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.