Apr 02

Announcing vSphere 6.7 Update 2, vSphere Platinum updates, and vSphere ROBO Enterprise

Himanshu Singh posted April 2, 2019

I am excited to share that today we are announcing the VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 2 release, with key enhancements that will deliver an efficient and more secure hybrid cloud platform to our customers. We are also announcing the new vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise edition, as well as updates going specifically into vSphere vSphere Platinum edition.
VMware vSphere 6.7 delivers a set of rich capabilities that provide key value and innovation to our customers. It delivers simple and efficient management to more easily run large infrastructure footprints.
Comprehensive intrinsic security capabilities protect applications, infrastructure, data, and access. Infrastructure teams are equipped to support both mission critical applications as well as new use cases such as AI/ML, VDI and new application architectures. Finally, customers looking to adopt public cloud benefit from seamless management and visibility across their entire hybrid cloud environment.
VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 2

vSphere 6.7 Update 2 will deliver simplified operations, enhanced security, and support for new applications. It will include updates to the vCenter Server Converge Tool, new vCenter Server audit events and new VM maximums. With vSphere 6.7 Update 2, VMware is announcing the:

  • Deprecation of external PSCs:
    With VMware vCenter Server enhanced link mode introduced in vSphere 6.7, infrastructure teams can link up to fifteen vCenter Server instances in the embedded PSC topology, eliminating the need for load balancers and simplifying architectures.
  • The vCenter Server Converge Tool introduced in vSphere 6.7 Update 1 enables VI admins to seamlessly migrate topologies with external PSCs to topologies with embedded PSCs. With the new vCenter Server Converge Tool UI in vSphere 6.7 Update 2, infrastructure teams now have an intuitive snapshot of their environments that enables VI admins to make informed life cycle management decisions. The UI provides topological and extended views of the relationships between components such as:
      1. vCenter Server instances and PSC
      2. Embedded vCenter Server instances and other embedded vCenter Server instances
      3. Health checks
      4. Replication status

This delivers exceptional end-to-end user experience as customers migrate their topologies from vCenter Server instances with external PSC to vCenter Server instances with Embedded PSCs.
vSphere 6.7 Update 2 provides vCenter Server events and logging capabilities for single-sign-on operations such as user activity, user management, SSO group operations, identity source and policy updates. Customers now get extensive logging capabilities for detailed visibility into user activity for more secure access.
Customers who are using Intel Skylake or older processors continue to rely on the hypervisor or operating systems to protect against the L1TF security vulnerability. vSphere 6.7 Update 2 provides enhanced protection against L1TF with a modified scheduler that also recaptures performance impacted by the vulnerability.
And to top things off, new VM configuration maximums in vSphere 6.7 Update 2 of 256 vCPUs and 6TB of vRAM enable customers to virtualize database intensive applications such as SAP HANA.
Today, VMware also announcing the VMware vRealize Operations 7.5 release which, among other new capabilities, will deliver new integrated compliance and automated drift remediation capabiities for VMware vSphere, to help reduce risk and enforce IT and regulatory standards. You can read more abut these enhancements in the vRealize Operations 7.5 announcement blog post.

VMware vSphere Platinum

vSphere Platinum updates

vSphere Platinum is the new premier edition of vSphere and combines the rich security capabilities of core vSphere with VMware AppDefense. VMware AppDefense leverages machine learning to establish baseline application behavior and detects and responds to deviations from the baseline, effectively shrinking the attack surface. The vCenter Server AppDefense plugin is a powerful tool that provides deep visibility inside VMs directly from the vSphere client, empowering VI Admins to deliver more secure VMs to run data center applications.
We have introduced several new capabilities to AppDefense with this release, delivering increased application visibility and enhanced security lifecycle management:

  • New scope level dashboards provide a real-time snapshot of application health and an overview of the security validation checks performed.
  • Increased granularity for monitoring and event classification reduces the operational overhead for security incident response and remediation.
  • By automatically adapting to security events that have been classified as normal application behavior, vSphere Platinum effectively reduces false positive alerts, reducing the operational burden on security operators.

vSphere ROBO Enterprise

We are excited to announce vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise as the new highest end edition of vSphere Remote Office Branch Office, an efficient and secure platform for your remote sites and branch offices. vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise brings key capabilities that deliver enhanced security and business agility to the infrastructure at your remote sites.

