The new features of vSphere 6

On the 30th of June 2014, the vSphere 6 beta was announced and finally, after months of additional development, VMware has announced vSphere 6. This post will tell you more about this new release of vSphere.

This new version contains a lot of improvements. I have summed up the most important improvements below. These improvements are grouped by the following categories:

  • Install and Upgrade
  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Availability
  • Network
  • Management

Install and Upgrade

Enhanced Install and Upgrade Capabilities

Windows vCenter installation experience has been enhanced with additional capabilities including custom ports, custom paths, uninstall and error messaging improvements. Furthermore, all upgrade paths from Windows vCenter 5.0 and up are now supported. vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) now has a guided installer. Separate ISOs and scripted installation for both vCenter Server for Windows and vCSA reduce the overall download time and improve automation capabilities respectively.


Expanded Support for New Hardware, Architectures, and Guest Operating Systems

Expanded support for the latest x86 chip sets, devices and drivers. Added support for FreeBSD 10.0 and Asianux 4 SP3 guest operating systems. For a complete list of guest operating systems supported, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Increased Scalability

Increased configuration maximums: Cluster maximums have increased to support up to 64 nodes and 8,000 VMs. Virtual Machines will support up to 128 vCPUs and 4TB vRAM and Hosts will support up to 480 physical CPUs (Dependent on hardware at launch time), 12 TB RAM, 64 TB data stores, 1000 VMs and 32 Serial Ports. Increased support for virtual graphics including Nvidia vGPU.


Storage IO Controls

New support for per Virtual Machine storage reservations to guarantee minimum service levels.

Virtual Volumes (VVol)

Existing SAN/NAS systems become VM-aware making the VMDK file a first class citizen in the storage world. New APIs for data operations at the VMDK granularity.

Increased Storage and Availability Integration

Integrations with new content library, storage products and features including Virtual Storage Area Network (Virtual SAN), Virtual Volumes (VVol), vFlash, vSphere Replication and SRM for improved storage and availability usability.

NFSv4.1 with Kerberos

Support for industry standard NFSv4.1 in the storage stack. ESX will support the NFSv4.1 client, which connects to an NFSv4.1 server. Also supports Kerberos that is a security feature of NFSv4.1


vMotion Enhancements

  • vMotion across vCenter Servers – Allows VMs to move across boundaries of vCenter Server, Datacenter Objects and Folder Objects.
  • vMotion across virtual switches – Allows VMs to move between virtual switches.
  • Long Distance vMotion – Enable vMotion to operate across distance of greater than 100ms RTTs.

vSphere Fault Tolerance for Multi-Processor VMs (SMP-FT)

Fault Tolerance now brings continuous availability protection for VMs with up to 4 vCPUs.

vCloud Air Integration

New abilities to failover and/or failback to and/or from vCloud Air.

vSphere Replication

Support for 2000 VM replication per vCenter. RPO can be configured to be as low as 15 minutes.

Application High Availability (App HA)

Expanded support for more business critical applications.

Support for Microsoft Clustering

vCenter Server 5.5 U3 and 6.0 will support the clustering of the vCenter Server in addition to the backend database.


Network IO Control

New support for per Virtual Machine and Distributed vSwitch bandwidth reservations to guarantee minimum service levels.


vSphere Web Client Enhancements

Performance improvements to areas including login, home page loading, action menus, related objects and summary views. Streamlined component layout and optimized usability experience by flattening menus and navigation.

Multi-Site Content Library

Provides simple and effective management for VM templates, vApps, ISO images and scripts for vSphere Admins – collectively called “content” – that can be synchronized across sites and vCenter Servers.

vSphere Host Client

C#-based host client available in this milestone that can manage hosts running hardware versions 8 to 11. All new features from vSphere 5.1 onwards are available only in vSphere web client. Hardware version 9-10 will be in read-only mode when using the host client.

VMware Certificate Lifecycle Management

A new command line interface (CLI) for managing both VMware and third-party certificates.

5 thoughts on “The new features of vSphere 6

  1. Pingback: vSphere 6 ! |

  2. Pingback: vSphere 6.0 Link-O-Rama » Welcome to vSphere-land!

  3. Pingback: vSphere 6 Links Courtesy vSphere-Land. | Big Virtual Me

  4. It’s not GA quite yet.
    And the feature list is based on the RC version, at least two of those features has been dropped….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s