Improvements in vSphere 6.5 and what will version 6.7 bring? – Part 1
VMware released vSphere 6.5 to General Availability on November 15th, 2016. The release had its fair share of issues and wasn’t fully compatible with VMware’s full product set including NSX. Update 1 was released on July 27th, 2017 and allowed for anyone running 6.0 Update 3 to update to 6.5 Update 1.
Many improvements have been made to the scalability of the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) since 5.5 which now puts it on equal footing with the venerable Windows installation option. With 6.5 Update Manager has been rolled in as well which previously required a separate Windows Server. VMware has steadily been eliminating the objections around running vCenter as an appliance.
vSphere 6.0 had a very welcome interface speedup for the Web Client which is the primary method for managing vCenter and the only location that brand-new features like VM Encryption, VSAN, and NSX were available. vSphere 6.5 made it even a bit snappier but is moving away from the web client we know today with all the Flash plugin and Integration Plugin issues it brings in favor of a HTML5 interface. They are not yet at feature parity but the common day to day tasks of an IT Admin can now be done in the HTML5 client which is easier and faster than the Flash web client without worrying about if the device you are connecting from will have the right software and fixes loaded ahead of time.
Speaking of changes; the next version is slated to be 6.7. The biggest shift we know of today will be that the only way to deploy vCenter will be as the appliance and the Windows Server based edition will be retired. The VCSA introduced automated file level backups and restore built in. For better or worse the VCSA will be entirely supported by VMware all the way from the hardened Photon OS through vCenter and all its native plugins. It should result in a more stable environment with less patching – be sure to sign up for the VMware security notices though!
In the next post I’ll focus more on the specific improvements and why your organization should begin moving to the VCSA if you are not yet convinced