What is new in vSphere 6.5?

VMworld Las Vegas showed some features of what is about to come in the vSphere 6.5 platform. VMworld Barcelona is no different although I am still crossing my fingers that vSphere 6.5 GA will be announced this week. At the time of writing this blog article it is October 15 and we have had no official statement about vSphere 6.5 yet.

I am hoping that VMware will keep the good tradition rolling and will announce the new vSphere platform in Barcelona. After all, in Ray Farrell’s words:
“We are not going to go into some of the big advances that are coming in vSphere right now, we are gonna do that at VMworld Barcelona.”

So let me introduce you to some of the new features in the vSphere platform which really make me look forward to vSphere 6.5 in anticipation

vCenter and the VCSA 6.5

There have been wonderful blog posts about how you can migrate from the Windows hosted vCenter server to the VCSA.  But did you yet wonder what the benefits in vSphere 6.5 will be? I will list a few of the benefits for you:

vcsa1

  • Native High Availability! The all new HA Solution reduces RTO and is very easy to configure. It gets even better: Forget about 3th party database clustering or RDMs. These SPOF’s are a thing of the past and the VCSA will use the native PostGres database replication process to replicate the database across VCSA cluster partners! Take note that the Native HA option is not available for Windows hosted vCenter servers.
  • VUM will be a part of the VCSA so there is no need to install a seperate VUM server anymore!
  • Appliance management. The vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface ( aka. VAMI) brings more CPU, Memory, Network and Postgres Database monitoring right into the UI.

vami

  • Build-in native vCenter backup and restore! The backup menu will be available from the VAMI (http://vcenter.domain:5480) and the restore can be done from the ISO.
  • The VCSA installer can be run from Windows Linux and MAC and has a few cool new features such as:
    •  A configuration menu which allows you to restart the configuration without having to deploy the ovf again.
    • A migration menu to migrate from Windows hosted vCenter servers starting from 5.5 or 6 to 6.5.
    • A restore vCenter option.
  • The VCSA client also has a few VAMI  monitoring options for things such as the VCSA’s CPU, RAM and database statistics.
  • The days are also counted where the VCSA became corrupt because it ram out of diskspace. VCSA 6.5 will shut itself down to remain in a consistent state.

This post is part of a VMWorld Barcelona early access series:
What is new with VMware?
What is new in vSphere 6.5?
What is new in vSphere 6.5 HA/DRS and VSAN 6.5?
What is new in vSphere 6.5 Security?
What is new for Photon 1.1?

What are the requirements for the Native HA?

You will need 2 network interfaces which have to be configured in the following way:

  • Eth 0 public network
  • Eth 1 private network. This has to be a subnet of the primary Ethernet interface. In this way  there will be no OTV or other layer 2 adjacency requirements for that private network.
  • Can you use this across datacenters where you have a passive vCenter node? For sure. But keep in mind that latency can become an issue.

 

What is the deal with the native backup and restore of the VCSA?

Unlike backups taken with 3th party supplier programs where you where never sure if the backup is consistant, the backups taken with the VCSA backup and restore tool will always be consistent.

Supported protocols:

  • HTTP/S
  • SCP
  • FTP/S
  • Option for encryption

Here is a screenshot of the backup and restore option:

backupvcsa

What is new with the Client Integration Plugin?

vSphere 6.5 removed the dependency on the CIP for almost 99 %. If you remember the client integration plugin is required to: deploy and install VCSA, importing OVA and OVF, importing things to the content library. well this is a thing of the past. VMware has seen that many clients struggled with the CIP and has removed its dependency.

However in case you still use the Integrated Windows authentication or Smartcard readers these have not been integrated as of yet but the CIP plugin has been replaced with the Enhanced Authentication Plugin in vSphere 6.5.

What is new in the vSphere 6.5 web Client?

You all have probably seen the HTML 5 fling, so this news will not come as a shock. vSphere 6.5 will integrate the HTML5 web client.

What is new in VUM?

VUM will be integrated into the VCSA as well as mentioned before.

VUM will also offer you the possibility to remediate entire clusters!

vum

What is new in host profiles?

  • A couple of things have been made a lot better: Host profiles in vSphere 6.5 will allow you to run pre-checks before you apply a host profile to a host or a group of hosts. Even better, when applying host profiles DRS will be considered and profiles will be applied in a rolling fashion.

precheck

  • You will be able to import hosts in bulk by umporting a CSV file.
  • Detailed reports are available after applying a host profile to a host.

What is new in Auto Deploy?

This is a major improvement and one that I actually would love to use in production. Auto Deploy in vSPhere 6.5 has received a GUI and many more PowerCLI deploy commands!

auto

What is new in vROPS and Log Insight?

vROPS has received a a new home Dashboard which is offering a better overview of what lives in your datacenter but it also has received a brand new DRS Dashboard!

vrops-drs

Log Insight Has received the clarity UI (like the one used for the HTML 5 web client) and alert enhancements.

loginsight

Of course there are many other improvements for both products, such as a better integration between both. Then there also is the integration of Arkin for the NSX visibility.  we could continue like this but I’d like to leave something for you to discover as well!

What is new with PowerCLI, SDK and API’s?

Let’s start with the big news first. PowerCLI is using modules only, there are no more snap-ins!

modules

If you love API’s vSphere 6.5 comes with a brand new API explorer which comes with a button to try-out the API you want to test. The REST APIs of vCenter, the tags, appliance management, content library and API query are available.  You can reach the API explorer at https://vchostname/apiexplorer

apiex

Also VMware is putting huge efforts into creating more and better API’s for Virtual Machine management. This is however still in work in progress so keep an eye out for this.

The biggest news about the CLI probably is the datacenter CLI which can be used to manage Photon. So get ready for those bits if you are into containers!

dccli

There is more news, just check out the other new blog posts!

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