With the release of vSphere 5.1, it’s been tough keeping up with all the tweets and information from VMworld 2012 San Francisco.
With the plethora of data, I thought it would be handy to blog about what the key features that will have the biggest impact on my every day life.
vRAM – It’s gone, licensing is back to per physical processor.
vSphere Essentials Plus – Now includes vSphere Storage Appliance and vSphere Replication.
vSphere Standard – Now includes vSphere Storage Appliance, vSphere Replication, Fault Tolerance, Storage vMotion and vCentre Operations Manager Advanced.
Beneath The Hood
Monster Virtual Machines
Virtual Machines, can now have the following hardware features:
> 1 Million IOPS per VM
Wonder if I will continue to have those we need a physical SQL server conversation?
This is made possible by Virtual Machine Format 9.
vMotion no longer requires shared storage. This has been achieved by combining vMotion and Storage vMotion into a single operation. So when a VM is moved, it moves the memory, processing threads and disk over the network to it’s target.
Now what is really, cool it maintains the same performance levels as the older vMotion with shared storage!
Note, I recommend that you use multiple NIC’s for vMotion as per my post High Availability for vMotion
Enables virtual machine data to be replicated over LAN and WAN. Previously to achieve 15 minutes a-synchronous replication you need sub 2 ms latency.
vSphere Replication integrates with Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) ensuring that applications such as Exchange and SQL will be in a consistent state if DR was implemented.
vSphere Replication can be used for up to 500 virtual machines.
The initial seed can be done offline and taken to the destination to save bandwidth and time.
No more downtime to upgrade VMware Tools.
vSphere Web Client
This is going to be the tool for administrating vCentre. Some pretty cool features like vCenter Inventory Tagging, which means you can apply meta data to items and then such on them e.g. group applications together for a particular department or vendor.
We now have the ability to customise the web client to give it ‘our look and feel’.
Always getting called away when you are half way through adding a vNIC to a VM, well we can now pause this and it appears in ‘work in progress’ so we never forgot to complete an action.
For the pub quiz fans, you can have 300 concurrent Web Client users.
Link Aggregation Control Protocol Support
Used to ‘bind’ several physical connections together for increased bandwidth and link failure (think Cisco Port Channel Groups), this is now a supported feature in vSphere 5.
Memory Overhead Reduction
Every task undertaken by vSphere has an overhead, whether this is a vCPU or a vNIC, it requires some attached memory. A new feature allows upto 1GB of memory back from a vSphere host which is under pressure.
Latency Sensitivity Setting
vSphere 5.1 makes it easier to support low latency applications (something which I have encountered with Microsoft Dynamics AX). The ability to ‘tweek’ latency for an individual VM is great.
We now have 16Gb Fiber Channel support and iSCSI Storage Driver has been upgraded. Some very impressive increases in performance.
Thin provisioning has always been an issue unless your array supported T10 UNMAP. With vSphere 5.1 a new virtual disk has been introduced the ‘sparse virtual disk’ AKA SE spare disk. It’s major function is to reclaim previously used space in the guest OS. This feature alone is worth the upgrade.