Category Archives: vSphere

vSphere 6.5 Enhancements and Why You Should Upgrade

VMware updated vSphere to version 6.5 a little more than a year ago—and since a lot of customers tend to take a wait-and-see approach on software updates and new releases to ensure they really live up to the hype, it’s safe to say that vSphere 6.5 is stable, dependable, and built on infrastructure to keep up with new IT demands. If you haven’t upgraded yet, here are some reasons why you should consider making the move to vSphere 6.5.

While a changing IT landscape is exciting, it also comes with a new set of challenges such as combatting sophisticated cybersecurity threats. vSphere 6.5 offers comprehensive built-in security for protecting data, infrastructure, and network access more effectively. VM Encryption allows the encryption of a virtual machine, including disk and snapshots. Secure Boot for ESXi ensures that only digitally signed code runs on the hypervisor.

vSphere 6.5 also improved its ease of use. It now offers a more simplified experience for automation and management at scale and by having a universal app platform, the ability to run any app, anywhere has become that much better.

From an HA perspective, VMware’s vCenter High 6.5 has a new native high availability solution that is available exclusively for vCenter Server Appliance. This solution consists of active, passive, and witness nodes that are cloned from the existing vCenter Server instance. The VMware vCenter High Availability (vCenter HA) cluster can be enabled, disabled, or destroyed at any time. There is also a maintenance mode that prevents planned maintenance from causing an unwanted failover. This feature is a major improvement in HA configurations.

With ongoing new system requirements, it’s important to ask how up-to-date your environment is. VMware’s Wave Two technologies such as NSX, vSAN 6.5, VMware Cloud on AWS, or AppDefense, all require vSphere 6.5. If you’re considering any of those products, be sure to check all the system requirements. In addition, review the expanded hardware compatibility list as a hardware refresh may be required as well.

Last, vSphere (5.5.) is going end-of-support in September 2018 so if you’re on vSphere 5.5 and haven’t had a chance to upgrade, now’s a great time to do it. vSphere 6.5 was set as a major release so it has a five-year support cycle and will be supported until November 2021.

Upgrading your vSphere is not a simple process however; it’s not a point and click and call it a day procedure. It involves scoping out your environment, performing a health check, and applying the right set of rules to correctly and effectively ensure no loss of downtime while also maximizing the full potential of the software.

If you’re looking to perform an upgrade, GreenPages offers professional service engagements where we scope out your environment to ensure your upgrade is done correctly. You can certainly change the oil in your car, but why waste a good Saturday or worry if you’ve done it right when you can bring it to a mechanic who does hundreds of oil changes a day. Same with your VMware upgrade. Trust that your advisor will complete the upgrade correctly giving you peace of mind that your systems will see positive results.

For more information on how GreenPages can assist with your vSphere upgrade, please contact your Account Executive or

By Rob O’Shaughnessy, Director of Software Sales and Renewals

Emerging Security Trends with Tom Corn, SVP, VMware + VMworld Tease!


I recently sat down with Tom Corn, Senior VP of Security Products at VMware, after his keynote presentation at GreenPages’ Cloudscape Summit 2017. While most of his keynote announcements are under wraps until VMworld kicks off next week, he was able to discuss what security trends are emerging in the security industry as well as VMware’s role, including the importance of micro segmentation and how that technology is poised to continue to grow. Check out the video, including a little tease about the upcoming exciting news that will be unveiled at VMworld!

GreenPages’ Enterprise Consultant, Chris Williams, will be presenting at VMworld this year! His session will focus on how an architect designs for availability and recoverability in the cloud. It is on Tuesday, August 29th from 3:00pm t0 3:15pm at VMworld. Click here for more info.

By Jake Cryan, Digital Marketing Specialist

vSphere ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 End-of-Support is August 24th!

VMware’s vSphere ESXi 5.0 and 5.1, which is the hypervisor included in vSphere 5.0 and 5.1, is going to end of support (EOS) this summer. Effective August 24, 2016, VMware will no longer offer General Support for these editions. Basically, this means no phone or email support regardless if you are current on your Subscription and Support (SnS) or not.

Now is the perfect time to upgrade. If you are current on our SnS you can upgrade to vSphere 6.0 for free.

vSphere 6.0 has many new changes that include increased stability, network I/O control and vMotion enhancements that are ideal for any cloud environment and make it an attractive upgrade.

Here are some of those new features:

From a compute standpoint, vSphere 6 increases configuration maximus. VMs now support up to 128 vCPUs and 4TB vRAM. Hosts will support up to 480 CPU and 12TB of RAM, 1028 VM per host and 64 nodes per cluster. vSphere 6 can close and deploy VMs 10x faster and the new NVIDIA vGPU offers accelerated graphics to virtualized solutions.

