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VMware announces the launch of the next version of vSphere version 5

Today VMware announced the release of its newest and next flagship version of vSphere – version 5.  This latest and newest version of vSphere boasts many new enhancments to the underlying technology of the VMware hypervisor.  Below is a listing of what’s new (or enhanced) in vSphere 5 and Hearbeat 6.4:

  • ESXi Convergence
  • Auto Deploy
  • HW version 8
  • Storage DRS
  • Profile-Driven Storage
  • VMFS 5
  • Storage I/O Control (NFS)
  • Network I/O Control
  • Distributed Switch (Netflow, SPAN, LLDP)
  • New HA
  • vMotion over higher latency
  • ESXi Firewall
  • 32 way SMP
  • 1TB VMs

ESXi Convergence

  • ESXi is now the exclusive hypervisor for vSphere 5.0
  • Thin architecture, smaller security footprint, streamlined deployment and configuration, simplified patching and updating model

Auto Deploy

  • You can deploy and patch vSphere hosts in minutes using a new “on the fly” model resulting in benefits of rapid provisioning: initial deployment and patching of hosts.  This also results in reducing manual deployment and patch processes.

Storage DRS and Profile-Driven Storage

  • Tier storage based on performance characterists (i.e. datastore cluster)
  • Simplify initial storage placement
  • Load blaance based on I/O
  • Resource alignment with SLAs
  • This will eliminate VM downtime for storage maintenance , reduce time for storage planning/configuration
  • Reduce errors in the selection and management of VM storage
  • Increase storage utilization by optimizing placement

Performance Guarantees – Network and Storage I/O Control

  • Set up SLAs for use of storage and network resources – added per virtual machine settings for Network I/O Control, added NFS support for Storage I/O Control
  • Benefits are sliminating the “noisy neighbor” problem, more granular SLA settings for network traffic, and extending storage SLAs to more VMs

New Virtual Machine Cpabilities

  • 3D graphics
  • client-connected USB devices
  • USB 3.0
  • Smart Card Readers

Scaling Virtual Machines

  • Create virtual machines with up to 32 vCPU
  • 1 TB of RAM
  • 4x size of previous vSphere versions
  • Run even the largest applications in vSphere, including very large databases
  • Virtual even more applications than ever before (Tier 1 and 2)

New HA Architecture

  • New architecture for High Availability feature of vSphere
  • Simplified clustering setup and configuration
  • Enhanced reliability through better resource guarantees and monitoring
  • Enhanced scalability

Additional Features:

  • Run vCenter Server as a linux-based appliance
  • Benefits simplified setup and configuration, enables deployment choices according to business needs or requirements, leverages vSphere availability features for protection of the management layer

Web Client

  • Run and manage vSphere from any web browser anywhere in the world
  • Platform independence
  • Replaces Web Access GUI

The Best of the Rest

  • Hardware Version 8 – EFI virtual BIOS
  • Distributed Switch (Netflow, SPAN support, LLDP)
  • Network I/O Controls (per VM),
  • Storage – VMFS 5, iSCSI UI
  • Storae I/O control (NFS)
  • Array Integration for Thin Provisioning
  • Swap to SSD, 2 TB+ VMFS datastores
  • Storage vMotion Snapshot Support
  • vMotion with huigher latency links
  • Data Recovery Enhancements
  • Inventory Extensibility
  • Solution Installation and Mangement
  • iPad Client

Heartbeat 6.4

The new features in heartbeat 6.4:

  • Enhanced architecture allows the active and standby nodes to be reachable over the network at the same time, enabling both to be patched and managed
  • Better integration with VMware vCenter Server – new plug-in to the vsphere Client provides monitoring and managemetn of vCenter Heartbeat from the vSphere Client, Heartbeat events and alerts wil register in vCenter and display in the vSphere Client
  • Supports VMware vCenter Server v5.0 and VMware View Composer v5.0
  • Supports new database architectures including Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 R2

Final Thoughts

Today seems to be a large step forward for VMware as the vSphere product continues to get better.  VMware continues to prove itself as the industry standard in enterprise virtualization and continues to be out in front of the pack of vendors providing cloud solution products.  There are a lot of new features and enhancements in the new version of vSphere that will certainly make the upgrade worthwhile.  Stay tuned for more information at Computer-howto on VMware’s latest and greatest.

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