This is an excerpt from the Global Knowledge white paper, “New VMware vSphere 6 Features”.
VMware vSphere 6® brings some great new features that will make managing data and storage much easier. The upgrades include tighter integration between products, much needed improvements to several core features, as well as the bundling of backup and recovery functions.
The tighter integration between the vSphere products will bring some advanced technologies to many VMware customers depending on their licensing editions.
Let’s look at three enhancements you should be sure to check out:
Zero Data Loss, Zero Downtime
One enhancement is how vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT) handles storage. Before, a single copy of virtual machine (VM) files was housed on the datastore which were shared by the primary and secondary VMs. Now, vSphere Fault Tolerance creates a complete copy of the entire VM and places it on a separate shared datastore. Therefore, should a failure occur, vSphere FT will automatically failover to the VM with zero data loss.
Due to a completely new technology being used for vSphere 6.0 FT, it can support VMs with up to four vCPUs. This increased scale helps protect more business critical VMs.
The VMware vSphere Storage APIs–Data Protection (VADP) may also be used with VMs protected by vSphere FT. Now administrators using VMware snapshot-based backup utilities are able to further protect their vSphere FT VMs.
With the new FT enhancements, more business-critical VMs can be configured with this feature in order to accomplish zero downtime.
The following table outlines changes between 6.0 FT and the previous version:
[table id=62 /]
Live Migration Across Long Distances
vSphere vMotion capabilities have been improved in the new release, allowing live migration of VMs across virtual switches, across vCenter Servers and across long distances, up to 150 ms round trip time (RTT).
The ability to live migrate a VM across different vCenter Servers and across long distances changes the way we think about designing vSphere architectures and geographic limitations.
This functionality will come in handy when migrating workloads to a different location for “follow the sun” support, disaster avoidance, load balancing across physical sites, and so on.
There are a few requirements for Cross vCenter Server vMotion:
- Source and destination vCenter Server must be running version 6.0 or greater.
- Source and destination vCenter Server need to be joined to the same Single Sign-On (SSO) domain using enhanced linked mode if the GUI will be used.
- There needs to be at least 250 Mbps of available network bandwidth per vMotion operation.
- Enterprise Plus licensing is required for Cross vCenter Server and Long Distance vMotion.
- This is not a requirement, but layer 2 connectivity is needed on the source and destination port groups. The IP address within the guest OS in the VM will not change.
Whenever a VM is migrated across vCenter Servers, the settings for the VM are preserved. These settings include the universally unique identifier (UUID); resource settings such as shares, limits, reservations; high availability (HA) and DRS settings, alarms, event and task history, and media access control (MAC) address. The MAC address is added to an internal blacklist to ensure that a duplicate MAC is not generated once a VM is moved out of the vCenter Server.
New Content Library
The new Content Library simplifies the management and distribution of VM templates for organizations with vCenter Servers across multiple geographic locations. VM templates, ISO images, scripts, etc. can be centrally managed and published and other sites are able to subscribe to the catalog in order to access its contents. As the library content is updated, the subscribers will automatically receive the distributed changes. This functionality ensures that all sites have access to the standardized library contents without having to manually distribute VM templates.
These three advances keep VMware holding the leadership role in server virtualization.
About the Author
Rebecca Fitzhugh (VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-CIA, VCP-DCV, VCP-DT, and VCP-Cloud) is a VMware-certified instructor and consultant whose primary focus is on VMware virtual infrastructure products as well as the vCloud and Horizon suites. Prior to becoming an instructor and consultant, she served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps where she assisted in the build-out and administration of multiple enterprise networks residing on virtual infrastructure. She wrote “vSphere Virtual Machine Management”, Packt Publishing2014.