Caution: Articles written for technical not grammatical accuracy, If poor grammar offends you proceed with caution ;-)
Tuesday April 21st VMware announced they will be releasing vSphere 4 by the end of 2nd quarter. This is exciting news for many looking to take advantage of some of the new features available with this release. In this post I’m going to walk through a handful of some of these new features. There are over 100 new features in vSphere 4 and this post doesn’t come close to covering them all but I will be touching on some really exciting ones with more to come in my next few posts.
Let’s start with the new home screen. It’s a handy way to navigate all the configuration areas of vSphere.
Next let’s take a look at the new “Hardware Status” screen. In this screen shot there is limit hardware information which is due to my hardware. On actual server grade hardware you can view just about anything you want regarding your hardware. If you remember from my other vSphere post you can also trigger alarms based on most of these sensors as well.
Next lets take a look at the changes made to the Host Summary screen. Notice the arrow pointing to the Datastore with the alert. One of the alarms we can set is based on storage usage so we no longer have to manually verify that the free storage is within the acceptable levels.
With ESX 3.5 we had to manually make sure we didn’t overuse resources to maintain and N+1 configuration for HA. I wrote an article on VMware HA and how to size your environment to maintain N+1. Well when you determine that you need to have 37.5% overhead available on each server you can now specify that in your HA configuration rather than manually making sure you don’t exceed.
Take a look at the arrow in the above screen shot it’s showing the reserved capacity of the hosts to ensure the proper failover capacity. The screen shot below show the HA setting to configure this functionality.
There are some exciting and new interesting features surrounding networking. Once new feature is the distributed switch. The distributed switch is a really exciting improvement as it comes with support for private vlans, network vMotion, and of course support for 3rd party switches such as the Cisco Nexus v1000 switch.
There are many other enhancements to the networking such as the new VMXNET Generation 3 driver and other features like IP pools similar to whats available in Lab manager.
In my last post on vSphere I showed configuration items available as part of host profiles. Below is a screen shot showing the hosts compliance similar to that of Update manager.
One exciting change to the virtual machines is the ability to hot add memory and vCPU’s to the virtual machines. This gives even more flexibility to make changes to servers without having to schedule downtime.
The new resource view is very handy. Giving you a snapshot of what is really going on with your vm. It gives you insight into how much memory is private to the vm and how much is shared memory with other vm’s in the environment. This allows you to see how much memory is being “de-duplicated” It also allows you to see the host overhead, memory being swapped, and if ballooning is taking place.
VMware finally moved aware form the annoying license server and now has integrated licensing into vCenter itself. This should make alot of users very happy to not have to deal with managing those license files any longer.
Update manager now has built in support for a shared repository. So if you have a large deployment you can easily manage your update repositories across multiple Update Manager servers.
Have you had those annoying issues where some of your services would crash o stop running that vCenter is dependent on? Well it’s easy to kep track of your vCenter service status now with the new vCenter Service Status information.
One thing that I think is still lacking is the scheduled tasks. That have added a few new options that can be scheduled, but i would have expected some additional improvements in this area.
I hope you enjoyed this preview and be sure to check back as I will be covering some additional new features including “Fault Tolerance”. Over the next few weeks and month I will be putting together more overview posts, best practice articles as well as video tutorials.