Feb 14

vSphere 5.5 and vSAN 5.5 End of General Support Reminder

By Himanshu Singh

We would like to remind you that the End of General Support (EOGS) for vSphere 5.5 and vSAN 5.5 is September 19, 2018.

To maintain your full level of Support and Subscription Services, VMware recommends upgrading to vSphere 6.5 or 6.7. Note that by upgrading to vSphere 6.5 or 6.7 you not only get all the latest capabilities of vSphere but also the latest vSAN release and capabilities.

vCloud Suite 5 and vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) customers running vSphere 5.5 are also recommended to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 or 6.7. For more information on the benefits of upgrading and how to upgrade, visit the VMware vSphere Upgrade Center.

For detailed technical guidance, visit vSphere Central and the vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool. VMware has extended general support for vSphere 6.5 to a full five years from date of release, which will end on November 15, 2021. This same date applies to vSphere 6.7 end of general support as well.

If you require assistance upgrading to a newer version of vSphere, VMware’s vSphere Upgrade Service is available. This service delivers a comprehensive guide to upgrading your virtual infrastructure including recommendations for planning and testing the upgrade, the actual upgrade itself, validation guidance, and rollback procedures. For more information, contact your VMware account team, VMware Partner, or visit VMware Professional Services.

If you are unable to upgrade from vSphere 5.5 before EOGS and are active on Support and Subscription Services, you may purchase Extended Support in one-year increments for up to two years beyond the EOGS date. Visit VMware Extended Support for more information.

Technical Guidance for vSphere 5.5 is available until September 19, 2020 primarily through the self-help portal. During the Technical Guidance phase, VMware will not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit VMware Lifecycle Support Phases.

Listed below are a number of additional actions which need to be taken, depending on your individual scenario:

vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM)

This bundle of vSphere and vRealize Operations allows you to upgrade the versions of individual components independent of each other. If you are using vSphere 5.5 as part of vSOM, you will need to upgrade your vSphere with Operations Management 5.5 license key, to be able to upgrade the vSphere component. You can reference the VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix to check for the EOGS date for the version of vRealize Operations you are using and the VMware Product Interoperability Matrices for the product version compatibility.

vCloud Suite 5

This bundle of vSphere and VMware’s management products will also require an upgrade of your license key to vCloud Suite 7 or later. Upgrading to vCloud Suite 2017 is encouraged to leverage the vRealize Suite 2017 multi-vendor hybrid cloud management platform. You can reference the VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix to check the EOGS date for each version of the products in the bundle and the VMware Product Interoperability Matrices for the product version compatibility.

vSAN 5.5

This product is embedded in the vSphere 5.5 kernel and by upgrading vSphere you will also upgrade vSAN to a newer release. You will need to upgrade your vSAN 5.5 license key to a newer release license key. Please confirm hardware compatibility by referencing the vSAN Compatibility Guide and if necessary, make appropriate hardware upgrades as needed to maintain compatibility.

If you are using vSphere 5.5 or vCloud Suite 5, please contact your VMware account team or a VMware Partner with any questions and to begin an upgrade plan.

Thank you,

The VMware Team

About the Author

Himanshu Singh is Group Manager of Product Marketing for VMware’s Cloud Platform business. 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.

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May 15

What’s New in VMware vSphere™ 5.0 Networking

Introduction

With the release of VMware vSphere™ 5.0 (“vSphere”), VMware brings a number of powerful new features and enhancements to the networking capabilities of the vSphere platform. These new network capabilities enable customers to run business-critical applications with confidence and provide the flexibility to enable customers to respond to business needs more rapidly. All the networking capabilities discussed in this document are available only with the VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (Distributed Switch).

