During (and around) the general session at VMworld 2018 (US) VMware has made clear that hybrid cloud is the way to go in the future.
The general session was focusing on the 4 so called super powers of technology.
- Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
- EDGE Computing
The keynote showed up how and with which products VMware is settling for remaining a digital player in the next century (tighter AWS cooperation, vSphere on ARM, hybrid / multi-cloud, Workspace One, Pulse) while keep the principle of doing good (for the people). Seriously a lot of good stuff in the pipeline.
People that were expecting news or announcements of the core products haven’t heard any news about them even though many have been refreshed
To make you aware of all kind of changes / new releases within the current product portfolio and the new I tried to summarize key elements of the new products or releases surrounding the #VMworld conference. I will add useful and good detailed blog posts of my fellow colleagues that have gotten into much deeper detail.
vSphere 6.7 U1
During VMworld vSphere 6.7 U1 received an update.
- vSphere HTML5 Client received feature parity
- vCenter Server Converge Tool: Migration from external to interal PSC -> keep and live a simple vCenter Server architecture
- Content Library enhancements -> OVA improvements and Template functionality
- vMotion support for NVIDIA vGPU powered Virtual Machines
- Support for Intel Arria® 10 GX FPGA
For a supposed to be minor U1 release, this update is huge. Having a fully functional finally puts a smile on my face. Also the endless discussions about external or internal platform-service controller (psc) have found an end. For greenfield we already were able to use an internal psc (running on the vCenter Server) to make use of the enhanced linked mode (multiple vCenter managed in a single client). But for brownfield were stucked in the design decisions we made years ago. It is great that the vCenter Server Converge Tool will help us out here. And last but not least. Finally we got vMotion support when having Nvidia GPUs within our Virtual Machines via vGPU. That is a game changer since the capabilities or GPUs are not only required within VDIs, but can also accelerate other workloads massively. From now on we no longer have to live with the side effects of not being able to do our regular operational tasks like ESXi maintenance mode or workload migration based on resource usage.
Overall I can say: I don’t like it…. I LOVE IT!
vSAN 6.7 U1
vSAN has received a minor update as well.
- Cluster Wizard to easily create a fully features HA/DRS/vSAN Cluster
- I/O Controller firmware integration in Update Manager -> That’s what we need for vSAN
- Decommissioning and Maintenance Mode Safeguards in vSAN 6.7 U1
- Capacity UI improvements
- Trim/UNMAP functionality to improve the capacity usage by reclaiming unused storage
- Mixed MTU Support for 2 Node and Stretched Clusters when the data network is using jumbo frames, while connectivity to the witness is using default 1500
- Health-Check improvement
- vSAN Support Insight improvement to pro-actively send data to VMware for potential support calls
- Adaptive resync improvements
The greatest advantage is to have finally integrated the whole controller firmware management into the update manager. One of the biggest pain point I have seen with vSAN has been the management of the firmware aligning it properly to the supported configuration. I look forward how this really works out in the field. The other great thing is vSAN Support Insight. It has been cool before and if it just got better -> I will take it.
Having improved resync is just as good. The only thing I really don’t like about vSAN is when the resync are going to create huge device contention, slow down the io-performance/resync performance and / or lead and might the lead to unprotected data. Resyncs therefore still gives me feeling of sensitivity (based on the experiences in the first days of vSAN).
vSphere Platinum is not really a new product, but more than a product bundling. With vSphere Platinum a customer not just purchases vCenter, vSphere and NSX, but also AppDefense the security solution that has been announced during last years VMworld. The idea behind AppDefense is to move from a statical firewall/security mechanism to a much more dynamic approach. AppDefense learn data pattern and application behaviour, it has access to the in-guest data and creates automatic security policies for the learned behaviour. With vSphere Platinum a new vSphere Web Client plugin has been created that creates a seamless AppDefense integration.
- vCenter Server plugin for vSphere Platinum
I love the SDDC stack with NSX and vSphere. I love the idea to bundling it. I love the idea of finding dynamic approach to secure our workload with AppDefense. It will take some time until AppDefense will receive my full personal reliability since there is always a risk changing communication behaviour based on real-time data observation. The mechanisms are complex and might lead to certain issues.
On the other hand I try VMware engineering that they will be able to solve the challenges. So as I said. Love to look into it and get it up and running. If the pricing meets the customer will for spending I am sure this will be a great solution.
vRealize Automation 7.5
vRealize Automation is the solution if an organization wants to offer Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) via web based self-service portal. With 7.5 huge improvements have been made to vRealize Automation.
- New UI based on Clarity
- enhanced integration with vRealize Operations
- Enterprise Ready ServiceNow plugin
- NSX-T on-prem support
- Ansible Tower native endpoint
- Integration of VMware on AWS
- Azure enhancements
- Google Cloud enhancements
vRealize Operations 7.0
vRealize Operations 7.0 is the newest version of the operations management solution that has the following goal. Enhance from a Software-Defined-Datacenter (SDDC) to a Self-Driving Datacenter (SDDC).
- User Interface improvements to give a better quickstart
- Automatic workload shifting across clusters
- Automatic optimized host placement
I love vRealize Operations. Within vRops I can gather a lot of information about the environment pretty fast. The problem I see with it is that it takes its time until vRealize Operations is aligned to the environment and business needs go by editing all of the default policies.
The other big problem is that people knowing vSphere well, but don’t vRealize Operations are overflown by all the information they get at first sight. The new html5 interface that came in 6.x and the new dashboards made that much much better. Would love to see more to of that improving (and it certainly does).
–> Can’t wait to get hands on vRealize Operations 7 (and please please please: Release a good Horizon Management Pack)
With Project Dimension VMware enters the field of becoming a on-prem managed service provider. What is project dimension? If you know about VMware on AWS you manage and operate a regular VMware SDDC (vSphere, NSX, vSAN) environment that is hosted as instances on AWS. With project dimension VMware transfers this approach to SDDC installations that are located on the customers site.
A customer places a DellEMC VxRail appliance on the ‘EDGE’ aka datacenter or similiar facilities and gets the whole thing infrastructure managed via VMware. A customer is able to consume the platform without dealing with all the hardware and VMware related day 2 operations (updates, management, etc.).
The world is turning more and more complex. From a business perspective the internal IT should not take care of the lowest layer of the infrastructure. Business should run their application on a reliable platform. Getting a VxRail appliance setup and vSphere maintained by VMware is definitely a way to achieve that. With this approach VMware can achieve the level of scale regards operating costs that large hyper-scalers has -> But on-premises. The potential here, especially in the German mid-market is huge (they don’t really trust the cloud yet).