Some weeks ago Google released the newest version of their Chrome browser, version 69. I thought yeah, get it and update it. I really like Google Chrome because it supports all the websites I’m visiting often (or at least did, but more on that later) and it’s fast. You can also customize it with plugins like mouse gestures or so to customize it for your needs. What I didn’t know is that Google switched off the support for Flash Player as far as I knew it from the older versions. You aren’t able anymore to add websites to the allow or deny list in the Flash settings within the browser. Or at least you can’t add the websites directly on that list in the settings. There are some more clicks to do. Officially announced was the end of Flash Player by Adobe. By the year 2020, Flash Player won’t exist anymore, won’t be supported by Adobe nor by the most used browser software. But there’s a “but”. You can manually add specific websites to the allow or block list of Google Chrome, but not in the way you might know. But why the heck should I use Flash anyway? All my favorite websites are already HTML5 compatible and all stuff works without that crappy Flash plugin! But wait! Do you use the VMware vCenter browser client? Probably the Flex Client because you still have the need for it, like vSAN, Update Manager, or 3rd party plugins of different software and hardware vendors within vCenter? Then you’ll have the same issues as I had. The vCenter Flex Client (aka Flash client) obviously won’t work anymore without Flash. Yes, I know, you don’t need to use the Flex Client for vSAN or the Update Manager because in vCenter 6.7 it is finally available. But what about the 3rd party plugins? There is a lot of stuff out there you probably need, I don’t know your infrastructure. I can only compare with mine. But I can tell you, enabling Flash Player in Google Chrome, even in the most recenter version 69 is easier than you think. It’s just some steps and clicks, no rocket science!
Oh boy, what a week! Some say that winter is now finally gone, nice and warm weather, not wearing winter jackets anymore. But hey, i’m not a weatherman. When you’re sitting in the office i think it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing outside. Just kidding… Let’s get back to business.
There was some rumor about the next upcoming version. Will it be version 7? Or something just above 6.5? VMware did release several new products versions! And it’s all with version number 6.7. What a list! It’s one of those email notifications that I usually like to scroll down, a little more, and more and more, to get all the news soaked up like a sponge. I’d like to dive in right now and provide you a recap of this weeks VMware releases. And as i said, it’s quite a list. I’ll pick out just some new key features. You can find the full release news on the VMware Blogs (links provided here).
New product versions
- several new APIs that improve the efficiency and experience to deploy vCenter, to deploy multiple vCenters based on a template, to make management of vCenter Server Appliance significantly easier, as well as for backup and restore
- significantly simplifies the vCenter Server topology through vCenter with embedded platform services controller in enhanced linked mode
- 2X faster performance in vCenter operations per second
- 3X reduction in memory usage
- 3X faster DRS-related operations (e.g. power-on virtual machine)
- vSphere 6.7 improves efficiency when updating ESXi hosts, significantly reducing maintenance time by eliminating one of two reboots normally required for major version upgrades (Single Reboot). In addition to that, vSphere Quick Boot is a new innovation that restarts the ESXi hypervisor without rebooting the physical host, skipping time-consuming hardware initialization
- The HTML5-based vSphere Client provides a modern user interface experience that is both responsive and easy to use, and it’s now including other key functionality like managing NSX, vSAN, VUM as well as third-party components.
- enabling encrypted vMotion across different vCenter instances
- enhancements to Nvidia GRID vGPU
- vSphere 6.7 introduces vCenter Server Hybrid Linked Mode, which makes it easy and simple for customers to have unified visibility and manageability across an on-premises vSphere environment running on one version and a vSphere-based public cloud environment, such as VMware Cloud on AWS, running on a different version of vSphere.
