Four VMware vSphere 6.0 Features That Will Transform Your Virtualized Environment
by Scott DeMoss, on Mar 31, 2015 12:11:45 PM
There are upgrades and then there are upgrades. Version 6.0 of VMware’s vSphere enhances many of the product’s existing capabilities. It also introduces four major industry-first features that will transform your virtualized environment. Here’s a breakdown of these new features and the benefits they offer.
Many feel this is the most significant new feature of 6.0, having a major impact on the storage function in vSphere. Virtual Volumes (VVols) enables external storage arrays to become VM-aware. Combined with Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM), VVols now allows common management across storage tiers and dynamic storage class of service automation. This enables exact combinations of data services-like clones and snapshots to be instantiated more efficiently on a per Virtual Machine (VM) basis.
This new technology allows a running VM to rapidly create a clone identical to the original, enabling a new, running, booted up VM in less than a second. This lets you deploy virtual machines as much as ten times faster than currently possible. This is a huge benefit for test and development groups that no longer have to wait for a clone to finish. In addition, Instant Clone is super resource efficient since it shares all of its memory with the original. In fact, VMware has actually begun referring to Instant Clone VM’s as “nano-virtualization.”
If you have active-active replication set up between two sites, you can now perform more efficient vMotion. This can cut time and resource use by as much as 95% depending on the size of your data. This enhancement expands the existing vSphere feature by enabling vMotion across virtual switches and vCenter servers and long distance vMotion. It’s now possible for data centers physically located in New York and London, for example, to migrate live workloads between one another.
Cross-vCenter Clone and Migration
With this new feature, you can copy and move virtual machines between hosts on different vCenter Servers in a single action. Before vSphere 6.0, vMotion could only happen within a network managed by a single virtual switch, either a Virtual Standard Switch (VSS) or Virtual Distributed Switch (VDS). Enabling vMotion across vCenters allows VMs to motion to a network managed by a different virtual switch, making the network migration seamless.
Not only does vSphere 6.0 do all of the above, but it provides support for new architectures, enhances scalability, expands support for Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance, and offers a centralized repository for content including virtual machine templates.
vSphere 6.0 promises to be a highly available, resilient, on-demand infrastructure suitable for any virtual or cloud environment. As the head of GTRI’s data center team, I’m looking forward to helping our customers upgrade to version 6.0 and watching them reap the rewards.