For networking, vSphere 6 offers support for per-VM Distributed vSwitch bandwidth reservations. This allows for the enforcement of bandwidth. With a dedicated network stack, vSphere 6 simplifies IP address management with a default gateway for vMotion traffic.

vSphere 6 has many vMotion enhancements that make it ideal for customers to upgrade.  vMotion can  now perform more increased long distance, non-disruptive live migration of workloads across virtual switches and vCenter Servers over distances of up to 100ms RTT.  That allows datacenters in Boston and Dublin to migrate workloads between one another because the increase is 10 times faster.  I know Aer Lingus is fast, but this offers a whole other level of “legging Shenanagans” (translates: fast things going on). With Replication-Assisted vMotion, it allows for active-active replication between two sites performing a more efficient vMotion, resulting in an expanded time and resource savings (which can be up to 95 percent more efficient).

vSphere also has other notable enhancements such as:

  • Support for latest Windows operating systems (Windows 10)
  • Support for instant clones in Horizon/VIEW 7 environments
  • Better multi-site/multi-vCenter support via Platform Services Controller (PSC) and shared vCenter services
  • Support for latest server hardware and Intel processors
  • Optimized Single Sign-On via PSC
  • Web based management interface

Assistance in Upgrading:

With all these enhancements comes significant architectural changes which may involve updating existing designs, specifically around vCenter. There are net new components and capabilities within vSphere 6 which have major architectural considerations.

If you’re not familiar with these changes, mistakes can inadvertently be made in design or deployment which could back you into a corner making it difficult to get out of. The upgrade is not a few clicks. It’s not a simple download the code and run-setup scenario. GreenPages has already mapped out the mine field to be able to help customers with a successful upgrade to a supported version, as well as potentially greatly enhancing the current infrastructure capabilities. If you have already made the upgrade on your own, we can also run a health check to validate your environment. Don’t hesitate to reach out!


By Rob O’Shaughnessy,  Director of Software Sales & Renewals


VMware Licensing and Product Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

VMware dropped some news this week regarding their product and licensing lineup. VMware announced the End-of-Life (EOL) of some familiar friends, slight additions to other products, and increasing and decreasing pricing.  There are a lot of moving parts so sit tight and let me walk you through what’s going on.

First some VMware licensing goodbyes

Like rolling your pants and B.U.M. Equipment t-shirts, some things just go out of style, and the same holds true for vSphere Enterprise, vSphere Standard with Operations (vSOM) and vSphere Enterprise with Operations (vSOM.)  VMware will no longer offer these three products starting June 30, 2016.  So what are your options?

  1. Continue to purchase vSphere Enterprise, vSphere Standard with Operations (vSOM) and vSphere Enterprise with Operations (vSOM until June 30th. You can continue to renew your subscription and support until March 2020.
  2. Buy vSphere Enterprise Plus and vSOM Enterprise Plus instead. For existing vSphere Enterprise and vSOM Enterprise licenses, VMware is offering a 50% off upgrade promotion until June 25, 2016
  3. If you are standardized of vSOM Standard, you will now just purchase vSphere Standard and vRealize Operations Standard 25-Instance Pack

Cue the memorandum music.  It was nice knowing you.

Price Increase to note: vSphere Enterprise Plus with Operations increasing by $150 per CPU

Well hello.

vRealize Suite is introducing a new flavor; vRealize Suite Standard Edition. Like vRealize Suite Advanced and Enterprise, vRealize Standard edition will include Operations Advanced, Log Insight Analyst, and vRealize Business for Cloud. vRealize Advanced adds Automation Advanced and vRealize Enterprise adds Automation Enterprise and Apps Monitoring.

vRealize is moving from a 25-Instance model to a per CPU license and will include a Portable License Unit (PLU.)  PLU includes 15 OSI’s (Operating System Instances) to be used in the cloud (i.e vCloud Air, Amazon etc. allowing you to switch from on-prem hosts and public and non-public clouds).

vCloud Suite is releasing version 7 and the new suite will simply be two products.  The new vCloud Suite 7 will include vSphere Enterprise Plus (like it always has) and one of the corresponding vRealize Suites:

  • vCloud Suite Standard:  vSphere Enterprise Plus & vRealize Suite Standard
  • vCloud Suite Advanced:  vSphere Enterprise Plus & vRealize Suite Advanced
  • vCloud Suite Enterprise:  vSphere Enterprise Plus & vRealize Suite Enterprise

vCloud will continue to be licensed by the CPU and it will also come with 15 PLU instances.

vCloud Enterprise will no longer include Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Enterprise, as this can be purchased a la carte via a 25-VM pack.


vCenter Standard Server and Log Insight are teaming up to form one product. Moving forward, vCenter Standard Server will include 25 instances of Log Insight for vCenter Server. There are no changes to vCenter Foundation Server, however, there will be a price increase of $1K for vCenter Standard.  The new MSRP for vCenter Standard w/ Log Insight will be $5,995.  Log Insight retailed for $5K, so the addition of it is actually a cost savings. Like Cognac, Cointreau and a touch of lemon, I hope the new vCenter Server leaves a good taste in your month.

