Written by Brad Maher on October 31, 2016
After what many believe was an uneventful VMworld in Las Vegas, VMware redeemed themselves at the VMworld Europe conference in Barcelona. Some very highly anticipated features and functionality, on the vSphere product line, were revealed. Las Vegas featured some incremental functionality with existing platforms, and in my opinion was not very exciting, so it was good to see some much better announcements come out of Barcelona.
The vSphere 6.5 platform was announced, and in what most people would consider a vast improvement, the HTML 5 web client was revealed. They even included some screenshots on the VMware blog site. As you can see the interface is similar in layout to the old web client but speed and functionality is much improved.
VMware has made it a little easier to manage even the simplest of vSphere environments. There is a new and improved vCenter Server appliance (VCSA). It now supports HA, this is the replacement functionality for vCenter Heartbeat, if any of you remember that product. The VCSA also features the ability to do Update Manager now, however it is still unclear how many of the add-on products will be integrated within the VCSA. VMware has also released an upgrade path from the Windows version of vCenter to the VCSA, making it a bit easier to keep your old vCenter data.
VMware also seems to be making a significant investment into security at this point. They announced support for additional audit-quality logging capabilities as well as various levels of encryption. There will be VM-level disk encryption in 6.5 as well as encrypted vMotion Capability. They are also featuring a new Secure Boot Model, which is geared towards the hypervisor as well as the guest OS. The idea is to prevent images from being tampered with and prevent the loading of unauthorized components.
vSphere 6.5 has also added support for a feature called vSphere Integrated Containers. This new feature allows you to run cloud and native apps on the same enterprise platform. This new technology should help customers looking to co-habitat containers with traditional hybrid cloud workloads. This is really heading in the direction of true hybrid cloud.
VMware has also announced a major partnership with AWS to have AWS run vSphere on the AWS infrastructure platform. They will offer VMware Cloud on AWS as a partnered service to customers. This I think will be more well received than the original vCloud Air offering. I think customers that have or were looking at using AWS will be happy to place some workloads on the AWS/VMware offering, and use it in conjunction with the traditional AWS offerings
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