Today VMware announced vSphere 6.5 at VMworld: let’s see what are the new features of a release that finally brings important improvements.
vCenter Server Appliance now has a installer with a new appearance and can be used from Linux and Mac too, and news about VCAS are not over yet.
High Availability and backup for VCSA
First, it integrates a native High Availability feature: vCenter Server can be cloned in Active, Passive and Witness mode. If the host the VCSA resides on doesn’t work, the HA mechanism kicks in: in this initial release it has an RTO of 5 minutes (also based on the infrastructure hardware).
VCSA finally as an integrated backup and restore system that allows to save the state of the system on a storage devices using the CSP, HTTP(s) or FTP(s) protocols; the restore procedure is launched from the same ISO that is used for installation.
The VCSA comes with a migration tool which allows to switch from release 5.5 or 60 with ease. The selection of data to migrate is granular: configuration, events and tasks configuration or all of them including performance metrics.
VCSA integrates VMware Update Manager, the tool used for upgrading system. This great improvement will be appreciated by those already using VUM, which previously could run only on a separated Windows VM.
Management panel of VCSA never shone in terms of intuitivity and features: the new panel finally includes a detailed GUI with stats about network, database, CPU and RAM. Several operations that could be previously performed by command line exclusively are now available within the interface.
vSphere Web Client
We’re not there yet: the client still needs Adobe Flash, but VMware guarantees that the user experience has improved a lot, in particular in terms of organization. The “Manage” tab is now “Configure” as in the old Windows client, performances are better and objects automatically reload, thus not having to reload the page anymore.
vSphere Client full HTML5
The Web Client is still available at the address https://<vCenterAddress>/vsphere-client, but VCSA offer another client called vSphere Client (https://<vCenterAddress>/ui/) with an HTML5 interface. However it’s not feature-complete yet. Luckily it doesn’t require any plugin to work and is perfectly integrated with the platform.