I have been using the vSphere 6.0 Beta for a while now. It has been a pretty cool experience and VMware has done a nice job with the product. VMware has announced some of the features that are in the Beta. I’m only going to go into detail where i can, or where others have blogged. Technically the Beta has an NDA, so i can only really mention what has been made public. Below is some of the new or improved features.
vMotions are a very important part of vSphere. As of vSphere 6.0 you are able to vMotion VMs between two different vCenters. This is pretty cool. You can now move a VM anywhere inside your datacenter, if you have multiple vCenters. Even cooler is they now support “Long Distance” vMotions. This means you could actually vMotion VMs from one datacenter to another. This should NOT be used as your sole Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery plans. Now there are some caveats to this long distance vMotion. You need a ~250mbps connection between the vCenters. This does NOT have to be L2, you can route the vMotion. The connection between the datacenters should also be ~100ms roundtrip time. So your old satellite links aren’t going to cut it. This is pretty cool and something i could see people using. Remember that since its still a vMotion, the storage must be migrated cross-sites as well. This operation could take quite a bit of time. I wouldn’t want to be doing huge VMs or too many at once.
Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance:
Finally after so many years of FT existing, and only being limited to a single vCPU, VMware has come through. As of 6.0 Fault Tolerance will not support up to four (4) vCPUs in a FT protected VM. This opens FT up to 80%+ of all your VMs. Now FT typically consumes a pretty good chunk of network bandwidth. Remember your sending CPU instructions over the wire. I’ve seen just a few FT VMs consume a 10gb link. I think people will quickly realize that you can’t enable FT for all your VMs. This is still really cool. You could now protect your vCenter VM without having to use vCenter Heartbeat. I would like to see how this plays out with other apps, such as SQL or Web Servers.
Improved Web Client:
VMware has listed to the community and their customers in regards to the Web Client. They have improved not only its responsiveness but its layout a bit. They have also added some nice little bells & whistles that are only available to the Web Client, in the Networking & Storage space specifically. I’ll admit i have NOT been a fan of the Web Client since its introduction. However, as of the 6.0 Beta i have actually liked it and have gotten used to its UI.