Run Down on Price Changes

All price changes effective March 1st.

  • vCenter Standard will be $5,995 up $1000 (however it includes Log Insight which was a $5K value)
  • vSOM Enterprise Plus increasing +$150
  • vRealize Advanced down -$500
  • vRealize Enterprise down -$2,200
  • vCloud Suite STD increasing +$500
  • vCloud Suite ADV increasing +$500
  • vCloud Suite ENT down -$2,000


Try a free vSphere Optimization Assessment 

If you have any questions or are looking for more details, please reach out.


By Rob O’Shaughnessy, Director of Software Sales and Renewals


Photo Credit:

CenturyLink open sources more cloud tech

CenturyLink has open sourced a batch of cloud tools

CenturyLink has open sourced a batch of cloud tools

CenturyLink has open sourced a number of tools aimed at improving provisioning for Chef on VMware infrastructure as well as Docker deployment, orchestration and monitoring.

Among the projects open sourced by the company include a Chef provisioning driver for vSphere, – a tool for creating, composing and validating Docker images, and – a tool that helps improve Docker image visualisation in order to help give developers more visibility into their workloads.

“The embrace of open-source technologies within the enterprise continues to rise, and we are proud to be huge open-source advocates and contributors at CenturyLink,” said Jared Wray, senior vice president of platforms at CenturyLink.

“We believe it’s critical to be active in the open-source community, building flexible and feature-rich tools that enable new possibilities for developers.”

While CenturyLink’s cloud platform is proprietary and developed in house Wray has repeatedly said open source technologies form an essential part of the cloud ecosystem – Wray himself was a big contributor to Cloud Foundry, the open source PaaS tool, when developing Iron Foundry.

The company has also previously open sourced other tools, too. Last summer it punted a Docker management platform it calls Panamax into the open source world, a platform is designed to ease the development and deployment of any application sitting within a Docker environment. It has also open sourced a number of tools designed to help developers assess the total cost of ownership of multiple cloud platforms.

Important! VMware’s Kickoff News and Promotions

By Rob O’Shaughnessy

Opening week for the NFL, apple cider donuts and VMware product announcements are all signs that autumn is finally here. I’m not sure what I’m more excited about, no more vRAM entitlement conversations or the Patriots new look offense. Being a big sports nut and self-titled President all things Boston Sports in greater Los Angeles I should say the Patriots, but not having to explain vRAM and this many gigabytes is what you get with that edition and 12-month average and high water marks, etc. etc. etc. is going to be nice.

VMware announced version 5.0 on August 22nd last year so I spent a whole year’s worth of breaths talking about vRAM. I want those breaths back VMware!!! I could have used that time to eat apple cider donuts. I digress. So some of you may have heard the announcements, or got a sprinkling of the announcements, or may not even know what I’m talking about, but that’s okay, because what I’ve put together is a little short list of important stuff to know in the world of VMware.

First and foremost vSphere 5.1 was released and this update will just be licensed by the socket. VMware is no longer requiring vRAM entitlement, so the days of thinking about the numbers 32, 64 and 96 are now gone. In addition, the other good news is that vSphere 5.1’s pricing did not change. There is also a new edition to the vSphere family. VMware has added vSphere Standard with Operations Management, so now there are four editions of vSphere to choose from:

vSphere Standard
-vSphere Standard with Operations Management
-vSphere Enterprise
-vSphere Enterprise Plus

It addition to adding vSphere Standard with Operations Management to the product line-up, VMware has also included it into their Acceleration Kit portfolio, so along with the Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus Acceleration Kits, there will also be a vSphere Standard with Operations Management Acceleration Kit. These four kit options will include 6 processor licenses of the vSphere edition of your choice and vCenter Standard Server. One change to note is that the vSphere Standard Acceleration Kit used to include 8 processors, but it now just includes six. Last, all the Accelerations Kits and the Essentials Plus kit will now include the vSphere Storage Appliance at no additional charge. Sweet!

