VMworld 2013: What’s New in vSphere Platform and Storage #VSVC5005

While beginning to write, the session didn’t start yet. This is the first time I’m going to see Cormac Hogan live. I heard good things about him in a technical way. Next to him on stage will be Kyle Gleed, both Cormac and Kyle are from the Cloud Infrastructure Technical Marketing team.

What's new in vSphere 5.5

What’s new in vSphere 5.5

This session will be about the new vSphere 5.5 features, including new features for storage.

While Cormac was prepping, Kyle kicked off the session. The content of this session will be high-level.

All new vSphere 5.5 features will only be available thru the vSphere Web Client, as ‘promised’ by VMware last year. This to encourage users of the vSphere Client to switch, before the old C+ client is EOL.

ESXi 5.5

  • Configuration maximums have been doubled: 320 Logical cpus per host, 16 NUMA nodes, 4096 vCPUs per host and 4TB of RAM per host
  • Virtual machine compatibility (New name for Virtual Hardware version) has been upgraded to level 10
  • vGPU support
  • Reliable memory, protect important ESXi services like VMkernel and Watchdog by placing them on the most healthy memory modules. Improved uptime and reliability
  • Advanched Host Controller Interface: New AHCI SATA controller for disks and CD-ROM devices. A maximum of 30 devices per controller and 4 controllers per VM. For use with for example Mac OSX
  • Hot-Plug PCIe SSD drives on a running ESXi host
  • HA VM-to-VM must not run on the same host. In vSphere 5.1 and lower, the DRS setting ‘should not run on the same hosts’ could be ignored during a HA event. DRS would kick in after powering on the VM, making it possible those VMs ended up on the same host anyway

vCenter Server 5.5

  • Improved vCenter Single Sign On. The installation experience has been improved, in addition to the bugs and flaws in the previous version. Active Directory integration is now possible in a one-way or two-way trust. Including multi and single forests. SSO is now made High-Available using multi-master replication. And; no separate database is needed anymore!
  • vSphere Web Client enhancements. Drag and drop, improved filters and implementation of a recent items list
  • Increased platform support including OSX. You can now open the VM console, deploy OVF templates and use Client Devices on your Mac!
  • Application High Availability. Protects applications inside a Virtual Machine. Visibility monitoring and automatic restart. Automated recovery from a host failure, operating system crash or application failure. Support for known applications like Apache Tomcat, IIS and Microsoft SQL Server. I would’ve wrote down more supported applications, but the slide disappeared before I knew it =)

Storage (By Cormac)

  • 62TB virtual disks on VMFS-5 datastore. Usable on NFS datastore and virtual mode RDMs. No specific VM compatibility level needed
  • It’s not possible to increase a VMDK beyond 2TB if the VM is running. You need to shut it down, increase the size and power it back on again
  • You can’t use Fault Tolerance when the VM is using 2TB+ disks
  • Managing large disks is only possible using the vSphere Web Client
  • MBR partitions in the guest VM are not supported (And ofcourse you need a GPT partition anyway in Microsoft Windows when going past the 2TB limit of MBR partitions)
  • Support for 16GB end-to-end Fibre Channel
  • Support for Microsoft Cluster Services 2012. The Round Robin path policy is supported and hosting your MSCS on FCoE or iSCSI storage is supported
  • PDL (Permanent Device Loss) AutoRemove. ESXi will automatically remove storage devices when the storage array sends SCSI Sense Codes that the device no longer exists or should be removed from ESXi. In the past, this didn’t happen and dead luns would remain open in your ESXi host and could cause issues
  • vSphere Flash Read Cache. This feature leverages local flash drives as a cache using write-through technology, not write-back. This feature is configurable per VM.

Very usable information from both Kyle and Cormac! Hopefully you there, behind your screen reading this post, can use this information as well =)

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