vSphere 5.5 What’s New at VMworld 2013, NSX, SDDC, VSAN, vFlash

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I’ve been in the VMware Early Access program for Bloggers and the vSphere beta so I have been familiar with all the new 5.5 features for a while. I have tried to write a very short version of what’s new. More details will come today in separate blog posts.

vSphere 5.5 Platform Features Summary

  • vSphere 5.5 Configuration Maximum Increases 2x from vSphere 5.1
    vSphere 5.1 vSphere 5.5
    160 pCPU 320 pCPU
    2TB Memory 4TB Memory
    8 NUMA Nodes 16 NUMA Nodes
    2048 vCPUs 4096 vCPUs
  • ESXi 5.5 Virtual Machine Compatibility  (vHW 10) LSI SAS for Solaris 11, New CPU Enablement, AHCI Controller Support
  • Expanded vGPU and GP-GPU Support
    – Support for both Intel & AMD GPU
    – vMotion supported across different GPU vendors
  • Hot-Plug SSD PCIe Devices – Hot Add/Remove SSD Devices without any downtime
  • Support for Reliable Memory Provider greater uptime and reliability for ESXi by protecting VMkernel & critical User Worlds
  • Enhancements for CPU C-States reducing power consumption

vSphere Networking

  • NSX – more details to come in a separate blog post
  • Support for 40Gbps pNICs
  • Enhanced IPv6 support
  • Latency-Sensitivity Feature
  • 38 Gbps to multiple VMs / Peak vMotion throughput at 36Gbps
  • Enhancement to LACP feature
    – Number of Link Aggregation Group support on VDS increased to 64
    – Number of hashing algorithms supported increased to 22
  • Enhanced SR-IOV
    – Communicate Port group specific properties to the virtual functions
  • Traffic Filtering – Helps drop or allow selected traffic
  • QoS Tagging – Provides Service level agreements to important traffic types by marking the packets
  • Packet Capture – Host level packet capture tool helps troubleshoot network related issues

vSphere Storage

  • New Feature called VSAN: Simple Distributed Storage (for now max 8 hosts), seperate blog post here
  • vSphere Flash Read Cache (vFlash), seperate blog post here
  • 16Gb E2E (end-to-end) Fibre Channel support
  • Microsoft Cluster Services Enhancements – Microsoft Windows 2012 Clustering supported, FCoE & iSCSI protocols supported.
  • PDL Enhancements on AutoRemove in vSphere 5.5 – PDL AutoRemove automatically removes a device with PDL from the host
  • A new simpler VAAI UNMAP/Reclaim command:
    Creates temp files and uses UNMAP primitive to inform the array that these blocks may be reclaimed. # esxcli storage vmfs unmap
  • VMFS Heap Improvements – a maximum of 256MB of heap allows ESXi hosts to access all address space of a 64TB VMFS

vSphere App HA

vSphere App HA works with vSphere HA to recover from app failures. Separate blog post here.

About Marco Broeken

Marco Broeken is Author of this blog and owner of vSpecialist Consulting and co-owner of XtraDesktop where he currently works as a Senior Virtualization Consultant. Marco has over 15 years experience in IT.

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