- vSphere 6.7 also introduces Cross-Cloud Cold and Hot Migration
- Delivers a new capability that is key for the hybrid cloud, called Per-VM EVC
More information here: Introducing VMware vSphere 6.7 / VMware Blogs
- vSAN 6.7 provides intuitive operations that align with other VMware products from a UI and workflow perspective to provide a “one team, one tool” experience
- Iintroduces a new HTML5 UI based on the “Clarity” framework as seen in other VMware products (All products in the VMware portfolio are moving toward this UI framework)
- A new feature known as “vRealize Operations within vCenter” provides an easy way for customers to see vRealize intelligence directly in the vSphere Client
- vSAN 6.7 now expands the flexibility of the vSAN iSCSI service to support Windows Server Failover Clusters (WSFC)
- vSAN 6.7 introduces an all-new Adaptive Resync feature to ensure a fair-share of resources are available for VM I/Os and Resync I/Os during dynamic changes in load on the system
- Optimizes the de-staging mechanism, resulting in data that “drains” more quickly from the write buffer to the capacity tier. The ability to de-stage this data quickly allows the cache tier to accept new I/O, which reduces or eliminates periods of congestion
- New health checks include:
- Maintenance mode verification ensures proper decommission state
- Consistent configuration verification for advanced settings
- vSAN and vMotion network connectivity checks improved
- Improved vSAN Health service installation check
- Improved physical disk health check combines multiple checks (software, physical, metadata) into a single notification
- Firmware check is independent from driver check
vCenter Server 6.7
- The vSphere Client (HTML5) is full of new workflows and closer to feature parity
- built-in file-based vCenter Server backup now includes a scheduler
- No load balancer required for high availability and fully supports native vCenter Server High Availability.
- SSO Site boundary removal provides flexibility of placement.
- Supports vSphere scale maximums.
- Allows for 15 deployments in a vSphere Single Sign-On Domain.
- Reduces the number of nodes to manage and maintain.
- vSphere 6.7 is also the last release to include vCenter Server for Windows, which has been deprecated.
- migrate to the vCenter Server Appliance with the built-in Migration Tool
- Deploy & import all data
- Deploy & import data in the background
- Customers will also get an estimated time of how long each option will take when migrating
- vSphere 6.7. will support upgrades and migrations only from vSphere 6.0 or 6.5
- vSphere 5.5 does not have a direct upgrade path to vSphere 6.7
- Upgrade path: vSphere 5.5 to vSphere 6.0 or 6.5, and then to vSphere 6.7
- vCenter Server 6.0 or 6.5 managing ESXi 5.5 hosts cannot be upgraded or migrated until the hosts have been upgraded to at least ESXi 6.0
- Reminder: end of general support for vSphere 5.5 is September 19, 2018.
Monitoring and Management
- vSphere Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) on port 5480 has received an update to the Clarity UI
- There is now a tab dedicated to monitoring. Here you can see CPU, memory, network, database and disk utilization.
- Another new tab called Services is also within the VAMI, giving the option to start, stop, and restart vCenter Server services if needed
- vSphere 6.7 also marks the final release of the vSphere Web Client (Flash). Some of the newer workflows in the updated vSphere HTML5 Client release include:
- vSphere Update Manager
- Content Library
- Storage Policies
- Host Profiles
- vDS Topology Diagram
More information here: Introducing vCenter Server 6.7 / VMware Blogs
vSphere with Operations Management 6.7
- new plugin for the vSphere Client. This plugin is available out-of-the-box and provides some great new functionality
- When interacting with this plugin, you will be greeted with 6 vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) dashboards directly in the vSphere client
- overview, cluster view, and alerts for both vCenter and vSAN views
- The new Quick Start page is making it easier to get directly to the data you need to
- four use cases: Optimize Performance, Optimize Capacity, Troubleshoot, and Manage Configuration
- The Workload Optimization dashboard was updated. Workload Optimization takes predictive analytics and uses them in conjunction with vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) to move workloads between clusters. New with vROps 6.7, you can now fine tune the configuration for workload optimization
- vROps 6.7 introduced a completely new capacity engine that is smarter and much faster
More information here: vSphere with Operations Management 6.7 / VMware Blogs
vSphere 6.7 Security
- TPM 2.0 support for ESXi
- Virtual TPM 2.0 for VMs
- Support for Microsoft Virtualization Based Security
- UI updates (combined all encryption functions (VM Encryption, vMotion Encryption) into one panel in VM Options)
- Multiple SYSLOG targets
- FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic modules – by default!
