A random collection of what’s new vSphere eye candy

April 20th, 2009 by jason Leave a reply »

I’ve been testing vSphere for a few months and have collected various samples of new and different management interfaces. VMware has informed me that I am no longer under vSphere NDA and bloggers are welcomed to help showcase VMware’s new vSphere product. In no particular order, here are some of my observations. By the way, the very first thing I noticed out of the gate when installing vSphere (other than I needed 64 bit hardware) was that although ESXi4 is small enough to fit on a CD, ESX4 is now a DVD. For those who install from physical media, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got a DVD-ROM reader in your host.

The VIC now has integrated authentication built into the GUI. We had this in VI3 but through command line parameters that launched the client:

4-20-2009 10-11-43 PM

A Hyper9-like quick search in the top right area of the vSphere Client:

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Complete license management overhaul evident in many areas:

4-20-2009 10-22-14 PM

SNAG-0000

SNAG-0001

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An improved Plug-in Manager:

SNAG-0004

Host Profiles will assist us with automated configuration and consistency. This may sunset much of the deployment scripting you have in place today and I think it’s especially helpful for ESXi users as it offers yet another option for automating the configuration of VMware’s console-less hypervisor.  Along with being responsible for making configuration changes across a container, it can also be used to verify compliance of host configurations.  It works similar to VMware Update Manager and remediation:

SNAG-0005

vCenter Server configuration Advanced Settings. Take a look at what’s highlighted: VMotion encryption. Those worried about vampire taps on their VMotion network can sleep better at night:

SNAG-0003

My favorite and most used – the Home button, which brings you back to the “root” of all configurable items in vCenter Server. This feature alone will reduce VI Administrator mousing carpel tunnel by 20%:

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vCenter Service Status. Keeping vCenter Server healthy is becoming increasingly important in vSphere. This tool helps us keep tabs on it:

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VMware HA configuration. Note the new Admission Control Policies:

SNAG-0006

Back on the Cluster view, VMware HA offers Advanced Runtime Info, while DRS offers some standard deviation numbers:

SNAG-0007

…along with fancy new bar charts for resource distribution:

SNAG-0008

4,088 ports supported on vSwitches… 3,000 more than VI3 supported:

SNAG-0009

Resource Allocation at the VM level. The bar graphs look similar to the old ESX or GSX MUI, I forget which:

4-21-2009 1-15-21 AM

That’s all for now. I wanted to get into vNDS (vNetwork Distributed Switch) but that in and of itself is about 35 screenshots. Good material for later. vSphere looks and feels very promising. I like most of the changes but there are still some lingering enhancements that I will continue to pester VMware about.

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22 comments

  1. I’ve read online that it will be available to purchase until May 21, 2009? When the downloads gonna be available haven’t seen it online yet and any admin guides .pdf anywhere couldn’t see it.

    any updates news on this jason?

  2. jason says:

    @Stefan I’m guessing we’ll find out in the 4/21 launch event. Stay tuned.

  3. Alan Renouf says:

    Great post Jason, thanks very much, a nice graphical overview of what to expect.

  4. Vladan says:

    Looks great. I’m getting inpatient on getting my hand on a copy to play with… -:). Great post Jason.

  5. Nice review, Jason. For those interested, per our company policy, we won’t be disclosing a specific date for GA release. Let the rumors fly – speculation fuels publicity.

  6. Okay, I take back what I said about not disclosing the GA date for vSphere 4. In this special case, we are telling the world that the product will GA on May 21, 2009. Thanks to my colleague, Chris Grossmeier, for pointing this out:
    http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/overview.html?ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4ADBR_enUS230US231&q=Vsphere%20may%2021

    I should read the pages I link to from VMware Communities more often.

    – Badsah

  7. Awesome post Jason. Loving the preview pics 🙂

  8. I reverse my position one more time; I was right the first time. It turns out that the May 21 date is actually the day we will begin taking orders for vSphere 4, not necessarily the GA release date. VMware is not committed to delivering the product by that date, as usual. With this clarification from management, I don’t feel so stupid anymore!

  9. Christopher says:

    Badsha, You are right, we will be taking orders, but I have not seen any public GA or ship dates posted publicly either.

    In either case, I need to upgrade a few servers before I can install anyways. That may be even longer. 🙁

  10. J says:

    Hi Jason, thanks for the info – great site!
    You mention ESX4 at the beginning of this… is vSphere the new version of ESX? or is there also going to be an ESX4 release later?
    Thanks
    J

  11. jason says:

    @J vSphere is the next geneation of VMware Virtual Infrastructure which includes ESX4, ESXi4, vCenter Server, etc.

  12. Nirav says:

    Since you liked the Home button so much, I thought I will let you know that each of those items on the home screen can also be reached by a keyboard shortcut – Ctrl + Shift + first alphabet for most of them.

  13. OLG 3 says:

    I just started using vSphere in our lab and am loving it so far. The only thing that I do not see is the VMotion encyption setting in the Advanced Options for vCenter. Did that feature not make the cut for the release?

  14. Hi Jason,

    About the new vSphere eye candy, I’ve dived into the VMotion Encryption and wrote a blog about it. Apparently the conclusion now is that this isn’t a feature in vSphere and that VMware forgot to take this option out of the GUI 😉

    See my post: http://kennethvanditmarsch.wordpress.com
    and the reply from Duncan Epping.

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