High availability and enhanced performance: an overview of the improvements made to the vSphere 6.5

January 30, 2017, by Elsa Hervio

Texte original en français -

VMware announced the launch of the 6.5 versions of vSphere, vCenter and VSAN during the last VMWorld in Barcelona in October 2016. This update made some interesting new elements available to users, discover them now.

In an increasingly competitive environment, service interruptions are particularly costly for a company. In this update, VMware paid close attention to high availability, starting with optimizing resource management. Major improvements were also made to user experience and data security.

The most important features provided in this new version are listed below.

Virtual machine chain dependencies and automatic services

The latest version of vSphere High Availability (HA) provides protection for your virtual machines by restarting them consecutively in case of a failure. Dependency rules are especially useful for multi-tiered applications which do not recover properly, unless they are restarted in a particular order. Common examples include a database, an application or a web server.

Proactive High Availability

A quarantine mode is now available to isolate the damaged hosts. In this mode, the DRS will not use the host in the scheduling of virtual machine deployment, except if the required performance has not been reached.

vSphere access control

One of the main simplifications made to the access control is that the administrator now need only define the number of failures to tolerate (FTT). Once the number of hosts has been configured, vSphere HA automatically calculates a percentage of resources to be put aside by following the access control policy. When hosts are added or deleted, the percentage is automatically recalculated.

Fault Tolerance (FT)

Much has been done to reduce latencies by establishing a host classification depending on the available network bandwidth. The FT networks can now be configured to use several network interface cards (NIC) in order to open up additional communication channels for environments which require more traffic than one NIC can offer.

Changes to the DRS function (Distributed Resource Scheduler)

In the 6.5 version, the algorithm takes into account the network resources in addition to the 25 metrics already used during the migration proposals. This additional verification in the assignment of resources provides the ability to determine whether the selected host is suitable for the virtual machine, resulting in a better VM performance.

An improved user experience

Emphasis was also placed on improving the customer experience through the use of a fully supported HTML5 client. This results in a better graphic interface and a more fluid user experience.

Virtual volumes

vSphere 6.5 provides an upgrade to the virtual volumes (VVOLs) technology which can be integrated into the disk array replication protocols.

Enhanced security

With ESXI directly encoding data, you can now encrypt VM disk files, VM files, as well as the vMotion traffic where all the vMotion data is encrypted before transmitting between hosts.

AFI Expertise VMWare training

AFI Expertise now offers the most popular beta version vSphere 6.5 training courses:

  • VMware vSphere: What’s New V5.5 to V6.5: this general training covers the innovations and new functions added to the 6.5 version of vSphere. The class also covers the migration from vCenter Server Windows to the new vCenter Appliance.

  • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage v6.5: this practical training course focuses on the installation, configuration and management of VMware vSphere 6.5 and the ESXI and vCenter Server components.

  • VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale v6.5: this training course caters to the needs of experienced professionals who would like to acquire the necessary skills to configure and troubleshoot a scalable infrastructure and improve high availability.

These new training courses are intended for people who have already updated to version 6.5 or those who plan to. It should be noted that the training and exams for version 6 are still available. No withdrawal date has been set.

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