More information here: vSphere 6.7 Security / VMware Blogs
Developer and Automation Interfaces for vSphere 6.7
- Added functionality to existing APIs in vSphere 6.7
- Coverage of new areas
- Appliance API updates: from prechecks to staging to installation and validation, it’s all available by API now
- vCenter API updates: new APIs have been added to interact with the VM’s guest operating system (OS), viewing Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) policies, and managing vCenter server services
- also a handful of new APIs to handle the deployment and lifecycle of the vCenter server
- a handful of updates to the vSphere Web Services (SOAP) APIs as well
More information here: Developer and Automation Interfaces for vSphere 6.7 / VMware Blogs
Faster Lifecycle Management Operations in VMware vSphere 6.7
- brand-new Update Manager interface which is now part of the HTML5 Client
- Update Manager in vSphere 6.7 keeps VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.7 hosts reliable and secure
- the new UI provides a much more streamlined remediation process, requiring just a few clicks to begin the procedure. It’s not just a port from the old Flash client
- Hosts that are currently on ESXi 6.5 will be upgraded to 6.7 significantly faster than ever before
- Several optimizations have been made for that upgrade path, including eliminating one of two reboots traditionally required for a host upgrade
- Quick Boot eliminates the time-consuming hardware initialization phase by shutting down ESXi in an orderly manner and then immediately re-starting it
More information here: Faster Lifecycle Management Operations in VMware vSphere 6.7 / VMware Blogs
vSphere 6.7 for Enterprise Applications
- include support for Persistent Memory (PMEM) and enhanced support for Remote Directory Memory Access (RDMA)
- PMEM is a new layer called Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) and sits between NAND flash and DRAM, providing faster performance relative to NAND flash but also providing the non-volatility not typically found in traditional memory offerings
- new protocol support for Remote Direct memory Access (RDMA) over Converged Ethernet, or RoCE (pronounced “rocky”) v2, a new software Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) adapter, and iSCSI Extension for RDMA (iSER)
More information here: vSphere 6.7 for Enterprise Applications / VMware Blogs
Yesterday VMware announced the general availability of the brand new vSphere 6.5. They announced the new version at this years VMworld in Barcelona. But now you can download and install the bits. But there is a catch. Please make sure you read and understand all the important information before upgrading to vSphere 6.5 because there might be some limitation at the moment. Let me bring some light into the darkness.
You should not upgrade to vSphere 6.5 if you are running one (or some / all) of these software components in your environment:
- VMware NSX
- VMware Integrated OpenStack
- vCloud Director for Service Providers
- vRealize Infrastructure Navigator
- App Volumes
- Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode
- Integrated OpenStack
- vCloud Networking and Security
- vRealize Business for Cloud
- vRealize Configuration Manager
- vRealize Hyperic
- vRealize Networking Insight
These components are not yet compatible with vSphere 6.5. But as we know VMware, they are already working for updates. Please check the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix for further information about updates to the products above.
- If you have to revert a migration, please check VMware KB2146453 for reverting a vCenter Server to Appliance migration.
- To roll back a vCenter Server Instance on Windows, please check the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
Before upgrading your environment, review these critical KB articles to make sure the upgrade will be successful.
- Supported and deprecated topologies for VMware vSphere 6.5 (2147672)
- Paid product upgrade paths for VMware products (2060657)
- Devices deprecated and unsupported in ESXi 6.5 (2145810)
- Upgrading to vCenter Server 6.5 Best Practices (2147686)
- Update sequence for vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products (2147289)
- How to repoint vCenter Server 6.x between External PSC within a site (2113917)
- Attempt to Install a Platform Services Controller After a Prior Installation Failure
vCenter Server to vCenter Server Appliance
- Migrating Windows installed vCenter Servers and Platform Services Controllers to Appliances, see the “Preparing for Migration” section of the vSphere Upgrade Guide.
