Release Announcement – vSphere PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1

PowerCLI just got supercharged.  New features in this release include vSAN, Horizon View, VVOLs and more.  Check out below for more details.

For more information on changes made in VMware PowerCLI 6.5 Release 1, including improvements, security enhancements, and deprecated features, see the VMware PowerCLI Change Log. For more information on specific product features, see the VMware PowerCLI 6.5 Release 1 User’s Guide. For more information on specific cmdlets, see the VMware PowerCLI 6.5 Release 1 Cmdlet Reference.

You can find the PowerCLI 6.5 Release 1 download HERE. Get it today!

Detailed Information

PowerCLI Cmdlet Updates

The Core vSphere module has received a number of updates as well as stability and performance improvements. The most notable updates include cmdlets based around VM creation and management. The ‘Move-VM’ cmdlet now supports the ability to vMotion VMs between vCenters which is known as Cross vCenter vMotion. Performing a Cross vCenter vMotion with PowerCLI also allows the VM to traverse between separate SSO domains too! This is something not available with the GUI. The ‘New-VM cmdlet now supports configuring a VM to have a specific number of CPU cores. Then, the ‘Open-VMConsoleWindow’ has been updated to provide access to the latest and greatest version of the VMware Remote Console (VMRC). Lastly, various cmdlets have received updated views to allow access to the new vSphere 6.5 APIs!

Storage Module Updates

The PowerCLI Storage module has been a big focus on this release. A lot of functionality has been added around vSAN, VVOLs, and the handling of virtual disks. The vSAN cmdlets have been bolstered to more than a dozen cmdlets which are focused on the entire lifecycle of a vSAN cluster. The entire vSAN cluster creation process can be automated with PowerCLI as well as running tests, updating the HCL database, and much more!

  • Get-VsanClusterConfiguration
  • Get-VsanDisk
  • Get-VsanDiskGroup
  • Get-VsanFaultDomain
  • Get-VsanResyncingComponent
  • Get-VsanSpaceUsage
  • New-VsanDisk
  • New-VsanDiskGroup
  • New-VsanFaultDomain
  • Remove-VsanDisk
  • Remove-VsanDiskGroup
  • Remove-VsanFaultDomain
  • Set-VsanClusterConfiguration
  • Set-VsanFaultDomain
  • Test-VsanClusterHealth
  • Test-VsanNetworkPerformance
  • Test-VsanStoragePerformance
  • Test-VsanVMCreation
  • Update-VsanHclDatabase

vSphere 6.5 introduces a new way to handle the management of virtual disks. Instead of managing a VM’s hard disks through the VM, they can now be managed independently with new PowerCLI cmdlets. This allows the handling of a virtual disk’s lifecycle to be decoupled from the lifecycle of a VM. This adds a ton of flexibility!

  • Copy-VDisk
  • Get-VDisk
  • Move-VDisk
  • New-VDisk
  • Remove-VDisk
  • Set-VDisk

PowerCLI has been updated to include new cmdlets that allow for the automated management of the VVOL replication features which are new to vSphere 6.5. Some of the new features include finding fault domains and replication groups, syncing replication groups, as well as preparing for and starting the failover process to the target site.

  • Get-SpbmFaultDomain
  • Get-SpbmReplicationGroup
  • Get-SpbmReplicationPair
  • Start-SpbmReplicationFailover
  • Start-SpbmReplicationPrepareFailover
  • Sync-SpbmReplicationGroup

Horizon View Module

A brand-new module has been included to work with VMware Horizon! This has been a long time coming and has finally been released. The module can be installed anywhere and then remotely connect to the Horizon Connection server, a huge improvement over the last offering. Speaking of improvements, the module provides access to 100% of the public API through the Connect-HVServer and Disconnect-HVServer cmdlets. Keep an eye on the PowerCLI-Examples Github repo for functions allowing you to easily work with this module and provide sample code!

PowerCLI Core

As if this release wasn’t enough, PowerCLI Core also has support for the new 6.5 vSphere APIs! This ensures those core vSphere cmdlets and Views are available to other operating systems PowerCLI Core operates on as well!

VMware vSphere Predictive DRS

It’s no secret that this is a feature that I’m very excited about.  This feature although very useful on it’s own is going to open up the door for many new exciting capabilities with out VMware products in the future.

Predictive DRS

Resource contention is one of the most critical issues in any virtualized environment.  When contention occurs, applications slow down and your users are affected.  Up until now two different methodologies have been employed to mitigate the risk of contention, with varied results.  But now I want to introduce you to the new “game changing” method available from VMware: Predictive DRS!  But first a bit of a history lesson on the original two methods.

REACTIVE METHOD

The first of these is the Reactive Method which focuses on resolving unexpected resource demand.  The most widely used example of a reactive solution is VMware’s Distributed Resource Scheduler, or DRS. As the day progresses, workloads may need more resources, which can lead to contention on the host.  The reactive method moves VMs around to ensure all workloads get the resources they need and applications remain healthy. Note this method needs only a minimal amount of VMs to be moved in order to be effective, which means minimal overhead. The reactive method only moves VMs when contention approaches, so it’s possible (however remote) for users to feel some effects of the contention before it’s resolved.

