UPDATE: VMware announced the public beta for their new vSphere version!! Sign-up here: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta
With the release of the latest vSphere 5.5 version (update 1) in March 2014, VMware once again took a major step in the development of it’s hypervisor and the supplementary software and tools. Finally the vCenter appliance took over from the Windows installed version as the primary choice for vCenter deployment. The Windows installed version now officially supports Windows Server 2012 R2.
In the first 5.5 release various improvements were made; SSO is enhanced, support for 62TB VMDK, 16Gb FC support to name a few. And of course VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is now included in the update 1 version!!
There are some features however still missing. I, for one, would very much like to see these missing features in the next major release of vSphere. Having said that, I don’t expect VMware to announce the release of vSphere 6 this year. I think the coming period will be used by VMware to further engage customers to adopt VSAN and NSX. It will be very interesting to see on what scale these technologies will thrive! !
When thinking of what I would like to see in the vSphere 6 line-up, I came up with the stuff listed below:
- Multi vCPU FT
- VUM appliance
- vSwitch LACP support
- vCenter built-in autodeploy GUI (like the Fling thing)
- Linked mode vCSA
- MSSQL support for external database use with vCSA
Let’s walk through my wish list…
Multi vCPU FT (Fault Tolerance)
This is likely the most wanted feature within the VMware community. It would certainly be my favorite new feature!
Business critical application virtual machines would greatly take advantage of this feature. It is whispered that VMware already has the multi vCPU lockstep mappings working in FT, but it has yet to be released. The number of vCPU’s which can be used on a FT VM is expected to be at least 8, but maybe up to 16!! Many expected this feature in version 5, and later on in version 5.5. It looks like VMware will deliver in vSphere 6.
Probably a good number two. With more and more vendors updating their vCenter plugins to work with the enhanced vSphere Web Client, VMware itself lacks to deliver a VMware Update Manager (VUM) appliance. As of this moment it is the probably the main reason for administrators to still use the ‘thick’ client in stead of the Web Client.
Whether VMware decides to go for a separate appliance or integrate it in the vCSA remains to be seen. But when seeing the serious resources needed to run the current vCSA, a separate appliance seems to be the logical option.
vSwitch LACP support
LACP or Link Aggregation Control Protocol is supported since vSphere 5.1, it is however only supported when using vSphere Distributed Switches (vDS) or Cisco’s Nexus 1000v. Wouldn’t it be nice to take advantage of LACP in a vSwitch? I don’t see why this shouldn’t be possible. Is there a reason why VMware doesn’t see the standard vSwitch capable of doing LACP?
vCenter Autodeploy GUI
Although Massimiliano Daneri created a very nice Fling (https://labs.vmware.com/flings/autodeploygui) to compliment Autodeploy, one should expect VMware to have it’s one integrated GUI support. It is odd this is not in place since the beginning of Autodeploy, a feature increasingly used!
Linked mode vCSA
It is not possible to use Linked mode when using the vCSA. To support the case of “replace everything with an appliance” this should be possible in the next vSphere release. Just at the end of last year I worked on an implementation where I had to work with the Windows installed vCenter because of this. My client demanding the possibility to use Linked mode for there vCenter instances in their production and OTA environments.
MSSQL support for external database use with vCSA
Using the current vCSA version, an embedded Postgress database or an external Oracle database are the supported database back-ends. The embedded Postgress database engine does a solid job, but it can be a bottleneck when used in medium/large environments. I hope VMware adds support for Microsoft’s SQL database engine within the vCSA. The use of a MSSQL Always-On cluster being the favorite of many when creating an external database platform.
Let’s wait and see what VMware has in store for us. Bring on VMworld 2014!!