Customer data at remote sites is further away from the data center and hence, there is a critical need to secure this data. vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise:

  • Helps secure this data through VM-level encryption capability designed to protect data against unauthorized access
  • Moreover, vSphere ROBO Enterprise makes it easier for customers to perform maintenance on remote hosts by delivering Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) in Maintenance Mode.
  • It automatically moves VMs out of a server when it goes offline for maintenance and brings the VMs back to the server afterwards.
  • Maintenance can be done remotely from a central IT location, enhancing business agility and availability.

To learn more about vSphere Platinum and vSphere 6.7 Update 2, visit the product website or try the hands-on lab.

You can get more details about vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise on this product page. You can also reach out to us on Twitter at @VMwarevSphere.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Himanshu Singh is Group Manager of Product Marketing for VMware’s Cloud Platform business, and runs the core product marketing team for the vSphere product line. His extensive past experience in the technology industry includes driving cloud management solutions at VMware, growing the Azure public cloud business at Microsoft, as well as delivering and managing private clouds for large enterprise customers at IBM. Himanshu has been a frequent speaker at VMworld, Dell Technologies World, vForum, VMUG, Microsoft TechEd, and other industry conferences. He holds a B.Eng. (Hons.) degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and an MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Follow him on twitter as @himanshuks.

Rating: 5/5


Nov 05

ESXi Firewall Concepts

The ESXi management interface is protected by a firewall that is enabled by default. This video provides a high-level overview of the ESXi firewall and how you can use it to best protect the hosts in your environment.

Rating: 5/5


Oct 27

5 Quick tips for the vSphere Web Client

Senior Member of Technical Staff Melina McLarty presents some quick tips and tricks for being more productive with the vSphere Web Client.

Rating: 5/5


Oct 05

vSphere Distributed Switch Management with PowerCLI

In this video, Kyle Ruddy shows you examples of creating a vSphere Distributed Switch, adding hosts to the switch, creating distributed port groups, creating VMKernel network adapters, backing up a vSphere Distributed Switch and then restoring it.

Rating: 5/5


Jul 14

vSphere Web Client after the Client Integration Plug-In Removal

vSphere 6.5 release no longer requires that you install the Client Integration Plug-In. In certain cases, workflows have changed slightly, this video covers those changes.

Rating: 5/5


Jun 13

Announcing the What’s New in vSphere 6.7 Whitepaper

By Adam Eckerle

With the recent announcement and general availability of vSphere 6.7 we’ve seen an immense amount of interest. With each new version of vSphere we continue to see customers start their testing of new releases earlier and earlier in the release cycle. vSphere 6.7 brings a number of important new features that vSphere Administrators as well architects and business leaders are excited about.

vSphere 6.7 focuses on simplifying management at scale, securing both infrastructure and workloads, being the universal platform for applications, and providing a seamless hybrid cloud experience. Features such as Enhanced Linked Mode with embedded Platform Services Controllers bring simplicity back to vCenter Server architecture. Support for TPM 2.0 and Virtualization Based Security provide organizations with a secure platform for both infrastructure and workloads. The addition of support for RDMA over Converged Ethernet v2 (RoCE v2), huge pages, suspend/resume for vGPU workloads, persistent memory, and native 4k disks makes shows that the hypervisor is not a commodity and vSphere 6.7 enables more functionality and better performance for more applications.

