vSphere 5.1 Favorite new features



Here are my favorite vSphere 5.1 features in order.  There are so many features to get excited about that I am sure I missed one or two that is relevant to what I do.

vSphere Distributed Switch – This one had burned me not to long ago.  So I really don’t like VDS.  I use VDS for my Vmware View 5.1 inftrastructure.  The old vCent 5.0 appliance DB2 database partition became full and prohibits vpxd daemon from starting (note: appliance is unsupported config for Vmware View).  During my repair effort, I ended up rebuilding the vCent and broke VDS.  I had to abandon VDS and go with the Standard Switch, I don’t use any of the advance feature that VDS offer anyways.  The new introduction of VDS config backup and restore would have help me during those times so I am excited to welcome this new capability.

vMotion on local storage – I heard Hyper V v3 advertising to do this using CIFS and I just shook my head in disbelief.  CIFS/SMB on NTFS is too bloated for VM storage.  They needed to gut the whole NTFS file system and get rid of all bloatware that virtualization does not need like disk quota, permission, shares perm, etc.  Meaning rewrite a new storage file system.  With the new vSphere 5.1/vcloud5.1/view5.1, Hyper V does not stand a chance.

vMotion without shared storage is very good for SMB.  Since SMB typically does not have lots of fund to afford a good share storage.  Granted I am assuming that this feature will be included on the essential plus license.

VMware tools update noreboot – I always hate VMware tools update reboot request.  I also don’t like that the tools autoupdate is tied to VUM.  There is a feature on ESXi to update tools upon reboot, they should just enhance that feature so it can be scheduled off working hours.

vSphere Web Client – I did not see this coming.  The quick adoption of the universal client.  No more complains for a MAC or NIX client.  I don’t need the Thinapp or Cameyo virtual vsphere client anymore.  I am really impress how VMware quickly add enhancement to their flagship product.  I really thought the web client is at least a year away but this is great.

Hardware-Accelerated 3D Graphics Support – This virtual GPU is going to help my Vmware View for AUTOCAD and other GPU intensive tasks.  The Teradici server offload card is not that great for me since my View hosts CPU are never hitting 30%.


Note:  There is one time when the hosts CPU was hitting 100% but this is due to svchost.exe on number of WinXP vm that after further investigation turns out to be Automatic Update service.  That was a  bug on the guests vm and I can’t blame the hypervisor for that.

Okay that’s it, may be when the official v5.1 download is available I will have more to share but until then.



VSphere 5.1 Web Client


This is interesting “The vSphere Web Client is now the core administrative interface for vSphere”.  I’m a little excited/surprise to see this.  The word “Now” implies to me that they made major improvements.  I honestly thought it would take a while for VMware to move to the web client as the primary management.  I evaluated the web client on the vCenter 5.0 appliance late 2011 and I find it as a stripped down brother of the full blown Windows client so I revert back to the fat Window client.  I remember that I had to configure the Cluster/Storage/Network infrastructure first using the fat client and only then where I find the web client usable for day to day administration.  I wonder how the plugins are integrated to the webclient like the Update Manager, VSA, VDR, etc.  I do not use the Windows vCent variant so I’m going to apply the 5.1b patch on my vCent Linux appliance and I will see if VMware’s release note can stand on all four.

Part of me says that I’m going to be disappointed, but the other part of me is optimistic.  Optimistic because I saw what VMware did to vCloud Director v1.5 and the new v5.1.  VCD web interface is feature rich and if they can do it to VCD then they can apply the same code to vCent web interface as well.    By the way, for those that do not use the vCent appliance, the appliance has the web client built-in by default.  It can’t get any easier than that.

Check back this week for the findings.

Update:  Oops!  I think I spoke too soon with this.  It does not look like VSphere 5.1 download is out yet, I got v5.1 mixed with v5.0 U1b that was just release two weeks ago.  And reading from other sources that evaluated the beta release, it looks like the web client is as good as Vmware advertised.  VDR appliance is facing out and being replaced by VDP, built-in to vCenter (nice touch).  The plugins need to be rewritten for the web client, I don’t know how the third party vendor going to welcome the extra work ahead of them.  I hope that they release the vCent appliance at the same time with the Windows variant.  This last patch for the appliance took about 6 months, but I think that’s because of the DB2 to vPostgres database issue.  There’s so much new features that I’m going to write a series of articles on my favorite new feature.  This is really the last time I’m going to buy books, the 2 VMware books I bought 3 months ago are now out dated.