- After Windows installed vCenter Server(s) and Platform Services Controller(s) are upgraded to vSphere 6.5 they cannot be migrated to the Appliance.
- Migration of Update Manager from Windows to a vCenter Server Appliance 6.5
PSC High Availability
- If you’re using PSC high availability, see the BETA link “Configuring PSC HA in vSphere 6.5“
- Understanding Feature Accommodation between VMware vSphere 6.0 and 6.5 and vRealize Operations 5.8.x and 6.0.1 (2108695)
vSphere Web Client
- In vSphere 6.5 there is the new HTML5 base web client. More information at “Introduction to the vSphere Client“.
vRealize Operations Manager
- vSphere tags missing in vRealize Operations Manager after migrating vSphere 6.0 Windows to 6.5 vCSA (2147494)
- Running a encrypted KMS virtual machine can cause a loss of data in the event of a host failure.
More details in the VMware Knowledgebase (KB2147548):
*** Update ***
There is one thing i missed to mention. If you are using Veeam Availability Suite v9.5 then you can’t do backups with vSphere 6.5 at the moment, because Veeam does not support this vSphere version yet. But also the guys at Veeam are working on an update, which will be (historically) release about two months after general availability of the new vSphere version.
So stay tuned!
Heute zeige ich euch in einem kurzen Abriss wie man die vCenter Server Appliance in der Version 6.0 auf Update 2 aktualisiert. Dieses Vorgehen unterscheidet sich ganz wesentlich vom Upgrade-Prozess von Version 5.5 auf Version 6.0. Es ist nämlich wesentlich kürzer und damit in wenigen Minuten erledigt.
Ihr ladet euch erst mal den notwendigen Patch herunter. Das macht ihr über diesen Link (VMware Login erforderlich). Und bevor ihr ein Update auf eure Appliance installiert, empfiehlt es sich zumindest einen Snapshot zu erstellen, bestenfalls ein vollständiges Backup durchzuführen (bspw. mit Veeam Backup & Replication).
- Nun bindet ihr das ISO-File via vSphere Client oder Webclient in eure laufende Appliance ein und stellt sicher das der Haken bei “Connected” gesetzt ist.
- Verbindet euch dann via SSH (bspw. mit PuTTY) mit euer vCenter Appliance.
- SSH muss allenfalls zuerst aktiviert werden.
- Öffnet dazu im vSphere- oder Webclient die Console der Appliance, drückt F2 => “Customize System” => “Troubleshooting Mode Options”.
- Im nächsten Schritt werden die Installations-Pakete von der DVD (ISO-Image) erst mal in der Appliance bereitgestellt (staging).
software-packages stage --iso
- Ihr könnt die bereitgestellten Pakete noch kontrollieren indem ihr die Liste anzeigen lässt.
software-packages list --staged
- Und mit dem nächsten Befehl wird die Installation gestartet.
software-packages install --staged
- Zum schluss wird die Appliance neugestartet.
shutdown reboot -r "patch reboot"
Natürlich geht das ganze auch direkt ohne staging im Voraus.
Wenn ihr ein ISO-Image eingebunden habt, geht das mit diesem Befehl:
software-packages install --iso
Anschliessend die vCenter Appliance neustarten mit dem Befehl:
shutdown reboot -r "patch reboot"
Das wars. Die vCenter Appliance läuft nun auf dem aktuellsten Stand. Prüft auf jeden Fall ob eure Einstellungen für Cluster, DRS, HA etc. weiterhin passen. Ändern sollte sich mit dem vCenter Update nichts diesbezüglich. Weitere Informationen, mehr im Detail, gibt es natürlich direkt bei VMware in der Knowledge Base oder im Dokumentationcenter.