For those wanting a deep dive into the new features and functionality, I’m happy to announce the availability of the What’s New in vSphere 6.7 whitepaper. This paper is a consolidated resource that discusses and illustrates the key new features of vSphere 6.7 and their value to vSphere customers. The What’s New with vSphere 6.7 whitepaper can be found on the vSphere product page in the Resources section or can be downloaded directly here. After reading through this paper you should have a very good grasp on the key new features and how they will help your infrastructure and business.

Finally, we have a new collection of vSphere 6.7 resources on vSphere Central to make setting up and using these new features even easier. There are also some walkthroughs on upgrading. You can see all of the currently available resources on the vSphere 6.7 Technical Assets page.

Download What’s New in vSphere 6.7 Whitepaper.

About the Author

Adam Eckerle manages the vSphere Technical Marketing team in the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware. This team is responsible for vSphere launch, enablement, and ongoing content generation for the VMware field, Partners, and Customers. In addition, Adam’s team is also focused on preparing Customers and Partners for vSphere upgrades through workshops, VMUGs, and other events.

Rating: 5/5


May 12

vSphere 6.7 – vCenter Server High Availability

Lightboard illustration of the vCenter Server High Availability options for each deployment type.

Rating: 5/5


May 10

vSphere 6.7 – Deployment Topologies

Lightboard illustration of the deployment topologies and their benefits in vSphere 6.7. To learn more, visit: http://www.vmware.com/education.

Rating: 5/5


May 10

vSphere 6.7 – What’s New

Light-board illustration to summarize briefly the top new features vSphere 6.7. To learn more, visit: http://www.vmware.com/education.

Rating: 5/5


Apr 17

What’s new with vSphere 6.7 Core Storage

By Jason Massae

VXLAN Components

What’s new with vSphere 6.7 Core Storage

Announced today, vSphere 6.7, and several new features and enhancements to further the advancement of storage functionality are included. Centralized, shared storage remains the most common storage architecture used with VMware installations despite the incredible adoption rate of HCI and vSAN. As such, VMware remains committed to the continued development of core storage and Virtual Volumes, and with the release of vSphere 6.7, this truly shows. The 6.7 version marks a major vSphere release, with many new capabilities to enhance the customer experience. From space reclamation to supporting Microsoft WSFC on VVols, this release is definitely feature rich! Below are summaries of what is included in vSphere 6.7, and you can find more detail on each feature on the VMware storage and availability technical document repository: StorageHub.

Configurable Automatic UNMAP

Automatic UNMAP was released with vSphere 6.5 with a selectable priority of none or low. Storage vendors and customers have requested higher, configurable rates rather than a fixed 25MBps. With vSphere 6.7 we’ve added a new method, “fixed” which allows you to configure an automatic UNMAP rate between 100MBps and 2000MBps, configurable both in the UI and CLI.

VXLAN Components

Configurable Automatic UNMAP

UNMAP for SESparse

SESparse is a sparse virtual disk format used for snapshots in vSphere as a default for VMFS-6. In this release, we are providing automatic space reclamation for VM’s with SESparse snapshots on VMFS-6. This only works when the VM is powered on and only affect the top-most snapshot.

Support for 4K native HDD

Customers may now deploy ESXi on servers with 4Kn HDDs used for local storage (SSD and NVMe drives are currently not supported). We are providing a software read-modify-write layer within the storage stack allowing the emulation of 512B sector drives. ESXi continues to expose 512B sector VMDKs to the guest OS. Servers having UEFI BIOS can boot from 4Kn drives.

XCOPY enhancement

XCOPY is used to offload storage-intensive operations such as copying, cloning, and zeroing to the storage array instead of the ESXi host. With the release of vSphere 6.7, XCOPY will now work with specific vendor VAAI primitives and any vendor supporting the SCSI T10 standard. Additionally, XCOPY segments and transfer sizes are now configurable.

