In the last week, VMware announced his first update for vSphere and vSAN 7.0. In this blog post, we will see What is new in vSphere and vSAN 7.0 U1.
Important to notice that this is just the announcement and not the release yet. The official release should be set to October/November.
I will not go into many technical details about how it works or all the new features.
I plan to do in future blog posts, some how-to of the new features, and they work more in detail. Like, vSphere Clustering Service (vCLS), Scalability (new vCPU and memory maximums), vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM), Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG), etc.
Let do a quick look for the new features and improvements in both VMware products.
vSphere 7.0 U1
- vSphere Clustering Service (vCLS)
The vSphere Clustering Service (vCLS) is the ability to use clustering services and DRS without the need of vCenter Server availability for its operations and configurations.
Meaning even vSphere High Availability (HA) or if using vCenter Server High Availability (VCHA) is not available, vCLS will still working since it is using its own system VMs agents.
These small VMs agents(1 vCPU with 100Mhz and 128Mb memory) will work as a Cluster quorum. The number of system VMs agents are 3, but for Clusters with less than 3 ESXi hosts, the VMs agents are equal to the number of ESXi hosts in the Cluster.
Even by mistake, you delete or power-off these system VMs agents, vCLS will automatically recreate/power-on them.
- vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM)
vLCM was launched with 7.0, but now besides the possibility to update or upgrade vSphere and vSAN hosts, it is also possible to do with NSX configuration (one of the features that I want to test and write about it). Image compliance is enabled for simple remediation.
Managing NSX-T Clusters and nodes would only be possible in future releases of NSX-T. It will be possible to use vLCM trough NSX Manager and manage all the life cycle aspects of NSX-T. Including image manager APIs.You will be able to update/upgrade your NSX-T Cluster with the remediation of all your Cluster Nodes.
vSAN Fault Domain awareness for intelligent update with vLCM. It will be possible to update across fault domains. vLCM can do this by honoring availability zones trough the update lifecycle process.vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) is aware of vSAN topologies like the vSAN fault domain and availability zone.
Some of the new systems and products that are now supported when using vSphere Lifecycle Manager with vSphere 7.0 Update 1.
- Support for NSX-T (Available from upcoming NSX-T releases)
- Support for vSAN
- Firmware Integration for Lenovo ThinkAgile VX series
- Increased Scalability
More details about these new features in vSphere Lifecycle Manager with vSphere 7.0 Update 1 HERE.
- vSphere with Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG)
vSphere with Tanzu was introduced in vSphere 7.0, but now the biggest news with TKG is that now we can use it in vSphere without the need to use VMware Cloud Foundation (This package included vSphere, NSX-T, and vRealize). In this new version will possible to implement Kubernetes directly with vSphere and use apps and containers.
Administrators can now use their own network solutions (not necessary NSX) by using Distributed vSwitches to provide networking to Kubernetes. Use your Storage solutions (no need to be vSAN or any Cloud Storage). You will be able to provide Storage using your vSphere Datastores.
Note: vSphere with Tanzu is something that I am very interested in and is another feature that I want to test in the future.
Check VMworld2020 Tanzu Sessions HERE.
- Scalability, ESXi hosts and VMs
With this new update, scalability entries into a different scale. It will be possible to have huge VMs (for example Oracle, SAP-HANA, etc.) with VMs with 768 vCPUs and 24Tb of memory.
vSphere Cluster will have the possibility yo have a maximum of 96 ESXi hosts per Cluster. This an increase of 50% from the actual ESXi hosts in a Cluster.
Note: But this is only for vSphere Cluster, not vSAN. vSAN the maximum is still 64 ESXi hosts per Cluster.
ESXi Hosts also will have a maximum of 24Tb of physical memory. These changes are only available with the new Virtual Hardware v18.
In the next image, we can check some of the new maximums included in the vSphere 7.0 Update 1.
- vCenter Connect
What is vCenter Connect? Basically, is connecting your vCenter to all your vCenter on-site, off-site, or Cloud Partner environments(like VMware on AWS, on Azure, IBM, etc.).
From one point of management, customers will have the ability to manage all VMware infrastructure.
- Check VMware Quick Overview vSphere 7.0 Update 1 video HERE.
- vSphere 7.0 Update 1 what is new HERE.
vSAN 7.0 U1
- Disaggregated HCI / HCI Mesh
HCI Mesh in vSAN 7.0 U1 will be capacity across independent vSAN Clusters. Meaning, any vSAN capacity can be shared with other vSAN Cluster. Today the capacity can only be used in the vSAN Cluster, but with this new feature, customers can mount a vSAN Datastore from vSAN Cluster A to vSAN Cluster B, and vice versa.
These new features bring a lot of flexibility to your vSAN implementation by cross-mount vSAN Datastores from independent vSAN Clusters and also using vMotion between vSAN Clusters.
- This is a good change from VMware regarding vSAN deduplication and compression. Today we only have two options, no Deduplication, and compression or enabled. There is no option to just select compression (that maybe most of the customers would like). I remember that this is an issue after you enabled, to disable you need to recreate the Disk group.
When disabling deduplication and compression, the vSAN disk format changes for every disk int that group. If it has any data on it, all objects will be evacuated, and the disk group is deleted, and a new one is created without deduplication and compression.
Enabling deduplication can have also brought additional issues when there is a disk failure, that disk failure will impact the whole of the disk group.
So this is why some customers do not use it because it can be destructive when there is a failure, and if we disabled it. And many customers want only the compression when there is no benefit from deduplication in some workload. Or others that there is simply no deduplication.
This new feature is crucial for many customers that want to use only the compression on their vSAN Cluster.
- vSAN “Shared” Witness Appliance
In this new feature, vSAN changed the way the Witness appliance works. Today for each 2-Node Cluster, a Witness Appliance is needed. Meaning that if a customer has many 2-Node Cluster, it will have has many Witness Appliance.
Now with this new Shared Witness Appliance, customers can have up to 64 2-Node Cluster with one single Share Witness Appliance. This will drastically reduce the amount of CPU and memory that is needed for the Witness Appliance.
- vSAN File Services now supports Kerberos and Active Directory
- vSAN File Services now supports the SMB protocol
The two above features are the improvement of the main file File Services. In vSAN 7.0, VMware launched File Services. A feature that many were waiting for it, I know I did.
NFS supporting Kerberos and Active Directory is a must go. NFS without integration with the Kerberos and Active Directory to provide home folders or directories, and integrated with AD for file shares permissions make sense. Because then it can only be used as NFS Volume or just an open share folder. Now it will be possible to protect all your share folders by providing permissions.
Now, in vSAN 7.0 U1, VMware also added the support for SMB protocol. Of course, it doesn’t make sense you have NFS service and is not supporting one of the more used protocols, SMB. So again, a good improvement from the vSAN team on this feature.
So now vSAN File Services will support NFS v3 and v4.1, and SMB v2.1 and v3.
Check this video from VMware where shows the new vSAN File Services performance and capacity monitoring HERE.
There is some new features to deal with Kubernetes, Containers, and Apps from different vendors and use in cloud-native workloads. All this using vSAN with HCI Management.
- vSAN Data Persistence Platform
- vSAN Direct Configuration
And this is some of the new features and enhancements that VMware is introducing in the vSphere and vSAN 7.0 Update 1. You can find all the features and enhancements in the above links that I share in the blog post.
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