VMware announce updates to vSphere 6.5 and vSAN 6.5 at VMworld 2016


Blog Post Author: George Kenny, Senior Storage & Virtualisation Technical Consultant, Krome Technologies.

The web is awash with news and opinions following the announcements made by VMware at VMworld Barcelona this week, here’s our review on the most important new developments released.

This week at the VMworld Barcelona event VMware announced some simplifications across their product portfolio which include a restructure on their current licensing model and some key enhancements to the product stack. As a VMware Enterprise partner we are certainly keen to explore how this might shake up the current SdS/SdDC players.

VMware also announced an alliance with long-term rivals – Amazon AWS, by enabling vSphere to patch directly into AWS and linking your on-prem DC into Amazon’s cloud platform.

Updates to VMware vSphere 6.5

With the release of VMware VSphere 6.5, for most infrastructures, the increases in capability/volume size etc. is largely irrelevant due to how enormous they already are.  All but the largest of enterprises are never going to stretch the limitations of what the product could do previously, let alone now.  However, for those that do have very large installations/infrastructure’s, it is yet again another great development from VMware, demonstrating the continued commitment to push their product set forward.

Core updates also include:

  • vCenter Server Appliance to provide customers simplified patching, upgrading, backup and recovery, high availability, plus a 2x increase in the scale and performance of vCenter Server environments.
  • REST APIs for the control and automation.
  • Thank the lord for HTML5-based vSphere Client to simplify the admin experience moving away from horrid, browser limiting flash content.
  • Virtual machine-level encryption protecting data at rest and vMotioned VMs.

Now for the exciting bit – VMware vSAN 6.5!

VMware need to move vSAN into a place where it can really contend with traditional storage and change the mindset of the technology professionals that are hesitant to transition from physical to virtual storage infrastructure. The biggest of these improvement in our opinion is the ‘Virtual SAN iSCSI service’, allowing vSAN feature sets on legacy external storage. The LUNs get delivered as feature filled vSAN objects (using all the full vSAN feature set) but harnessing the performance and availability you are traditionally used to being delivered via an external array.

From a licensing perspective, we’ve seen VMware really trying to tackle the ‘All flash’ space by bringing this in line with their ‘standard’ licensing model, meaning you can now run AF without having to be either Enterprise or Enterprise Plus entitled. This also means Deduplication and Compression are inclusive, as they’re sustained ONLY on the AF-vSAN configurations (all good news!)

Straight off the VMware press list are the following additional enablements:

  • Persistent data layering for applications via vSphere Integrated Containers.
  • Two-node Direct Connect – Eliminating the need for switches between VSAN systems in ROBO sites, thus lowering costs.
  • REST APIs and Expanded PowerCLI to assist with automation and flexibility to VSAN environments.
  • Support for 512-byte emulated (512e) disk drives and SSDs allows high capacity drives to be supported and advances the all-flash hyper-converged infrastructure idea.

With these recent announcements VMware are yet again at the forefront of pushing what can be achieved in the virtual space.

Find out more