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5 Things You (and Your Clients) Need to Know about vSphere 6.5

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The vSphere platform has always provided a powerful, flexible, and secure foundation for running, managing and securing applications, but with Version 6.5 the platform simplifies the customer experience for automation and management at scale.

VMware vSphere, the next-generation infrastructure for next-generation applications, has been updated with a number of new capabilities.

The vSphere platform has always provided a powerful, flexible, and secure foundation for running, managing and securing applications, but with Version 6.5 the platform simplifies the customer experience for automation and management at scale. It offers comprehensive built-in security for protecting data, infrastructure and access and provides a universal application platform for running any app anywhere. This is especially important now that companies are increasingly pressured to deploy and update applications almost in real time to meet customer demand. MSPs who are leveraging vSphere and other products in VMware’s ecosystem should consider how the vSphere update will affect their operations and the services they can provide to their clients.

Here are five things you—and your clients--need to know about vSphere 6.5:

1. vCenter Server Appliance anchors updates.

The vCenter Server Appliance is at the heart of the updates to vSphere. The installer’s look and feel has been updated in general, and support has been added for Linux and Macintosh operating systems (in addition to Windows). Other updates to the appliance include:

  • The migration tool allows for more granular selection of migrated data
  • Improved appliance management
  • VMware Update Manager is now part of the vCenter Server Appliance
  • Native high availability
  • Built-in backup and restore

2. Improvements to current web client focus on user experience.

While VMware continues development of an HTML 5-based vSphere Web Client, the company has made some improvements to the current, Adobe Flex-based client. The updates aren’t huge, but they are focused on the user experience and so will have a relatively high impact. These improvements include:

  • Inventory tree is the default view
  • The home screen reorganized
  • The “Manage” tab has been renamed “Configure”
  • The “Related Objects” tab has been removed
  • VM rollup at 5,000 instead of 50 VMs
  • Live refresh for power states and tasks

3. vSphere Client runs along-side the Web Client.

In vSphere 6.5 there is a fully supported version of the HTML5-based vSphere Client that will run alongside the vSphere Web Client. The vSphere Client, which is built into vCenter Server 6.5 and is enabled by default, does not yet have full feature parity, but VMware is prioritizing the day-to-day tasks of administrators. The company is also seeking feedback on what the client needs to enable customers to use it full time. Benefits of the new vSphere Client include:

  • Clean, consistent UI built on VMware’s new Clarity UI standards
  • Cross-browser and cross-platform application
  • No browser plug-ins to install/manage
  • Integrated into vCenter Server for 6.5 and fully supported
  • Fully supports Enhanced Linked Mode

4. MSPs can gain ongoing experience with the vSphere Client.

VMware flings are apps and tools that users can explore and provide feedback on. This provides an opportunity to gain familiarity with the client, but user feedback also provides VMware with data on what features and capabilities should take priority as it continues to develop the platform. So far, according to VMware, there has been positive feedback on the performance of the vSphere Client Fling. You can access and explore the vSphere Client Fling here, basing your testing on the needs of your own customers.

5. New capabilities ease patching, upgrading and management of ESXi hosts.

Version 6.5 of vSphere adds more powerful capabilities for patching, upgrading and

managing the configuration of VMware ESXi hosts. vSphere Update Manager is still the preferred method for keeping ESXi hosts up to date, but with vSphere 6.5 it has been fully integrated with—and streamlined by--the vCenter Server Appliance.

VMware vSphere 6.5 can be downloaded here.

For more information on the Software-Defined Data Center please visit http://www.vmware.com/software-defined-datacenter/index.html.

 

 

Discuss this Blog Entry 6

agonzalez (not verified)
on Dec 22, 2016

Other new feature in vsphere 6.5 that could be helpful for MSPs to integrate with their own portal for billings and automation is the brand new REST APIs that you can browse nicely using swagger.

vSphere HTML5 client is not fully featured but I agree is in the right direction. We went through same process last year to move UI of our backup product from Flash to HTML5 and got very positive feedback.

Alberto Gonzalez
unitrends.com

Will Pope (not verified)
on Dec 23, 2016

Just thinking ahead on this as vSphere in my opinion is awesome for MSPs to utilize!!! As you are considering this update also take into consideration what impacts this might have on your backup/DR which is a critical revenue stream in MSPs businesses.

Imagine that you migrate to new vSphere 6.5 environment, but your backup vendor can’t assure backup protection for now because the environment isn’t supported yet. Hey, you should have thought about it earlier, no?

There you must think what is compatible and what’s not.

Is your backup solution compatible with vSphere 6.5
Is your monitoring solution compatible?
Is your DR/replication solution compatible?
Are your physical NICs in your hosts on the right Firmware/Driver version (important!!!)?
Storage controllers (the same as above)

EricC (not verified)
on Dec 23, 2016

VMWare integrates nicely with the Unitrends backup solution, allowing you to restore your VM's to any host, also has the ability to create a file level restore of the vm.

Mark Campbell (not verified)
on Dec 23, 2016

Regarding #2, #3, and partly #4 - think you're right to call out the user interface, user experience, and flings as important components of VMware vSphere 6.5. I'm impressed that VMware took the care to ensure that vSphere client runs along-side vSphere web client - so much so that I wrote a blog post noting that VMware did the right thing for customers: it's over at blogs.unitrends.com/vmware-vsphere-web-client-vsphere-client-vmware-right-thing/

BradG_Unitrends (not verified)
on Dec 23, 2016

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better... :) All very appreciated updates noted here. Good stuff!

on Dec 27, 2016

A great move to include VMware Update Manager in the vCenter Server Appliance. Something every platform provider should be moving towards!

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