Written by Frank Medeiros on September 13, 2018
VMware is ending support for vSphere 5.5 on September 18th, 2018. Extended support will be available, but at a cost. Based on surveys, over 60% of the systems in use are still running 5.5 or an earlier version. While it is important that systems running older versions be upgraded as soon as possible, it is not necessarily a simple process.
Last month at VMworld 2018 VMware announced vSphere 6.7 Update 1 which will be released to GA soon. As with any major release most consumers wait for the first Update or Service Pack to arrive before deploying to production. That day is drawing close which makes this a great time to tackle any upgrade tasks. I did a previous blog on the new features of 6.7 that you can read here and have outlined the Update 1 enhancements here.
Finally! The HTML5 version of the vSphere Client is 100% functional and the Flash based Web Client is no longer needed. This update simplifies administration and provides additional security by removing the need to have Flash enabled.
There have been several architectural changes with 6.7. One is the ability to scale and use Enhanced Linked Mode with embedded Platform Services Controllers (PSC). There was no easy way to convert an existing infrastructure with an external PSC to the new architecture, until now! This new tool will allow the distributed architecture to be converged during the upgrade process.
Due to the fact that 6.5 U2 was released after 6.7 GA, there was no upgrade path available as Update 2 contained additional security enhancements not included with 6.7 GA. Now with 6.7 Update 1, a direct upgrade is possible.
Systems with Nvidia Grid now support live vMotion migrations. This is especially important for Horizon View customers and enterprises that utilize this technology for High Performance Computing without sacrificing the mobility that they have come to expect from vSphere!
vSphere Platinum is a new licensing model that bundles VMware AppDefense with ESXi. For anybody that needs the highest level of security, this introduces a set of tools and features to enable you to meet these requirements.
I touched on this in my last blog, but it is worth repeating this functionality which truly enables the promise of a seamless hybrid cloud. These features include enhanced cross vCenter migration, mixed vCenter versions, and per-VM EVC.
Also announced at VMworld 2018 were several enhancements for the AWS offering. These include increased options for compute and storage, increased availability of NSX security features, a new three host minimum cluster size, and 50% reduction in cost! Obviously, this has the potential of making this a much more attractive offering for anyone looking to move workloads or DR to the cloud while still maintaining the flexibility of migrating these seamlessly.
As I stated at the beginning of this blog, this a fantastic time to upgrade those old, out of support vSphere versions, but it is not always easy. SnowCap Technologies can work with you to determine the readiness status of your infrastructure including the following components.
•Server hardware compatibility
•VMware software version compatibility and upgrade path
•Infrastructure considerations based on new infrastructure design
•Third-party software compatibility, especially backup software versions
At the end of the check you’ll receive a comprehensive overview of the hardware/software improvements that need to be made, as well as the services estimate for completing the upgrades on your behalf. Best of all, this check requires a low level of effort from you and costs nothing.
Please reach out to your Account Representative or fill out our contact form so we can perform this review! Soon you can be taking advantage of these new features with the comfort of knowing that you are fully supported.
Contact us for more information.