenter Server, VMware, vSphere
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