Learn more about the other methods available with predictive DRS in the original article on VMware Cloud Management blog site.

 

Release Announcement – VMware vSphere 6.5 has been released

This is super exciting news.  There are two features in particular that I am very excited to see in vSphere 6.5.

vSphere Integrated Containers – Run docker containers natively (well almost) on top of vSphere.  VIC as it has been coined allows you to use the Docker API to spin up Docker containers inside a vSphere VM container.  The vSphere VM container runs a super small version of PhotonOS that allows the container to run inside the VM container.  This now allows you to run Docker containers with all the benefits of vSphere VM’s with the exception of NSX at the moment.  However your containersa can take advantage of another new much anticipated feature.

vSphere Predictive DRS – Predictive DRS is a game-changing new technology that leverages self-learning and predictive analytics provided by vRealize Operations.  It learns your environment and based on usage patterns, preemptively rebalances your workloads in advance of upcoming demands and spikes.  This ensures your applications remain performant and your workloads get all the resources they need.

These aren’t the only exciting new features, but they are certainly two of my favorites.  Among the other new features are:

  • Scale Enhancements – New configuration maximums to support even the largest app environments
  • VMware vCenter Server® Appliance – The single control center and core building block for vSphere
  • vCenter Server® High Availability – Native vCenter Server high availability solution
  • vCenter Server Backup and Restore – Native vCenter Server Backup and Restore
  • vCenter Server Appliance Tool – Single step migration and upgrade of existing vCenter Server to vCenter Server Appliance
  • REST APIs – Simple, modern developer-friendly APIs
  • vSphere Client – HTML5-based GUI that ensures fast performance and cross-platform compatibility
  • Security-at-Scale – Policy-driven security that makes securing infrastructure operationally simple
  • Encryption – VM-level encryption protects unauthorized data access both at-rest and in-motion
  • Audit-quality logging – Enhanced logging that provides forensic information about user actions
  • Secure Boot – Protection for both the hypervisor and guest operating system by ensuring images have not been tampered with and preventing loading of unauthorized components
  • Cross-Cloud vMotion® –Live migrate workloads between VMware based clouds ( Handy feature for the new Amazon and VMware partnership)
  • Virtual Volumes™ Replication – Native array virtual volumes replication

Release Notes:

http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/vsphere/65/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-65-release-notes.html

Download Page:

https://my.vmware.com/group/vmware/info?slug=datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/6_5

Product Documentation:

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-6-pubs.html

Product Page and Blog:

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere.html

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/10/introducing-vsphere-6-5.html

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2016/11/vmware-announces-general-availability-vsphere-6-5.html

Things are certainly getting exciting

 

Release Announcement – VMware vSphere Replication 6.5

GA Date:  November 15, 2016

What is vSphere Replication?

vSphere Replication is VMware’s proprietary hypervisor-based replication engine designed to protect running virtual machines from partial or complete site failures by replicating their VMDK disk files.  It provides simple and cost-efficient replication to a distant failover site or between local hosts within a single site.  Used standalone or in conjunction with Site Recovery Manager, it offers customers an alternative to traditional storage array-based replication technologies.  vSphere Replication is also the engine powering the vCloud Air Disaster Recovery service and the vCloud Availability for vCloud Director offering targeted for vCAN Service Providers.

What’s New in this release:

  • 5-minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO) support for additional data store types. This version of vSphere Replication extends support for the 5 minute RPO setting to the following new data stores: VMFS 5, VMFS 6, NFS 4.1, NFS 3, VVOL and VSAN 6.5. This allows customers to replicate virtual machine workloads with an RPO setting as low as 5-minutes between these various data store options.
  • Spanish locale for the product user interface and documentation. This version of vSphere Replication adds support for Spanish language localization of the UI and delivers product documentation in Spanish.
  • Integration with VMware Analytics Cloud (VAC).  vSphere Replication is now participating in the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

[Read more…]

Release Announcement – VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.5

GA Date:  November 15, 2016

What is VMware Site Recovery Manager?

VMware Site Recovery Manager is an industry-leading DR solution that enables application availability and mobility across sites for vSphere-based private cloud environments.  Site Recovery Manager is an automation software that integrates with an underlying replication technology to provide automated orchestration of recovery plans and non-disruptive testing.

 

What’s New in this release?

  • Integration with vRealize Operations Manager through a new management pack – the vRealize Operations Management Pack for Site Recovery Manager 6.5.
  • Support for vSphere Virtual Volumes through vSphere Replication.
  • Support for silent installation, upgrade, and uninstallation.
  • Introducing enhancements to Site Recovery Manager 6.5 Public API.
  • Support for the vCenter Server HA feature.  Site Recovery Manager works normally in the event that vCenter Server HA fails over to another vCenter Server node.
  • Support for migration of a vCenter Server installation on Windows to a vCenter Server Appliance installation during upgrade.
  • Support for the Virtual Machine Encryption feature with Storage Policy Protection Groups (SPPGs).
  • Support for Test Recovery operation when the protected and recovery sites are disconnected.
  • Integration with VMware Analytics Cloud (VAC).  Site Recovery Manager is now participating in the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

[Read more…]