What So New in vSphere 6?

With the announcement and also from the datasheet, it seems to be pretty lots of functionalities been added.  However there are some critical ones that are more appealing and wanting to see approvement or resolution to those who are already using since vSphere 4 and prior till today which are not make known to many.


Storage
There were many discussion over storage UNMAP via thin provisioning and many called it a "myth".  This was also discussed heavily in our Facebook VMUG - ASEAN group.  This was due to many changes since VMFS3 to till VMFS5.  Cody wrote a long history of what are the changes for those who have missed out here.

A KB was also release and this create some discussion VMFS3 with different block size would benefit thin provision so to speak before vSphere 5.0 Update 1.  Sadly after which, all UNMAP was not possible via GUI or automatically other than via command line or script.

I try to ask internally as well and luckily Cormac with his findings has listed all the answers on questions here.  Sadly we still cannot support Linux due to legacy SCSI version.  At least we are on the right track now to see at least Windows are supported.


Backup
VMware Data Protection (VDP) first introduced in vSphere 5.1 replacing VMware Data Recovery.   VDP is running a vApp version of EMC Avamar and first introduced with the normal edition and Advanced edition.  The Advanced edition (VDPA) has to be purchased and comes with three agents (SQL, Sharepoint, Exchange) and storage of deduped data up to 8TB instead of 2TB per appliance as on the normal edition.

With VDPA, customers were also able to purchase the per OS Instance license to backup their physical server as shown here.

With vSphere 6, VDPA is now known as VDP and provided free and no longer a purchase option.  So the next question that arise was can user used VDP in vSphere 6 to backup physical server via the agent?  The answer is Yes.  Is there a cost to this?  VDP is now free so the simple answer is yes it is free!  How good is that!

VADP (vSphere API's for Data Protection) now support Linux maintaining file system consistent when taking snapshot and backup.  Also the support of Windows 2012 deduped volumes.  Performance using VADP is optimized and faster.


vMotion Support for MSCS
Support for vMotion for MSCS with Cluster across Box (CAB) and Cluster with physical server is supported (VM as standby node).  This is supported from WIndows 2008 R2 and above.  Storage vMotion / XvMotion is not supported.  CAB will need to make sure DRS Anti-Affinity constraints are enforced.


Locked Down
There are two different mode of Locked Down mode.
  • Normal Locked Down
  • Strict Locked Down
This is been explained here.  A KB on this is also provided.

Exception Users is also introduced.  Only users with administrative privileges added into Exception Users list will allow be able to access the DCUI in Normal Locked Down mode.  Other options is to add user into DCUI.Access in advanced option to have access to DCUI.

In Strict Locked Down, DCUI is disable, only when SSH or ESXi Shell is enabled, will users with administrative privileges in Exception Users able to access the ESXi server.  If not, a reinstall is required.


Network
NIOC version 2 and 3 coexist in vSphere 6.0 and what is the different is be recorded here.  The performance improvement white paper is also been produced.

Increased support from vSphere 5.5. for 10GbE cards from 8 to 16.

SR-IOV limitation includes, vMotion, DRS, Suspend/Resume, Snapshot, Memory Overcommit, Network I/O Control and Fault Tolerance.  In vSphere 6.0, a total of 64 VFs per one 10GbE comparing to a total of 8 VF per one 10GbE in vSphere 5.5 that is 16 times increased!


vSphere Replication
Many might not be aware or not make aware the changes that has been done on vSphere Replication (vR).  There are actually enhancements been done on it but not publicly made known.  One of the major enhancement is compression.  This helps in reducing the amount of data to be replicated across and effectively save you on bandwidth.  Also mentioned here is the introduction of dedicated Network used for NFC instead of sharing with Management Network in the past.  Also the inclusion of Linux OS quiesce.  Also removing to the need of Full Sync whenever a Storage vMotion is triggered.  A White Paper just on vR is also provided here.


vNUMA
I have previously written an article on the new improvement on vNUMA here.  With this improvement, memory locality can be increased across NUMA nodes.

I will include more information here on things that are not really made known here as I get hold of it.  Hope this give you the beauty of this release.
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