With the announcement of vSphere 6.0, one very cool feature that is new is Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance. You can now turn FT on for VMs with up to 4 vCPUs. This now opens up Fault-Tolerance to a much larger host of VM workloads. Previously the single vCPU limit excluded almost all server type workload. Update: Doing vCenter FT will be supported in a few limited cases, this is still being worked out by VMware.
To set it up, it is exactly the same as it has been. First, ensure that you have a VMKernel NIC configured for Fault-Tolerant traffic. Then, right-Click on a VM and choose “Turn on Fault Tolerance”. Then choose the location for the Files and then choose a ESXi host that will host the secondary VM, that simple.
One thing to keep in mind is the networking requirements. Since the CPU instructions are being mirrored between the hosts there can be a quite a bit of Network traffic. I have already seen that a 4x vCPU VM can start to consume a pretty good amount of network traffic. I would absolutely have at least a 10gb link dedicated for this purpose.
VMware finally supports NFS version 4.1 and even allows Kerberos authentication. This now allows administrators to use features that were brought to the NFS kernel back in 2010. The biggest advantage in my mind is the ability to have “Multi-pathing” on your shares. You can now have multiple IP addresses associated with a single NFS mount for redundancy. In addition you can now provide more authentication for the mounts other then IP Addressing. You can now use Kerberos to authenticate the ESXi hosts. Now you must be using AD and that the ESXi host must joined to the domain, and that you’ve specified the NFS Authentication Credentials (which are in System -> Authentication Credentials on each host).
UPDATE: I have updated the below to fix the mis-information
There has been a long standing rumor that VMware is killing off the VIClient. When the vSphere Beta orginally came out, i was bummed to see it missing. It had been replaced with a very clunky and slow client, that looked a lot like the full Web Client. Honestly, it was terrible and i was very disappointed.
I was very pleasantly surprised when i fired up the latest build of vSphere and clicked on the “Download vSphere Client” and the normal looking vSphere Client installed. I was a bit excited, the icons looked the same as the old client i liked so much. Sure enough, it looks the same and works the same as the old 5.5 client. That also means that in order to use new features you will need to use the Web Client.
VMware has been talking about VVOLS for over two years. Yes they were actually announced at VMworld 2012, as a “Technology Preview”. Before we get into what really cool things will do for us, let’s take a step back and examine where we are today in the storage world.