New Features and Changes in vSphere 6.7

May 23rd, 2018
New Features and Changes in vSphere 6.7

VMware just released vSphere 6.7, an incremental upgrade to the 6.x line of code. Although this is a minor release, it has lots of changes and improvements under the hood.

HTML5 Client

Most people I talk to hate the VMware Flash web client, preferring the old C# thick client for its ease of use and quick response. The HTML5 client offers a cleaner, more intuitive interface with better performance than the Flash version, but it is not yet feature-complete.

With the release of 6.7, a number of features have been added that were previously missing.  All storage workflows are now available, and Update Manager in now integrated as shown below. The client is now 90-95% complete, with VMware promising full functionality by fall of 2018:

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2018/05/fully-featured-html5-based-vsphere-client-coming-fall-2018.html

4K Native Drive Support

Drives with 4k sector size are supported in 6.7 with built-in 512-byte sector emulation for legacy OS support.

https://storagehub.vmware.com/t/vsphere-storage/vsphere-6-7-core-storage-1/support-for-4kn-hdds/

Increased Limits

Device limits continue to increase in 6.7.

Max Virtual Disks increased from 60 to 256

Max ESXi number of Devices increased from 512 to 1024

Max ESXi paths to Devices increased from 2048 to 4096

VCSA VAMI Improvements

The Virtual Appliance Management Interface, known as VAMI, is available at https://vcenter:5480.  There have been several major improvements. 

Services can now be managed directly from here.

Scheduled backups of VCSA are now available through the backup tab in VAMI

Quickboot and Single-Reboot Upgrades

Quickboot allows the hypervisor to restart without restarting the underlying hardware.  This is useful in the event of applying hypervisor patches and is available only from VUM.  6.7 also enables single-reboot upgrades, which eliminates the second reboot requirement and greatly speeds up the upgrade process.

DRS initial placement improvements

vCenter 6.7 has the improved initial placement from 6.5 but this now works with HA enabled. Performance is said to be 3x faster.

Support for RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access)

RDMA allows transfer of memory contents from one system to another, bypassing the kernel.  This delivers high i/o bandwidth with low latency.  The feature requires an HCA (Host Channel Adapter) on source and destination systems.

https://storagehub.vmware.com/t/vsphere-storage/vsphere-6-7-core-storage-1/rdma-support-in-vsphere/

vSphere Persistent Memory

Persistent memory, utilizing NVDIMM modules, is supported for hosts and VMs.  This technology enables incredible levels of performance, with speeds 100x faster than SSD storage.

https://storagehub.vmware.com/t/vsphere-storage/vsphere-6-7-core-storage-1/pmem-persistant-memory-nvdimm-support-in-vsphere/

Deprecated CPUs

Since new vSphere 6.7 features depend on specific CPU capabilities, a lot of fairly recent legacy CPUs are no longer supported.  Check your hardware for compatibility before planning a 6.7 upgrade. 

Release notes:

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.7/rn/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-67-release-notes.html

Conclusion

vSphere 6.7 is a solid update that addresses a lot of pain points in prior releases.  It will be a welcome improvement for businesses of all sizes.

 

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