VMware vSphere v6.5 New Features

13 Jan 2017

By Melvin Porter

NOTE: Not all of this is covered in the vSphere V6.5 course however it should serve as a handy guide in case you were considering upgrading your infrastructure or your own education.

VMware vCenter Server 6.5 has improvements to both the vCenter Server for Windows and the vCenter Server Appliance. Specific benefits to the appliance now include:

  • Native high availability through a vCenter HA Cluster (using active, passive and witness nodes)
  • Native backup and restore
  • Built-in migration tool to help you to move across from previous versions of vCenter Server Appliance
  • Improve performance monitoring - CPU and memory statistics are now exposed as well as network and database statistics, disk space usage and health data
  • Graceful shutdown when storage exceeds 95% - thus avoiding database corruption

New features include an all new vSphere Web Client (with live refresh to provide real time operations! - hallelujah!) and a fully supported HTML5-based vSphere Client for cross platform/browser support. No more C# vSphere Client. Web and API-based tools such as HTML, PowerShell and REST API are the basis of the new platform management.

vSphere Update Manager (VUM) is enabled by default without any configuration. It provides more powerful capabilities for patching, upgrading, and managing of the vSphere environment. VUM is now fully integrated into the vCenter Server Appliance, leveraging the vPostgres database. The vSphere Update Manager UI is completely integrated with vSphere Web Client.

VMware PowerCLI is now completely module based, as opposed to snap-in based.

Improved security with VM encryption as well as vMotion encryption. Secure boot support for VMs via EFI firmware. EFI firmware supports Windows, Linux, and nested ESXi.

Updated ESXi architecture further enhances safety and security of VMs by running them in an operational "sandbox" - no configuration necessary.

Proactive HA - integration with selected hardware partners' plug-ins allow for early detection of degraded components and subsequent evacuate VMs from affected vSphere hosts, thus avoiding a service interruption.

HA admission control now dynamically calculates the amount of failover capacity required based on the available CPU and memory resources in the HA cluster. Performance degradation VMs tolerate is also new – this controls how much performance reduction is tolerated after a failure.

Fault tolerance (FT) improvements, predictive DRS and improved DRS load balancing algorithms and metrics are all new/improved features.

vSphere Integrated Containers provides an enterprise container infrastructure. Containers are now as easy to enable and manage as virtual machines. No process or tool changes are required.

Various storage and network enhancements have been added. For example, dedicated default gateways for VMkernel ports, thus reducing the need for static routes. Support for 512 LUNS and 2000 paths (double the vSphere 6.0 capabilities).

If like me, you found the above a little challenging, you may want to consider popping into any one of our six branches nationally and updating your skills.

The two courses we would recommend are:
VMware vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage V6.x
VMware vSphere: What's New