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VMware Releases vSphere 6.5 Update 1

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 

Administrators are responsible for the stability of the environments they manage.  And that's why they don't typically upgrade a core piece of technology to the latest release or revision without first doing a lot of testing and due diligence.  Within the VMware community, it isn't any different.  Many virtualization admins will typically wait around for something called, Update 1, which is usually a tried and true release of something.  In this case, VMware has announced that it is rolling out vSphere 6.5 Update 1, something many have been waiting to be released so that they can get their hands on the latest and greatest features and platform updates.

This is the first major update to vSphere 6.5 which was released back in November of 2016.  We've already witnessed 5 patch releases thus far for vSphere 6.5, and Update 1 rolls all of those updates together as well as adding some long awaited functionality.  With this update release, VMware makes improvements to the HTML5 client, offers better interoperability, increases scalability and provides users with a much better upgrade path from vSphere 6.0.

According to Martin Yip's blog post, VMware's vSphere 6.5 focuses on four areas of innovation directly targeted at the challenges customers face as they digitally transform their businesses: 

  • Simplified customer experience - Re-architected vCenter Server Appliance, streamlined HTML5-based GUI, and simple rest-based APIs for automation.
  • Comprehensive Built in Security - Policy-driven security at scale to secure data, infrastructure, and access.
  • Universal App Platform - A single platform to support any application, anywhere.
  • Proactive Data Center Management - Predictive analytics to address potential issues before they become serious problem.

HTML Client

One area of improvement with Update 1 is the vSphere Client.  The old Flash-based Web client has bid adieu and it has been replaced with an HTML5 client.  Initially, those who started using the HTML5 client rightly noted that it had issues and hadn't reached feature parity with the old client.  With Update 1, the HTML5 client has added more workflows to its support, up to 90 percent according to VMware.  Virtual Distributed Switch (VDS) management, datastore management, and host configuration are areas that have seen a major increase in functionality.  And it seems to be operating much better these days as well.

Scalability

VMware admins will also appreciate the improved scalability.  With the increased use of hybrid and private clouds, now is a great time for the ability to scale up!

According to VMware, some of the new scale numbers include:

  • Maximum vCenter Servers per vSphere Domain: 15 (increased from 10)
  • Maximum ESXi Hosts per vSphere Domain: 5000 (increased from 4000)
  • Maximum Powered On VMs per vSphere Domain: 50,000 (increased from 30,000)
  • Maximum Registered VMs per vSphere Domain: 70,000 (increased from 50,000)

A few other things to note relating to vSphere 6.5 Update 1:

  • Upgrade from vSphere 6.0 Update 3 is now a supported upgrade path to vSphere 6.5.
  • With vSphere 6.5 Update 1 VMware has increased the number of hosts that vCenter Server Foundation will support from 3 host to 4.
  • With the vSphere 6.5 Update 1 you are prepared for the VMware Cloud on AWS (hybrid cloud) solution.
  • vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1 supports Guest OS customization for Ubuntu 17.04 OS.
  • VMware vSphere Storage APIs - Data Protection (VADP) now also support Windows Server 2016 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux RHEL 7.3 as operating systems to perform proxy backup. This is in addition to the backup proxy operating systems already supported with VADP and VDDK 6.5.
  • VMware has extended the general support for vSphere 6.5 for a full 5 years. This means that support for vSphere 6.5 will now end November 15, 2021.
  • Customers using 3rd party switches such as Cisco Nexus 1000V, Cisco VM-FEX, HPE 5900v and IBM DVS 5000v will need to migrate from those switches after vSphere 6.5 Update 1.
More information can be found in the VMware ESXi 6.5 Update 1 Release Notes and the VMware vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1 Release Notes.
Published Monday, July 31, 2017 12:07 PM by David Marshall
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