Maybe we can say with no limit, or at least, to be serious, with really huge numbers compared to the actual needs and the existing compunting power. Those new limits are both for scalability aspect, but also to fit with possible performance requirements, considering that a bigger number of business critical applications are going in the virtual environment.
With the new VMware vSphere 6.0 there are a lot of changes, and some of them are in the new vCenter architecture both for the Windows installable version and the virtual appliance (vCSA) version. For this reason the design aspects and the deployment scenarios are changed from the previous version (see VMware vCenter 5.5 design).
Windows vCenter installation experience has been enhanced with additional capabilities including custom ports, custom paths, uninstall and error messaging improvements and vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) now has a guided installer. Furthermore, all upgrade paths from Windows vCenter 5.0 and up are now supported.
Note that VMware has also recently released a new document: VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Deployment Guide.
Some considerations remain still the same (like the DBMS placement, or choosing between a physical or virtual deployment, or finding a good high availability architecture), but other are different, starting from the different vCenter components that now have been simplified with a logical separation between management and core&security roles.
PernixData FVP is a Flash Hypervisor software that aggregates server flash across a virtualized data center, creating a scale-out data tier for accelerating reads and writes to primary storage in a simple and powerful way. Was one of first (probably the first) to implement a fault-tolerant write back acceleration.
Stating from version 2.0 they add both memory support (instead or with flash) and NFS support (previously they where only block level).
Now the latest version of PernixData FVP software (version 2.5) will add following new features:
After the new Virtual Volumes, the most “spoilered” features of the new VMware vSphere 6.0 was probably the new vMotion that allow VMs to move across boundaries of vCenter Server, Datacenter Objects, Folder Objects and also virtual switches and geographical area.
VMware vMotion was probably the first important virtualization related features that make important VMware (and its product) but, much important, that make relevant the virtualization approach: having VM mobility means handle planned downtime and also workload balancing.
Now VMware reinvent vMotion to become more agile, more cloud oriented: breaking the boundaries and going outside the usual limit make possible have VM mobility across clouds. Note that actually it’s not (yet) possible use this feature to live move to or from a vCloud Air service… but of course this is the first step to do this in the future.
In previous versions of vSphere, the vCenter Server was not suitable to provide directly cloud based functions: vCloud Director was the way to build a Software Defined DataCenter (SDDC) at the top of vSphere and provide more functions and concepts that were not available in vCenter. But, during the VMworld 2013, VMware introduced a new product strategy and direction for vCloud Director (vCD): VMware would like to move forward with a plan to converge vCD functionality into the vSphere and vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) product lines or (as another direction) in the virtualization platform (that means inside vCenter Server)
The new vCenter Server 6.0 goes in the second direction that does not exclude the first one (to be more precise, bring some functions in the lower level will help to add more at the top level with tools like vCAC).
During this years, some legacy components of the vSphere suite has been dropped, starting from removing (in vSphere 5.0) VCB, Converter Enterprise, Guided Consolidation, and the historical ESX Server. The latest removal was the TPS memory management (in vSphere 5.5 with latest patches).
In those year the old vSphere Client (the Windows client side) has been deprecated (from vSphere 5.1) and all new features and functions has been introduced only in the vSphere Web Client that is a web oriented client, multi browser and multi platform.
But for several operational tasks and for all the legacy vCenter plugin, the old vSphere Client was still necessary, and of course was necessary to manage a single ESXi host without having vCenter Server (the server part of the vSphere Web Client is a vCenter component). Also there were some limits in the Web Client.
As you probably now the vSphere Fault Tolerance features has been unchanged from the first version (in vSphere 4.x)… untill now.
With vSphere 6.0, recently announced, there is a new Multi-Processor FT (SMP-FT) features that replace the previous one and brings now continuous availability protection for VMs with up to 4 vCPUs!
It’s not something news in the virtual environments… several years ago Marathon announced the everRun MX, that was the first solution, but only for Citrix XenServer. Initial plans of this producs expect also a vSphere version, but the company was then acquired by Stratus Technologies and everRun MX is now a Windows oriented solution.
But let’s see the new version of VMware vSphere 6.0 Fault Tolerance.
FalconStor is a well know company in the IT area; creators of several solutions like: FalconStor® Virtual Tape Library, MicroScan™ Replication, Disksafe™ Bootable Snapshot. But also pioneer of the data services first approach by combining virtualization, protection and migration technologies.
The company was founder on February 2000 (15 years ago) and actually they have 3,000+ active customers (included 20+ service providers to address public and private cloud) in 56 different countries.
What are vSphere Virtual Volumes (or VVols)? They are an integration and management framework to convert external storage in VM-aware storage.
From my point of view is the biggest news of this release (and probably the most announced, during the previous VMworld… first tech preview was in 2012!) and can really change the storage part of a virtualized design, included how it’s design.
But, much important, could be a great opportunity also for storage vendors to bring some interesting features to their products and help them to differentiate each other by providing much native and VM centric features (to be honest, some of them already have this approach)
With the new VMware vSphere 6.0 suite there is also a new version of VMware Virtual SAN (or VSAN) now in version 6.0 (but formally it’s a 2.0 version). Seems still a separated products, althougt my hope is that it may included in some vSphere bundle (like was with the VSA).
This new version brings a lot of new features and now it’s ready also the business critical applications (version 1.0 was more targeded for ROBO, VDI, DR, testing, … scenarios).
VMware’s vision of those last years it’s almost clear and it’s all around the three main pillars: SDDC, Hybrid Cloud and EUC.
In order to provide the Software Defined DataCenter, VMware has work a lot on the cloud related aspects, but also for the SDN and SDS technologies to enable a VM policies driven approach. VMware NSX is the clear answer on the SDN part, but what about the SDS part?
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