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