What’s New in vSphere 6.5

Today at VMworld Europe 2016, vSphere 6.5 is announced.

Update: November 15, 2016 vSphere 6.5 is GA.

In this blog we highlight some major feature announcements on the following products and technologies:

  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)
  • Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  • Host Profiles
  • Auto Deploy
  • vSphere Security
  • vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT)
  • vSphere DRS
  • Storage IO Control (SIOC):
  • Content Library
  • vSphere Operations Management
  • vRealize Log Insight
  • PowerCLI

Here is an overview of the new feature highlights in vSphere 6.5:

vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA):


  • VMware Update Manager (VUM) for the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). VUM is integrated by default in the VCSA and uses the internal embedded database.
  • Native High Availability for the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA only). Create a High Available VCSA environment and eliminate the single point of failure. The HA configuration is active/passive with a witness in between and looks like:


  • Improved Appliance Management.
    • Monitoring: Built in monitoring for CPU, memory and network interface
    • vPostgres database visibility
    • Remote Syslog configuration
    • vMon: Enhanced watchdog functionality. Watch the vCenter Server services
    • Client Integration Plugin (CIP) for the vSphere Web Client is no longer required anymore
    • vSphere Management Interfaces such as the vSphere Client (HTML 5 Web Client):


  •  Native Backup & Restore of the VCSA. Removes dependency on 3rd party backup solutions. Easily restore the backup to a new VCSA. The following protocols are supported:
    • HTTP(S)
    • SCP
    • FTP(S)
  • VCSA Installer improvements:
    • Run the VCSA depolyment installeren on Windows, Mac and Linux
    • The installer supports install, upgrade, migrate and restore
  • VCSA Migration: Migrate from vCenter 5.5 or 6.0 tot 6.5 with the options to migrate the:
    • Configuration only
    • Configuration, events and tasks
    • Configuration, events, task and performance metrics

Host Profiles:

  • Manageability
    • Editor enhancements: filter and favorites
    • Bulk edit host customization using CSV files
    • Copy settings between profiles
    • Streamlined remediation wizard
  • Operational
    • Pre-check proposed changes
    • Detailed compliance results
    • DRS integration – rolling remediation
    • Parallel remediation

Auto Deploy:

  • Operational
    • GUI for Image Builder, Deploy rules
    • Interactive deployment of new hosts
    • Post-boot scripts for advanced configs
    • EUFI and IPv6 support
  • Performance and Resiliency
    • Scalabillity improvements 300+ hosts
    • VCSA HA & backup support
    • Round robin reverse proxy caching
    • Backup and restore state with PowerCLI

vSphere Security:

  • Enhanced Logging.  Expose vCenter events to a Syslog server (such as vRealize Log Insight) without turning on verbose logging in vCenter Server and blowing up the database.
  • VM Encryption. Encrypt the VM virtual disk(s) and VM files  by using an encryption policy. The VM guest is not modified. The encryption is done at the hypervisor level.
  • Encrypted vMotion. Virtual  Machine vMotion data is encrypted during a vMotion on a per VM basis.
  • Secure Boot for ESXi and Virtual Machines. Requires hardware that support EUFI and a secure Boot firmware.

vSphere HA:

  • Admission Control. Simplified configuration workflow. It automatically calculates the % of resources to reserve.
  • Restart Priorities: Additional restart priorities added such as highest and lowest for more flexibility and greater control.
  • HA Orchestrated Restart. Enforce VM to VM dependency chains. This is great for multi-tier applications the require VMs to restart in a particular order.
  • Proactive HA. vCenter plugin that connects to the hardware vendor monitoring solution (Dell Open Manage, HP Insight Manager or Cisco UCS). When there is for example a memory failure detected by the hardware vendor monitoring tools, the VMs from that hosts are migrated using vMotion to another hosts.

vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT):

  • Improved DRS integration. DRS will better place the secondary VM
  • Performance Improvements:
    • Host level network latency reduction. Allows to run more applications with FT.
    • Multi-NIC Aggregation. It is possible to pack more NICs like (vMotion for FT) for better performance.

vSphere DRS:

  • Network-Aware DRS. Adds network bandwidth calculations in DRS. This avoids an over-subscribing host network link.
  • Advanced DRS Policies exposed in the UI.

Storage IO Control (SIOC):

  • Setting IO limits in Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) and apply the policy to the VMs.

