VMworld 2018 US: vSphere Platinum and other vSphere Updates

VMworld is VMware’s main yearly event and the time when it brings out whatever is new with the products. Naturally, VMware has a few updates in store for this one too and we as bloggers were fortunate enough to get a glimpse of it before coming here.

The updates fall broadly into three categories:

  • Storage
  • Compute and Cloud, and
  • Cloud Management

In this post, I’ll update you on what is that VMware plans to release or announce in relation Compute and Cloud.

AppDefence

As it has so much importance for what follows this, I thought I’d remind you a little about AppDefence. AppDefence takes a unique approach to security by not trying to chase all the bad that is out there in the world and trying to keep up with it.

Instead, it looks at and analyses what’s good in the environment to create its definition of what’s normal. Once that’s done, it protects the system against what deviates from it and ensures that the good state remains.

Why is AppDefence important? Well because of vSphere Platinum.

Introducing vSphere Platinum

At this VMworld, VMware is introducing vSphere Platinum. VMware reckons it’s the world’s most secure computing platform for all workloads.

I guess, the following slide summarises it best:

vSphere Platinum

What’s important is that AppDefence is providing this enhanced security functionality and is securing applications running on top of the hypervisor; which has already been secured using technologies like TPM/vTPM, VM & vSAN Encryption and Encrypted vMotion etc.

That makes it a very secure platform to run applications on and the introduction of such a product does create a differentiator in this market.

What’s New in vSphere 6.7 Update 1

So, that was about vSphere Platform but what about vSphere itself. Well as you would expect, update 1 brings many updates to vSphere too.

One thing to know is that vSphere 6.7 Update 1 brings a supported upgrade path from vSphere 6.5 Update 2 to 6.7 Update 1. This was a much-awaited update as many people were caught out by this issue and there was understandably a lot of noise because of that.

In addition, there are other updates, which the slide below summarises nicely:

vSphere 6.7 Update 1

Project Clarity has done wonders for the vSphere experience and it’s getting better and better with time. The HTML5 client was great but was lacking some features. With this release, it’s no longer an issue and it’s now “Feature Complete”. Yay!

Also, you can now set firewall rules for the appliance management interface and appropriate actions if a rule is matched e.g. Accept, Ignore, Reject or Return. That’s an important feature in reducing the attack surface.

There’s also a “Converge Tool” that helps you convert from an External PSC model to Embedded, which is not easy in all cases. Speaking of tools, there also a “Cluster Quickstart” that becomes available in the client upon new installations or upgrades which shortcuts some of the steps when creating a cluster.

In addition, there are many other updates e.g. enhancements to Content Library, Embedded Reporting, vCenter High Availability improvements etc.

Also, as I mentioned in my other post about Storage, integration between vSAN and vSphere Update Manager is now stronger and firmware upgrades can be controlled better, not to mention the additional update controls.

VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS is now also available in AWS Asia Pacific which is in Sydney. There is also planned availability in the Tokyo region.

There are three links that are quite important to know which will help you remain up-to-date with the release notes but also what’s on the roadmap. Here they are:

Another piece of news on this front is the App Mobility between any vSphere versions across on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS using HCX. It uses VMware Cloud Motion with vSphere Replication and moves the VMs with zero downtime.

This should allow customers to accelerate their cloud adoption and migration. This would be ideal for DC evacuation, consolidation and extension scenarios.

There are also a couple of important Storage improvements. vSAN encryption now supports integration with AWS KMS, which would make adoption easier. In addition, there’s a new EC2 bare-metal instance R5.Metal that is introduced for storage-dense workloads. It also enables independent storage scaling.

R5 Metal

In preview, the limitations are that the cluster can’t be the first one to be added i.e. it has to be added to a preexisting cluster.

In addition, there’s flexibility in storage provision so that it enables customers to right-size their storage, which is important for cost reasons.  In addition, it also allows automated replacement of failed hosts and automated replacement of a failed disk group.

Phew! That’s a lot of updates and I’ve even skipped a few as the purpose of this blog is to introduce you to it.

For more information on the releases, have a look at the following links:

 

By |2018-08-27T14:31:45+00:00August 27th, 2018|AWS, Cloud, VMworld, vSphere|0 Comments

About the Author:

Ather Beg is a technology and virtualisation blogger and is Chief Virtualogist at Virtualogists Ltd, which is a consultancy focusing on virtualised solutions. Ather has worked in IT for over 20 years and contributes his findings on this blog. In addition to holding several industry-related certifications, he has also been awarded vExpert status by VMware.

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