What’s New with VMware vSphere 5.1
VMware® vSphere® is the industry-leading virtualization platform for building cloud infrastructures. It enables users to run business-critical applications with confidence and respond to business needs faster. vSphere accelerates the shift to cloud computing for existing datacenters and underpins compatible public cloud offerings, forming the foundation for the industry’s only hybrid cloud model.
Infrastructure Services — Compute, Storage, and Network
- Improved Graphics for Desktop VMs – Run hardware intensive 3D graphics applications on Desktop VMs with Virtual Shared Accelerated Graphics, now supporting the acceleration of VDI workloads using physical GPU resources. With this new capability it is now possible to virtualize physical GPU resources, sharing them across virtual desktops.
- Improved Storage DRS – Now supports vCloud Director environments for initial placement and load balancing.
- Reduced storage space requirements for View deployments – Ability to reclaim unused disk storage space after in-guest file deletion and improved Linked Clones scalability up to 32 hosts.
- VMFS Scalability – VMFS file sharing limit raised to 32, making VMFS as scalable as NFS for VDI and vCloud Director deployments.
- New SE Sparse VMDK format – Allows for a configurable block allocation size as well as stranded space reclamation from within the Guest OS.
- VAAI Enhancements – a new snapshot offload mechanism for vCloud Director vApps based on linked clones.
- Enhanced FCoE support – Now includes boot support for software FCoE.
- Enhanced iSCSI support – Jumbo frames supported on all iSCSI adapters with full UI support.
- Enhanced Fiber Channel support – 16Gb FC HBAs now supported.
- I/O Device Management – New ESXCLI commands to help troubleshoot and diagnose storage related problems.
- New SSD Monitoring – New “smartd” module provides Wear Leveling and other SMART details for SAS and SATA SSD.
- Enhanced Storage I/O Control – New automatic latency threshold computations. New stats only mode that enables collecting statistics without enforcing datastore throttling.
- Enhanced Storage DRS – vCloud Directory interoperability and support for linked clones. A new datastore correlation detection mechanism when Storage vMotion decisions are being made.
- Enhanced Storage vMotion – Up to four virtual machine disk files now moved in parallel.
- Improved ‘All Paths Down (APD)’ handling – As well as detecting Permanent Device Loss from iSCSI arrays, a new APD timeout mechanism is introduced to minimize impact on ESXi hosts.
- Improved vSphere Distributed Switch – Greater scalability and more efficient administration with configuration rollback, configuration backup and restore, and enhanced network traffic monitoring.
- Network Health Check – Prevents inconsistencies in virtual-to-physical network configurations.
- Configuration Backup and Restore – Snapshot working VDS configurations for deployment, rollback, and change control.
- Rollback and Recovery – Prevents accidental misconfigurations and loss of connectivity to vCenter Server by rolling back network configurations to previous valid configuration.
- Port Mirroring Enhancements – Addition of RSPAN and ERSPAN with easier configuration.
Application Services — Availability, Security, and Scalability
- Improved vMotion – Easily migrate VMs between hosts without the need of shared storage.
- vSphere Replication – Now included with vSphere 5.1. Provide disaster protection for all your applications with efficient host-based replication directly available with vSphere.
- New vSphere Data Protection – vSphere Data Protection provides a new backup and recovery solution for vSphere, providing easy setup and management, de-duplication, and high-performance VM image-level backup and recovery.
- Zero downtime vSphere upgrade – Eliminate downtime during vSphere upgrades with the ability to update VMware Tools without rebooting.
- vShield Endpoint – Now included in vSphere 5.1, vShield Endpoint offloads antivirus and anti-malware agent processing inside guest VMs to a dedicated secure virtual appliance delivered by VMware partners.
- ESXi Firewall – Host based service-oriented and stateless firewall engine restricts access to specific services by IP address or subnet. This is particularly useful for third-party components that require network access.
- Improved Logging and Auditing – Host activity, from both the ESXi Shell and the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI), is now logged under the account of the logged in user. This ensures user accountability making it easy to monitor and audit activity on the host.
- Scale VMs to 64 vCPU – Virtual machines can now grow to support even the largest applications. Virtual machines can now have up to 64 virtual CPUs and 1TB of RAM.
- vSphere Auto Deploy – with support for both stateless and stateful vSphere hosts deployments, Auto Deploy automates host deployment and patching. Deploy more vSphere hosts in minutes and update them more efficiently than ever before.
- Single Sign-On (SSO) – Dramatically simplifies vSphere administration by allowing users to have one-time authentication with choice of authentication directory services.
- Enhanced vSphere Web Client – Fully functional web client enables access to vSphere from any Web browser anywhere in the world.
- Enhanced Inventory Service – Enables more efficient queries and provides tagging of inventory objects.
- Modularization of vCenter Server – Ability to deploy individual components across multiple servers.
- VMware vCenter Server Appliance – Run vCenter Server as a Linux-based virtual appliance.