Content Library:

  • Mount an ISO file from the Content Library
  • OS Customization during VM deployments from the library.
  • Update an existing template with a new version
  • Optimized HTTP sync between vCenter Servers

Virtual SAN 6.5

  • 2-node Direct Connect and Witness traffic separation. Ability to connect two nodes directly using ethernet cables. Stretchen VSAN with Direct Connect is not supported at the moment. Benefits:
    • Reducing costs (no need for 10 GbE switches).
    • Simplicity.
    • Separate VSAN data traffic from witness traffic.


  • Licensing:
    • The VSAN standard license includes the All-Flash option
    • New VSAN advanced for ROBO licensing
  • Virtual SAN iSCSI access. iSCSI access is built for supporting MSCS with shared storage and physical workloads that needs to have storage. There is no support in this release to targeting the VSAN storage to other ESXi clusters.

vSphere Operations Management:

  • vSOM is a combines of vSphere Enterprise plus with vRealize Operations Manager standard edition as a single offer.
  • New Home dashboard


  • New DRS Dashboard
  • Update Workload Utilization Dashboard


  • Other improvements are:


vRealize Log Insight version 4

  • New Clarity User Interface. This new interface looks much better and cleaner


  • Alert enhancements


  • Other Enhancements



  • No more snapins are used, it’s now fully module based.


  • Module improvements. Here are some examples:
    • Added cross vCenter storage vMotion support
    • The VSAN module is extended with 13 additional cmdlets
    • Complete new Horizon View module. It is now possible to run from it from anywhere, in earlier releases it was only possible to run it from a Connection Server. On this release are only 2 cmdlets available (Connect and Disconnect). Once connected you can use the API.
  • Microsoft open sourced PowerShell. It possible to run PowerShell from Windows, a MAC and Linux. VMware will release a PowerCLI Core version as fling.
  • The vSphere Management Assistent is being deprecated. Use the vCLI. It has support for different OSes. Use vCLI for:
    • ESXCLI commands
    • vicfg- commands
    • Other Perl Commands
    • Datacenter CLI


vSphere 6.5 is packed with great new features. My top is new features are:

  • HTML5 client
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) with Update Manager integration
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) native High Availability
  • Virtual SAN (VSAN) Direct Connect
  • A new PowerCLI module for Horizon View

VMworld 2015 Europe recap

Last week I attended VMworld 2015 Europe conference. I had a great week filled with breakout sessions, Hands-on Labs, Solutions Exchange, parties, chats and great people.


A few new announcements were made such as:

  • vRealize Automation 7 – Introducing unified service blueprint capabilities to enable IT and DevOps teams to simplify and accelerate the delivery of integrated multi-tier applications with application-centric networking and security across multiple clouds.
  • vSphere Integrated Containers and VMware Photon OS – Building on the support for VMware Photon OS on vCloud Air, vSphere Integrated Containers is now also available on the cloud platform, allowing IT teams to truly support any application, including containerized applications, on a common vCloud Air based infrastructure.
  • vCloud NFV platform – Designed to help communications service providers accelerate their implementations of Network Function Virtualization
  • Acquirement of Boxer, link, link

The rest of the VMworld announcements can be found in my VMworld 2015 US  blog post, link.

After VMware there is a lot of content available. Here’s an overview of locations where VMworld content can be found:

  • The session recordings can be found within the Schedule Builder, link
  • VMworld blog, link
  • VMworld Twitter, link
  • VMworld YouTube Channel, link
  • Hands-On Labs, link
  • vBrownBags YouTube Channel, link

Next year VMworld will be held on:

  • VMworld 2016 US, August 28 – September 1 in Las Vegas
  • VMworld 2016 Europe, October  17 – 20  in Barcelona

Hope to see you there again!

What’s announced at VMworld 2015?

This blog contains the most VMworld 2015 announcements summarized. The VMworld 2015 day 1 announcements were all about the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), Hybrid cloud and Cloud Native Apps (containers).  This blogpost will be updated with new announcements when available.

VMworld 2015 day 1

VMware EVO SDDC (EVO RACK). VMware EVO SDDC is designed to provide a simple to deploy and updated SDDC at rack-scale, and includes software-defined compute, storage, networking security, and management.