Desktop Products:
Desktop Products such as View, Workstation and Fusion have had a price increase of 10%. Also announced is VMware View’s new management product vCenter Operations Manager for View. This product is available as an add-on component for VMware View Enterprise and Premier. Using the same concurrent user license model as VMware View, packages are available in increments of 10 and 100 concurrent users.

vCloud Suites:
VMware also made the announcement of their new vCloud Suites, which combine VMware’s top products into one bundle. VMware is offering 3 editions:
vCloud Suite Standard – $4,999: vSphere Enterprise Plus, vCloud Director & vCloud Connector, vCloud Networking and Security Standard
vCloud Suite Advanced – $7,495: vSphere Enterprise Plus, vCloud Director & vCloud Connector, vCloud Networking and Security Advanced, vCOps Advanced
vCloud Suite Enterprise – $11,495: vSphere Enterprise Plus, vCloud Director & vCloud Connector, vCloud Networking and Security Advanced, vCOps Enterprise, vCenter Chargeback Manager, Configuration Manager, Infrastructure Navigation, vFabric Application Director and SRM

So an interesting thing to point out: Looking at the Standard Edition of vCloud Suite you’ll see that it retails for $4,999 and includes a bunch of stuff like: vSphere Enterprise Plus, VMware vCloud Director, VMware vCloud Connector, VMware vCloud Networking and Security Standard. On the other hand vSphere Enterprise Plus alone retails for $3,495 so for another $1,504 the vCloud Suite Standard Ed will get you vSphere Enterprise Plus and all that other stuff. It’s sort of VMware’s version of Super-Size Me.

VMware is offering some nice promotions to this as well and here are a couple of popular ones to note. For a full list of all VMware’s promotions there is a nifty app you can download on your phone:

vCloud Promo:
Upgrade from vSphere Enterprise Plus to vCloud Suite Standard for free!
Or, Upgrade from vSphere Enterprise or Enterprise Plus to vCloud Suite Advanced or Enterprise for around 35% (it’s 32-38% depending on the edition you currently own).
Available until December 15, 2012.

**Customers can qualify for this promotion in one of two ways. Customers must:
1. Have an active Support and Subscription (SnS) agreement to vSphere Enterprise or vSphere Enterprise Plus made prior to August 27, 2012 and at time of upgrade, and must complete their upgrade transaction with VMware before the expiration of the promotion.
2. Or, reinstate SnS to vSphere Enterprise or vSphere Enterprise Plus before December 10, 2012, have active SnS at time of upgrade, and complete their upgrade transaction with VMware by December 15, 2012
**New purchases of vSphere Enterprise or vSphere Enterprise Plus made on or after August 27, 2012 are not eligible for this promotion.

vSphere Std w/ Ops Promo:
Upgrade to VMware vSphere Standard with Operations Management and save 30%
Available until December 15, 2012

View 5 Premier Bundle Promo:
Get 25% off View 500 pack or 18% off View 250 pack
Available until December 15, 2012

VC Ops for View Promo:
25% discount on vCenter Operations Manager for View 10 and 100 packs
Available until December 15, 2012

Horizon App Manager Bundle Promo:
50% off Horizon Application Manager with purchase of View Premier
Available until December 15, 2012
Purchase a minimum of 100 pack of View Premier and get 50% off the license list price for Horizon Application Manager.

Cloud Resource Meter for VMware vSphere available for download From 6fusion.

Cloud Resource Meter for VMware vSphere allows users to meter resource consumption in any VMware vSphere 4.1 or 5.0 environment providing  insight into resource consumption – for free right from the VMware console. In addition, new functionality was added to the latest version of Cloud Resource Meter for VMware vSphere based on feedback from beta customers, including:

  • Enhanced reporting capabilities such as viewing individual and summary
    VM profile reports
  • Usability and navigation enhancements such as sorting and managing
    profiles by Name, Free and Pro
  • The ability to upgrade from the Free to the Pro version of Cloud
    Resource Meter directly within the tool

Cloud Resource Meter for VMware vSphere joins the existing family of 6fusion Cloud Resource Meter products, including Cloud Resource Meter for Linux and Cloud Resource Meter for Windows. You can see a demo of Cloud Resource Meter for VMware vSphere at 1PM ET on Wednesday, August 1st – register here.

“Cloud Resource Meter provides us a powerful and simple way to centralize and aggregate our customers usage information for billing and reporting of our Cloud Continuity services,” said Omar Torres, Director of Virtualization & Cloud Solutions at Veristor. “Through the secure, web-based console we are able to accurately track our customers usage without having to invest in and run our own metering infrastructure. This brings us a number of valuable efficiencies to how we operate and service our cloud customers.”

“6fusion believes metering IT consumption across heterogeneous environments is fundamental to optimizing any IT infrastructure,” said John Cowan, Co-Founder and CEO of 6fusion. “Cloud Resource Meter for VMware vSphere gives organizations unprecedented insights into how their IT resources are actually being used, who is using those resources, and they can improve the business value they are delivering.”

Cloud Resource Meter is available in two models – Free and Pro. Cloud Resource Meter Free provides the ability to meter and view the last 28 days of data directly in the vSphere interface or in the 6fusion UC6 Console. The Pro version provides the full capabilities of the tool, including unlimited metering, expanded reporting capabilities, technical support as well as the ability to access 6fusion’s enhanced analytics tools.