Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What’s New in vSphere 5.5

Some big things coming with vSphere 5.5 and I'm pretty excited. Here is a short list I'm personally excited to see including another revamp of VMware VDP. In the previous few revisions it had gone from ok to good and then to not so great. Anyway, without further ado.. here's my top 5.
  1. VM Latency Sensitivity – included with the new virtual machine compatibility level comes a new “Latency Sensitivity” setting that can be tuned to help reduce virtual machine latency.  When the Latency sensitivity is set to high the hypervisor will try to reduce latency in the virtual machine by reserving memory, dedicating CPU cores and disabling network features that are prone to high latency.

  2. vCenter Server Appliance – with vSphere 5.5 the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) now uses a reengineered, embedded vPostgres database that offers improved scalability.  I wasn’t able to officially confirm the max number of hosts and VMs that will be supported with the embedded DB.  They are targeting 100 hosts and 3,000 VMs but we’ll need to wait until 5.5 releases to confirm these numbers.  However, regardless what the final numbers are, with this improved scalability the VCSA is a very attractive alternative for folks who may be looking to move a way from a Windows based vCenter.

  3. Support for 62TB VMDK – vSphere 5.5 increases the maximum size of a virtual machine disk file (VMDK) to 62TB (note the maximum VMFS volume size is 64TB where the max VMDK file size is 62TB).  The maximum size for a Raw Device Mapping (RDM) has also been increased to 62TB.

  4. vSphere Flash Read Cache – a new flash-based storage solution that enables the pooling of multiple flash-based devices into a single consumable vSphere construct called a vSphere Flash Resource, which can be used to enhance virtual machine performance by accelerating read-intensive workloads.

  5. vSphere Data Protection (VDP) – VDP has also been updated in 5.5 with several great improvements to include the ability to replicate  backup data to EMC Avamar,  direct-to-host emergency restore, the ability to backup and restore of individual .vmdk files, more granular scheduling for backup and replication jobs, and the ability to mount existing VDP backup data partitions when deploying a new VDP appliance.

Be sure to read all about vSphere 5.5 and the complete list at VMware blogs. For further reading check out What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.5 Platform, A Summary of What’s New in vSphere 5.5vCloud Suite Product Walkthrough, and What’s New with vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 5.5.