Tag Archives: vSphere - Page 2

What's New in vSphere 5.5 - Quick Check

Availability

  • vSphere Data Protection Improvements - Backups can now be restored to an ESXi Host directly without a vCenter. It allows a more granular storage, backup and restore configuration and you can set specific start times for backup jobs.
  • vSphere App HA - Restarts application services inside a virtual machine

Management

  • PowerCLI Improvements - Additional Cmdlets for vSphere Tags, Distributed Switches and VM Console. Support for Windows 8/Windows Server 2012
  • Big Data Extensions - Formerly known as Serengeti. Fully automatically deployment and management of Hadoop Clusters. Supports Apache Hadoop 1.2, Cloudera (CDH3 and CDH4), Greenplum HD, Hortonworks (HDP1.3) and MapR2.1.3.
  • vCenter Server Appliance Scale - Supports up to 100 hosts or 3000 virtual machines.
  • vCenter Single Sign-On - Completely rewritten with better redundancy. An external database is no longer required.
  • vSphere Web Client Improvements - Better performance an some neat features like drag and drop, filters and recent items.

vSphere Storage

  • vSAN - vSphere Virtual SAN is an more sophisticated vSphere Storage Appliance. It is more salable, has many more features and runs inside the VMkernel.
  • vSphere Flash Read Cache - It allows you to use local SSDs in your ESXi Host to offload I/O from the SAN to the local SSD.
  • PDL AutoRemove - Automatically removes a device from the host that has been detected as permanent lost (Permanent Device Loss).
  • 62TB VMDK - The maximum size of an Virtual Disk has been increased to 62.9TB
  • VAAI UNMAP Improvements - Now accessible with esxcli and the size is now specified in blocks rather than a percentage.
  • VMFS Heap Improvements - Solved any concerns when accessing more than 30TB of open files from a single ESXi host.

vSphere Networking

  • 40Gb NIC Support - Supports the Mellanox ConnectX-3 adapter cards with Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI).
  • Enhanced Host-Level Packet Capture - A Host-based packet capture tool like Wireshark or tcpdump.
  • Quality of Service Tagging - Support for Differentiated Service Code Point (DCSP) tagging.

VMware vSphere 5.5 Configuration Maximums

With the upcoming release of VMware vSphere 5.5, there are a few neat platform scalability enhancements. The support for physical hardware has been doubled which makes VMware vSphere available for large enterprise-class hardware:

Enhancements

  • 320 logical CPUs per Host (Up from 160)
  • 4TB Memory (Up from 2TB)
  • 16 NUMA Nodes per host (Up from 8)
  • 4096 vCPUs per host (Up from 2048)
  • 62TB VMDK Size (Up from 2TB)
  • ...more to come

VMware vSphere ESX and vCenter Configuration Maximums

Preview on HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 for ESXi

Hewlett-Packard has just released a Generation 8 Microserver which is going to replace the well known N36L/N40L/N54L Microservers. The new server has the same trendy design as the entire Gen8 series. The AMD Turion CPU has been replaced by an Intel Ivy Bride CPU which is way more powerful and the memory limit has been raised to 16GB. With that, the new server brings much more power to your VMware vSphere Homelab and allows you to run more virtual machines. In this post i am going to compare both specs to point out what's new and better.

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Match VMware vCenter 5.1 Component Versions

With the separation of the vCenter Service into 4 components in vSphere 5.1 (vCenter Single Sign On, vCenter Inventory Service, vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client) there is a possible issue that you could have mismatched services installed. When you install an update you have to install all components one after another without having a workflow to check that all have been updated. I have already written about the update process from 5.1 to 5.1u1 and their versions but this is not the only update available. Now I've created an overview of all possible vCenter 5.1 version numbers that can be identified in the Control Panel.

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Howto Update vCenter Server from 5.1 to 5.1 Update 1

About 6 months after the release of VMware vSphere 5.1 the first Update is available since this weekend. As you know, the vCenter Server has been split into 4 services: Single-Sign On, Inventory Service, vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client. That makes the update process a little bit more more complex. Here is a small Walk-though how to Update to vSphere 5.1.0 U1

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Intel CPU EVC Matrix (VMware Enhanced vMotion Compatibility)

Intel uses a model named "Tick-Tock" to follow every microarchitectural change with a die shrink. This results in having two EVC baselines for every microarchitecture. I've created a small table with a quick overview about EVC Modes with their appropriate CPU Series and Codenames used by Intel to denote their CPUs. I've also included additional Codenames that may be used by Intel for special processors. The upcoming Haswell architecture is named, but not yet available or supported by VMware.

This post is updated regularly. [Last Update: April 2018]

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vSphere Web Client vs. vSphere Client (C# Client)

Since VMware introduced the vSphere Web Client there is a common question: Which vSphere client should I use? The answer simple: You need both! 

There are many new features within vSphere 5.1 which are only available though the Web Client. But there are also many reasons to use the old C# Client: Some features and plugins are not implemented in the Web Client Client. There is no doubt that you need both clients to configure your vSphere 5.1 environment. But which client should you use for day-to-day work or for configuration tasks that are available in both clients?

This post has been updated to include vSphere 5.5 Features

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Howto: SSO - Simple AD Authentication with VMware 5.1

With vSphere 5.1 a new component called Single-Sign-On (SSO) has been introduced. The new SSO service is mandatory since 5.1. There is no way around, you have to use it. The good thing about it is that it has various authentication options and can be deployed in an redundant fashion. Unfortunately it adds a lot of complexity to your configuration but if you understand all of it's components and functions, you won't  miss it.

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Updating ESXi from 5.0 to 5.1 - Unsupported Hardware

Be careful when updating you ESXi hosts from VMware vSphere 5.0 to 5.1. The following servers were supported in 5.0 but are no longer supported in 5.1:

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vSphere 5.1 - Working with Tags

Within vSphere 5.1 a new feature called Tags has been introduced by VMware. Tags are an enhancement of Custom Attributes and enables users to categorize inventory objects. They are a great approach for organizing or reporting tasks. Tags can be associated to the following object types:

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