More information: Link

Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6.1. VSAN 6.1 is the third release with the following new features:

  • Virtual SAN Stretched Cluster
  • Virtual SAN for Remote Office / Branch Office (ROBO)
  • Virtual SAN Replication with vSphere Replication
  • Support for Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance (SMP-FT)
  • Support for Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) and Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC)
  • Maximum Performance and Low latencies
  • Virtual SAN Health Check-Plug-in
  • Virtual SAN Management Pack for vRealize Operations

More information: Link

Unified Hybrid Cloud. The Unified Hybrid Cloud platform has the following new services and features:

  • Project Skyscraper (Technology Preview): Live Migration (vMotion) between datacenters. For example between on-premises and vCloud Air.
  • VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery.
  • VMware vCloud Air Object Storage
  • VMware vCloud Air SQL
  • VMware vCloud Aur Advanced Networking Services
  • VMware vCloud Aur Hybrid Cloud Manager

More information: Link

vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform. VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will enable IT teams to support any application, including containerized applications, on a common infrastructure. The VMware Photon Platform, which will include future integrations with VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN and VMware vRealize Suite.

More information: Link

VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) 2. The new release is based on the OpenStack Kilo.

VMware Validated Design. VMware Validated Designs are architectures created and validated by VMware experts to build your SDDC.

More information: Link

Other announcements (not in the general session)


  • Double user density up to 128 user per server
  • Blade support for NVIDIA GRID
  • Linux support

More information: Link, YouTube

App-Delivery Decision Maker for Horizon 6. The Decision Maker helps you navigate the wide array of options that Horizon 6 supports to meet your application delivery and user requirements.

More information: Link

End User Computing Best Practices poster.

More information: Link

Site Recovery Manager 6.1.  SRM 6.1 has the following new capabilities:

  • Storage Profile Based Protection. Storage policy-based management to simplify the process of adding and removing protection to virtual
  • Stretched Storage and Orchestrated vMotion. Support for stretched storage solutions combined with cross-vCenter vMotion allows companies to
    achieve application mobility without incurring downtime, while taking advantage of all the benefits of
    Site Recovery Manager
  • Enhanced integration with VMware NSX. Enhancements to and integration with NSX 6.2 that simplify both the creation and execution of recovery
    plans and accelerate recovery time.

More information: Link

VMware NSX 6.2. NSX vSphere 6.2 includes the following new and changed features:

  • Cross vCenter Networking and Security
  • NSX 6.2 with vSphere 6.0 supports Cross vCenter NSX where logical switches (LS), distributed logical routers (DLR) and distributed firewalls (DFW) can be deployed across multiple vCenters, thereby enabling logical networking and security for applications with workloads (VMs) that span multiple vCenters or multiple physical locations.
  • Consistent firewall policy across multiple vCenters: Firewall Rule Sections in NSX can now be marked as “Universal” whereby the rules defined in these sections get replicated across multiple NSX managers. This simplifies the workflows involving defining consistent firewall policy spanning multiple NSX installations
  • Cross vCenter vMotion with DFW: Virtual Machines that have policies defined in the “Universal” sections can be moved across hosts that belong to different vCenters with consistent security policy enforcement.
  • Universal Security Groups: Security Groups in NSX 6.2 that are based on IP Address, IP Set, MAC Address and MAC Set can now be used in Universal rules whereby the groups and group memberships are synced up across multiple NSX managers. This improves the consistency in object group definitions across multiple NSX managers, and enables consistent policy enforcement
  • Universal Logical Switch (ULS): This new functionality introduced in NSX 6.2 as a part of Cross vCenter NSX allows creation of logical switches that can span multiple vCenters, allowing the network administrator to create a contiguous L2 domain for an application or tenant.
  • Universal Distributed Logical Router (UDLR): This new functionality introduced in NSX 6.2 as a part of Cross vCenter NSX allows creation of distributed logical routers that can span multiple vCenters. The universal distributed logical routers enable routing across the universal logical switches described earlier. In addition, NSX UDLR is capable of localized north-south routing based on the physical location of the workloads.

VMworld 2015 day 2

Day 2 announcements are about business mobility and End User Computing (EUC).

VMware Project A2,.  A new Technology Preview called Project A2 that offers a new mobile-centric approach to delivering and managing applications and devices for Windows 10 using AirWatch enterprise mobile management (EMM) and VMware App Volumes application delivery technology. This integrated solution enables our customers to accelerate their adoption of Windows 10 with mobile-like management for their devices and applications. Project A2combining #Airwatch and #Appvolumes to deploy applications to Physical endpoints

VMware Identity Manager Advanced Edition. introducing a new identity solution called VMware Identity Manager Advanced Edition that is a standalone identity as a service (IDaaS) solution for simplified access and identity management. Our existing solutions, Horizon and AirWatch already include this key enabling technology platform for delivering a single sign-on experience for Windows, SaaS and mobile applications. We are now announcing the release of this key, proven technology as a standalone product for customers that seek a standalone identity as a service solution.

