VMWare vSphere 6.0 Features: A Look Ahead

Posted on October 30, 2014 in vSphere 6.0 by Justin Weaver

During this year’s VMworld 2014, one of the big topics was vSphere 6.0. While the software is still in beta and isn’t expected to be released until the first half of 2015, there are many details on what users can expect. From software stability and responsiveness to new features, there have been many improvements over vSphere 5.5.

New Web Client

One of the biggest differences users will notice is the web client. The vSphere 6.0 web client will be a lot more like the traditional vSphere 5.0 client.

  • It will have the recent tasks on the bottom of the screen, rather than the right side on the current web client.
  • Workflows have also been optimized so performing traditional tasks should now go faster with easier to navigate menus.
  • The new web client should also be a lot more responsive than previous versions. While many users have hoped the new version would be created using HTML5, it is still written using flash. But VMware does promise a better overall experience using the new vSphere 6.0 client.

vMotion Improvements

There have also been improvements and new features added to VMware vMotion. vMotion allows users to move a virtual machine from one host to another with zero downtime. The user would not notice that their machine was moved at all as it is seamless.

  • The biggest feature in vSphere 6.0 is Cross vCenter vMotion. An administrator can now vMotion a virtual machine from one vCenter instance to another vCenter instance. This could be used to migrate a virtual machine from one client to another, or from a development environment to a live environment. There were many work-arounds in the past to complete this task, but now it will be very simple to complete using vSphere 6.0.

Additional Upgrades to Cross vSwitch and a New Content Library

Another new vSphere 6.0 feature is Cross vSwitch. This allows an administrator to move a virtual machine from one host to another, and allows them to choose the port group destination, which could be located on another switch.

There is also a new content library to store files such as ISOs, scripts, VM templates and virtual appliances. In the past, administrators would store ISOs on a datastore, maybe even having multiple versions of same ISO. With the new content library, this will be a single location to manage the content, and this can also be replicated to other vCenters. They would essentially have the same content library with a sync.

Fault Tolerance supports Four Virtual CPUs

Lastly, there have been some major improvements to fault tolerance. VMware’s fault tolerance allows for constant availability of virtual machines with no downtime, no data loss, all while being transparent to the guest operating system. In previous versions of vSphere, fault tolerance was limited to a single CPU virtual machine. This is one of the reasons why VMware’s fault tolerance was not often used. Most modern virtual machines use multiple vCPU’s. With vSphere 6.0, fault tolerance now supports 4 vCPU virtual machines.

While vSphere 6.0 is still in open beta, and anyone can try it out right now, we are eagerly waiting for the official release!