VMware released vSphere 5.1 at VMworld 2012

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VMware announced a new version of VMware vSphere 5.1 at VMworld USA. I created a nice summup of all new features to give you nive clean overview:

vSphere 5.1 Links gathered

vSphere 5.1 What’s New

 Original Post where I was talking about the rumours on the vSphere 5.1 release:

  • VMware is getting rid of vRAM entitlements, which debuted with vSphere 5 and determine how much memory customers are permitted to allocate to virtual machines on the host, according to sources familiar with VMware’s plans. VMware will return to its previous CPU-based licensing model (source: CRN) (rumour)
  • Fault Tolerance support for VMs having multiple vCPU’s (very likely)
  • Support for virtualized Microsoft Domain Controllers allowing cloning and snapshot restore. (likely)
  • VMware HA will be able to monitor application health and restart services/applications running inside virtual machines if applications are not responding. Currently VMware HA will notice if the guest operating system is not responding and will reboot the VM. Public API’s are available to hook into VMware HA which can be used to force certain HA actions. I expect that no programming skills or third party solutions are needed anymore for HA application monitoring (likely)
  • upgraded number of multiple vMotions
  • boot from FiberChannel over Ethernet

Suggested/speculated changes in editions for vSphere 5.x Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V 3 will offer a lot of new features which will be very interesting for the SMB market. As a reaction VMware might respond.

  • vSphere Essentials plus will be uplifted to max 5 hosts and 10 CPU’s with upgraded vRAM entitlement. (suggestion)
  • vSphere Standard and higher editions will have a price drop, a bundled tool for free (for instance vCenter Operations) or higher vRAM entitlement.(suggestion)

Suggested/speculated features for vSphere 6 (to be released in 2013?)

  • Support for virtual disk files (VMDK) larger than 2 TB. (likely)
  • ESXi hosts accessing vmdk’s instead of LUN’s enabling more granular storage management. This feature is titled VM volumes and explained here. (likely)
  • Support for VXLAN improving virtual machine mobility. A virtual machine will retain it’s IP-configuration when vMotioned to another site having another IP-subnet. (likely)
  • SLA policies for applications allowing to guarantee uptime and performance for application running on a set of virtual machines.
  • RDMA support
  • Multiple templates using a single VMDK file. Templates can be used to assign different roles and features to Windows Server guests. Offered by SCVMM 2012.
  • Automated deployment of applications using vCenter Server.
  • vCenter Server will have more integrated automation using Orchestator (likely)
  • Long distance vMotion support. Stretched VMware clusters are becoming more popular allowing to perform disaster and downtime avoidance. Currently there are heavy requirements for long distance vMotion like latency and maximum distance between datacenters (around 100 km). Expect the distance to be much extended without having to buy third party equipment.(likely)
  • Redesigned snapshot mechanism. Currently commiting a snapshot can hurt performance as commiting needs a lot of disk i/o.
  • Improved VMware High Availability. More granular startup priority and a single runbook targeted at SMB like Hyper-V Replica. Use SRM instead for multiple runbooks and multiple site protection.
  • Enhanced support for VMware stretched clusters and metrocluster storage configurations allowing more control of which vm runs on white cluster and is located on which datastore.
  • IP Address Management for vCenter Server. Centralized IP management for private cloud

All credits go to Marcel van den Berg’s and his blog up2v.nl

Rumors from techtarget

Newer rumors say that VMware vSphere 5.1 will contain new features that include shared-nothing live migration of virtual machines and other awaited capabilities. One of the new features in the next version of VMware vSphere is Content-Based Read Cache for vSphere servers. This “hidden” feature in vSphere 5.0 was exposed through the VMware View 5.1 graphical user interface as a means of reducing the I/O hit on storage systems caused by boot storms, by caching the most-read blocks of data across VMs in host memory. It will now be available as a configuration option in the vSphere GUI as well, sources said, though its main application will still probably be in View environments.

VMware last year demonstrated its FT feature on VMs with more than one CPU, and customers expected the feature in the next release of vSphere. This year, however, the feature is still being billed as a “technology preview” in the VMworld Session Catalog, and beta testers say it’s labeled “experimental.”

Site Recovery Manager 5.1 and beyond

Shared-nothing live migration fits in with an overall long-term roadmap for Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere Replication that was discussed at VMworld 2011 and described in some detail in a public presentation at this week’s New England VMware User Group Meeting by virtualization expert Mike Laverick.

IT pros can expect integration between SRM and vCloud Director — “something VMware wants to add as a matter of urgency” — and disaster recovery to cloud service providers, enabling DR as a service, Laverick said.

Plans that include policy-based disaster recovery and integration between vSphere Data Recovery, VMware High Availability and SRM are still “off in the distance,” and will probably be realized with product updates in 2013, Laverick said.

VMware Data Recovery and EMC Avamar

Some sources expect VMware to replace its VMware Data Recovery (VDR) backup utility with a licensed, stripped-down version of EMC Corp.’s Avamar backup software in vSphere 5.1, though others say this isn’t official yet. It’s still unclear how pricing for the software would be handled, because VDR is given away for free and Avamar is not.

The inclusion of buffed-up backup software could give VMware a stronger alternative to Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager, which now is included in its System Center 2012 management suite. There are also worries about the implications such a move would have on the EMC-VMware relationship, especially as the companies have grown cozier through a CEO swap-out this week.

“Some VMware folks are a little concerned as the relationship grows tighter and tighter with EMC,” said a channel partner based in the Northeast.

The VMworld session catalog offers a glimpse of other upcoming features. One session — called “What’s New with vMotion, Architectures, Performance and Best Practices” — to be held during the company’s annual conference in August, describes in detail the shared-nothing live migration feature due in the next release of vSphere; it “integrates the support for simultaneous memory and storage migration, which allows running virtual machines to move between hosts without any requirement for shared storage.”

The session description goes on to say that vMotion without shared storage will allow the live migration of VMs across vCenter Servers and over long distances. This will put vSphere 5.1 on par with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, which also will introduce a shared-nothing live migration feature when it ships this fall. The next release of XenServer, code-named Tampa and expected to ship this quarter, also will contain a shared-nothing live migration feature.

“In the future, this will be huge for moving VMs to private and hybrid clouds,” said one beta tester of the new VMware vSphere release, speaking on condition of anonymity. “This piece allows migration [of VMs] from one cloud to another, and one data center to another.”

source: techtarget

About Marco Broeken

Marco Broeken is Author of this blog and owner of vSpecialist Consulting and has 20 years experience in IT. Marco has been rewarded with the vExpert status from 2011 - 2018.

Comments

  1. A couple of notes on your comments about vSphere 5.x:
    * Boot over FCoE is already working, so probably nothing new there
    * Multi vCPU Fault Tolerance probably won’t be ready for 5.x. Going through the sessions for VMworld 2012 I found a Technical Preview on this matter, which tells me it’s close. But not close enough for 5.x next week… 😉

  2. Great speculation on the up coming features. Here is another list of features expected in vsphere 5.1
    http://www.virtualization.net/4337-vmware-vsphere-5-1-new-features-and-enhancements/

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