More information: Link.

VMware Horizon 6.2 and VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux such offers the following new capabilities:

  • VMware Horizon 6.2 will deliver applications at scale with new features to make the deployment and management of RDSH applications easier and more scalable. View Composer with Linked Clones will allow you to simply deploy and quickly update your entire RDSH farm. Load balancing improvements will allow you to balance applications based on various load metrics (CPU or memory usage) and will include an extensible interface to balance RDSH hosts based on metrics. The solution will also integrate Horizon Apps into the Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA) to allow virtual machines to scale between sites and between datacenters.
  • VMware Horizon 6.2 will also deliver a richer and more seamless user experience for apps and desktops.
  • Delivering rich 3D desktops and apps has never been easier. VMware Horizon 6.2 together with NVIDIA GRID cards will deliver high-end 3D graphics applications with RDSH in addition to 3D VDI desktops. VMware Horizon 6.2 will add support for NVIDIA GRID and NVIDIA GRID 2.0. NVIDIA GRID 2.0, based on NVIDIA’s award winning Maxwell architecture, will offer higher user density with higher performance to more platforms. The solution will support 4K (3840×2160) high resolution desktops and Linux desktops. Finally, vDGA pass through graphics will be extended to support select AMD FirePro GPUs for Windows VDI desktops.
  • It will be easier to work with local files too, with VMware Horizon 6.2. With VMware Horizon 6.2, hosted applications will be easier than ever to use with support for File Type Association with Windows clients, making it easy to open a file with a remote app right from the Windows Explorer. Client Drive Redirection, which allows easy access to files on your computer, will be extended with encryption for greater security, along with new support for Mac clients. In addition, Linux client support will be available as a tech preview.
  • There will also be communication improvements. VMware Horizon 6.2 will support the Skype for Business messaging application (formerly known as Microsoft Lync) on several Windows platforms including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012 R2 with Windows 10 desktops, and RDSH desktops running on Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 R2 Servers.
  • VMware Horizon 6.2 with latest Horizon Client 3.5 for iOS will also offer the option of using Touch ID for easy login to your apps or desktops. Once enabled by the administrator, end-users can enjoy amazing one-touch access when using an iPhone or iPad.
  • Oh, did I forget Windows 10? Windows 10 is fully supported across the entire VMware Horizon portfolio including Horizon clients, desktops and hosted applications. . This day 0 support of Windows 10 continues our commitment to offering compatibility with the latest innovative technologies. With Windows 10 desktops running on VMware Horizon virtual desktops, end-users have full access to the features and functionality available from Windows 10 and VMware Horizon.
  • VMware Horizon 6.2 is also optimized for the VMware SDDC environment and already supports the latest release of vSphere – vSphere 6 U1. We leverage the new all-flash Virtual SAN to support double the number of users at the same cost, double your density, and supports over four thousand users per cluster. You can take advantage of the vSAN stretched cluster technology to deploy Horizon across multiple sites.
  • There will be more security in VMware Horizon as well. VMware Horizon 6.2 includes a hardened appliance to secure access to the Horizon infrastructure from outside the corporate firewall. Integration with VMware Identity Manager, included with Horizon Advanced and Horizon Enterprise, will provide end-users with secure, customizable access to resources using an expanding set of authentication sources including two-factor and bio-metric fingerprint authentication.
  • For federal government customers, the solution will also be compliant with the FIPS 140-2 regulation for security
  • VMware User Environment Manager (UEM) 8.7, included with Horizon Enterprise, will fully support Windows 10 and will offer even greater efficiency for dynamic updates to the mobile user environment. It will also be able to detect a wide range of connections including PCoIP, Blast, RDP, and Citrix. VMware User Environment Manager natively supports policies based on client name and IP for VMware Horizon connections with improved application profiling. Administrators will have greater visibility and new tools for analysis to understand when and where UEM settings are applied.
  • There will be new advancements in VMware Horizon for Linux as well. VMware Horizon for Linux will support NVIDIA GRID 2.0 to deliver shared and scalable 3D graphics to Linux users with up to 4 displays. VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux will also offer support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1.

More information: Link

VMware Project Enzo. Offers our customers transformed economics and cloud simplicity for virtual desktops and apps via a modern hybrid architecture and hyper converged infrastructure. Project Enzo will be available as beta.

More information: Link