There are two broad types of networking capabilities that are new or enhanced in the VMware vSphere 5.0
release. The first type improves the network administrator’s ability to monitor and troubleshoot virtual
infrastructure traffic by introducing features such as:

  • NetFlow
  • Port mirror

The second type focuses on enhancements to the network I/O control (NIOC) capability first released in
vSphere 4.1. These NIOC enhancements target the management of I/O resources in consolidated I/O
environments with 10GB network interface cards. The enhancements to NIOC enable customers to provide
end-to-end quality of service (QoS) through allocating I/O shares for user-defined traffic types as well as tagging packets for prioritization by external network infrastructure. The following are the key NIOC
enhancements:

  • User-defned resource pool
  • vSphere replication trafc type
  • IEEE 802.1p tagging

The following sections will provide higher-level details on new and enhanced networking capabilities in vSphere 5.0.

Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting

In a vSphere 5.0 environment, virtual network switches provide connectivity for virtual machines running on VMware® ESXi™ hosts to communicate with each other as well as connectivity to the external physical
infrastructure. Network administrators want more visibility into this traffic that is flowing in the virtual infrastructure. This visibility will help them monitor and troubleshoot network issues. VMware vSphere 5.0 introduces two new features in the Distributed Switch that provide the required monitoring and troubleshooting capability to the virtual infrastructure.

NetFlow

NetFlow is a networking protocol that collects IP traffic information as records and sends them to a collector such as CA NetQoS for traffic flow analysis. VMware vSphere 5.0 supports NetFlow v5, which is the most common version supported by network devices. NetFlow capability in the vSphere 5.0 platform provides visibility into virtual infrastructure traffic that includes:

  • Intrahost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on the same host)
  • Interhost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on different hosts)
  • Virtual machine–physical infrastructure traffic

Figure 1 shows a Distributed Switch configured to send NetFlow records to a collector that is connected to an external network switch. The blue dotted line with arrow indicates the NetFlow session that is established to send flow records for the collector to analyze.

NetFlow Traffic

Figure 1. NetFlow Traffic

Usage

NetFlow capability on a Distributed Switch along with a NetFlow collector tool helps monitor application flows and measures flow performance over time. It also helps in capacity planning and ensuring that I/O resources are utilized properly by different applications, based on their needs.

IT administrators who want to monitor the performance of application flows running in the virtualized
environment can enable flow monitoring on a Distributed Switch.

Configuration

NetFlow on Distributed Switches can be enabled at the port group level, at an individual port level or at the uplink level. When configuring NetFlow at the port level, administrators should select the NetFlow override tab, which will make sure that flows are monitored even if the port group–level NetFlow is disabled.

Port Mirror

Port mirroring is the capability on a network switch to send a copy of network packets seen on a switch port to a network monitoring device connected to another switch port. Port mirroring is also referred to as Switch Port Analyzer (SPAN) on Cisco switches. In VMware vSphere 5.0, a Distributed Switch provides a similar port mirroring capability to that available on a physical network switch. After a port mirror session is configured with a destination—a virtual machine, a vmknic or an uplink port—the Distributed Switch copies packets to the destination. Port mirroring provides visibility into:

  • Intrahost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on the same host)
  • Interhost virtual machine traffic (virtual machine–to–virtual machine traffic on different hosts)

Figure 2 shows different types of traffic flows that can be monitored when a virtual machine on a host acts as a destination or monitoring device. All traffic shown by the orange dotted line with arrow is mirrored traffic that is sent to the destination virtual machine.

NetFlow Traffic

Figure 2. Port Mirror Traffic Flows When Destination Where Packets Are Mirrored Is a Virtual Machine

Usage

The port mirroring capability on a Distributed Switch is a valuable tool that helps network administrators in debugging network issues in a virtual infrastructure. The granular control over monitoring ingress, egress or all trafc of a port helps administrators fne-tune what trafc is sent for analysis.

Configuration

Port mirror configuration can be done at the Distributed Switch level, where a network administrator can create a port mirror session by identifying the traffic source that needs monitoring and the traffic destination where the traffic will be mirrored. The traffic source can be any port with ingress, egress or all traffic selected. The traffic destination can be any virtual machine, vmknic or uplink port.

Download

Download a full What’s New in VMware vSphere™ 5.0 Networking Technical White Paper.

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Dec 24

VMware vSphere 5.5 SAN Storage Best Practices

In this video we will demonstrate the configuration of block-level storage (SAN) devices for VMware vSphere. During the demonstration we will configure Stora…

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