VMware vSphere vCenter VCSA 6.7 Update 1 New Features

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We now officially have VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 1 available for download.  As the announcement of the new version was made at VMWorld for vSphere 6.7 Update 1, we have been anxiously awaiting the day we could download the new version.  As of a couple of days ago at the time of this writing, we can now download vSphere 6.7 Update 1.  This update contains a wide range of new features and functionality that are going to make this THE download and upgrade version that most will want to no doubt shoot for in their upgrade plans coming up over the next few months.  As most upgrades to a new version of vSphere starts with the vCenter Server with most running the VCSA appliance, we want to take a look there first.  In this post, let’s take a look at VMware vSphere vCenter VCSA 6.7 Update 1 New Features and see how this new version of vCenter VCSA is going to take your vSphere environment to the next level.

VMware vSphere VCSA 6.7 Update 1 Interoperability and Compatibility

Before upgrading to any new version of software including vSphere, always make sure to know all the compatibility concerns or gotchas beforehand and test the upgrade out in a lab before doing this in production.  This helps to ensure you don’t run into any unforeseen major issues after the upgrade in your production environment.

VMware has provided a great tool in the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix to check for interoperability and compatibility between VMware products and different versions of the product.  You can take a look at the compatibility matrix tool here:  http://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide2/sim/interop_matrix.php

Below is a screenshot of looking at interoperability with ESXi hypervisor versions and VCSA 6.7 Update 1:

VMware-VCSA-6.7-Update-1-Interoperability-with-ESXi-versions VMware vSphere vCenter VCSA 6.7 Update 1 New Features

VMware VCSA 6.7 Update 1 Interoperability with ESXi versions

Another very important consideration that many may fail to make when thinking about upgrading vSphere is to ensure your backup vendor supports the new version of vSphere.  Between vSphere versions VMware has been changing APIs and various programmatic interfaces that can break backups and the interface with vCenter server or ESXi host.

Currently, there is a known issue with Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3a and the new vSphere 6.7 Update 1 release.  The details and a temporary workaround are currently documented in the following Veeam KB article:  https://www.veeam.com/kb2784

VMware vSphere vCenter VCSA 6.7 Update 1 New Features

Let’s get started taking a look at the new features that are contained specifically in the vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 release.  The following information is taken from the official VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 Release Notes:

  • Move a vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller from one vSphere domain to another vSphere domain. Services such as tagging and licensing are retained and migrated to the new domain. For more information, see the vCenter Server Installation and Setup Guide.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds screening for issues in your vSphere environment that proactively provides links to relevant VMware knowledge base articles. For more information, see Check vSphere Health in vSphere Client.
  • Support added for virtual machine (.vmtx) templates in the Content Library Service.
  • New CLI tool to convert instances of vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller instances into vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller connected in Embedded Linked Mode.
  • Burst Filter: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds a Burst Filter to manage event bursts and prevent the database of vCenter Server from flooding with identical events over a short period of time.
  • Now supports VMware vSphere vMotion between on-prem systems and VMware Cloud on AWS. You can use either the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client, or the API. To enable the feature, you must upgrade the source on-prem vCenter Server system to vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 and ESXi 6.7 Update 1.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can import Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) files in a Content Library. The OVA files are unzipped during the import, providing manifest and certificate validations, and create an OVF library item that enables deployment of virtual machines from a Content Library.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can restore external Platform Services Controller instances which are replicating data with other external Platform Services Controller instances. This includes restore of external Platform Services Controller instances in all topologies supported in replication mode. The external Platform Services Controller being restored syncs with active peers or if no replication partner is available, it is restored to a backed-up state.
  • Create and Extend Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI): The Create/Extend HCI cluster feature provides a guided user experience for configuration of vSphere and vSAN clusters. The feature also delivers a centralized wizard experience, embeds best practice, and automates repetitive operations.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can use the Appliance Management User Interface to configure and edit the firewall settings of the vCenter Server Appliance.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, users with vCenter Single Sign-On administrator privileges, who are part of the SystemConfiguration.BashShellAdministrator group, can access and manage the vCenter Server Appliance by using the Bash shell.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 supports Windows 2016 Active Directory.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds support for configuration and monitoring of vCenter High Availability by using the vSphere Client.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can change color schemes in the vSphere Client to display the interface in a dark theme. (this was available by means of a plugin in Chrome by an individual developer previously.  Great to see the VMware team decided to natively integrate this functionality into the HTML 5 interface.)
New-VMware-vCenter-Server-6.7-Update-1-Dark-Theme-in-the-newjw-HTML-5-Interface VMware vSphere vCenter VCSA 6.7 Update 1 New Features

New VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 Dark Theme in the newjw HTML 5 Interface

  • AppDefense vCenter Server Plugin: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 introduces VMware Appdefense as an integrated component of vCenter Server. The AppDefense vCenter Server Plugin provides aggregated security metrics, visibility, and health statistics for applications and workloads running on vSphere.
  • AppDefense lifecycle management: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 supports one-click, integrated installation and upgrade workflows for AppDefense directly within vCenter Server. For more information, see the AppDefense Installation Guide with vCenter Server Plugin.
  • AppDefense virtual machine monitoring: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 supports AppDefense behavior monitoring for visibility, security assessment, and troubleshooting directly within vCenter Server. For more information, see the AppDefense User Guide.

Takeways

So far, I can say that I am loving the new vCenter Server VCSA appliance in the home lab and haven’t ran into any issues so far.  The VMware vSphere vCenter VCSA 6.7 Update 1 New Features provide a ton of new functionality to vSphere environments and is certainly the release I think many have been waiting for as the target of upgrade plans coming up soon.  With the fully featured HTML 5 interface, this is certainly the release that will allow a new level of efficiency in managing vSphere from the UI.  We have finally got back to the power and ease of administration that was missed after the deprecation of the “fat client” in Windows.  I can honestly say I will not miss the Flex/Flash client as I am sure none of you will either.  Aside from the interface, the other core features and functionality improvements are numerous and certainly will add tremendous value to vCenter functionality.