VXLAN Components

XCOPY enhancement

VVols enhancements

As VMware continues the development of Virtual Volumes, in this release we have added support for IPv6 and SCSI-3 persistent reservations. With end to end support of IPv6, this enables organizations, including government, to implement VVols using IPv6. With SCSI-3 reservations, this substantial feature allows shared disks/volumes between virtual machines across nodes/hosts. Often used for Microsoft WSFC clusters, with this new enhancement it allows for the removal of RDMs!

Increased maximum number of LUNs/Paths (1K/4K LUN/Path)

The maximum number of LUNs per host is now 1024 instead of 512 and the maximum number of paths per host is 4096 instead of 2048. Customers may now deploy virtual machines with up to 256 disks using PVSCSI adapters. Each PVSCSI adapter can support up to 64 devices. Devices can be virtual disks or RDMs. A major change in 6.7 is the increased number of LUNs supported for Microsoft WSFC clusters. The number increased from 15 disks to 64 disks per adapter, PVSCSI only. This changes the number of LUNs available for a VM running MICROSOFT WSFC from 45 to 192 LUNs.

VMFS-3 EOL

Starting with vSphere 6.7, VMFS-3 will no longer be supported. Any volume/datastore still using VMFS-3 will automatically be upgraded to VMFS-5 during the installation or upgrade to vSphere 6.7. Any new volume/datastore created going forward will use VMFS-6 as the default.

VXLAN Components

VMFS-3 EOL

Support for PMEM /NVDIMMs

Persistent Memory or PMem is a type of non-volatile DRAM (NVDIMM) that has the speed of DRAM but retains contents through power cycles. It’s a new layer that sits between NAND flash and DRAM providing faster performance and it’s non-volatile unlink DRAM.

VXLAN Components

Support for PMEM /NVDIMMs

Intel VMD (Volume Management Device)

With vSphere 6.7, there is now native support for Intel VMD technology to enable the management of NMVe drives. This technology was introduced as an installable option in vSphere 6.5. Intel VMD currently enables hot-swap management, as well as NVMe drive, LED control allowing similar control used for SAS and SATA drives.

Intel VMD (Volume Management Device)

Intel VMD (Volume Management Device)

RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) over Converged Ethernet (RoCE)

This release introduces RDMA using RoCE v2 support for ESXi hosts. RDMA provides low latency, and higher-throughput interconnects with CPU offloads between the end-points. If a host has RoCE capable network adaptor(s), this feature is automatically enabled.

VXLAN Components

RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) over Converged Ethernet (RoCE)

Para-virtualized RDMA (PV-RDMA)

In this release, ESXi introduces the PV-RDMA for Linux guest OS with RoCE v2 support. PV-RDMA enables customers to run RDMA capable applications in the virtualized environments. PV-RDMA enabled VMs can also be live migrated.

iSER (iSCSI Extension for RDMA)

Customers may now deploy ESXi with external storage systems supporting iSER targets. iSER takes advantage of faster interconnects and CPU offload using RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE). We are providing iSER initiator function, which allows ESXi storage stack to connect with iSER capable target storage systems.

SW-FCoE (Software Fiber Channel over Ethernet)

In this release, ESXi introduces software-based FCoE (SW-FCoE) initiator than can create FCoE connection over Ethernet controllers. The VMware FCoE initiator works on lossless Ethernet fabric using Priority-based Flow Control (PFC). It can work in Fabric and VN2VN modes. Please check VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) for supported NICs.

VXLAN Components

SW-FCoE (Software Fiber Channel over Ethernet)

It is plain to see why vSphere 6.7 is such a major release with so many new storage-related improvements and features. These are just highlights, more detail may be found by heading over to StorageHub and review the vSphere 6.7 Core Storage section.

Download vSphere 6.7 Core Storage.

About the Author

Jason is the Core Storage Technical Marketing Architect for the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware. Before joining VMware, he came from one of the largest flash and memory manufactures in the world. There he architected and lead global teams in virtualization strategies for IT. Also working with the storage business unit, he helped test and validate SSDs for VMware and vSAN. Now his primary focus is core storage for vSphere and vSAN.

Rating: 5/5