vSphere is a pedestal on which all major VMware technologies and applications are mounted. The latest release straight from the heart of VMworld came out in September 2013 and was christened vSphere 5.5. Highlighting a number of improvements and enhancements over its predecessor, the vSphere features expand across the entire platform. The incremental value promised since then has paved the way for many crucial IT developments.
vSphere 5.5 has been praised for its ability to boost performance, improve scalability and enhance applicability with developments that extend beyond the hypervisor to encompass the management stack. To justify this claim, here are five important standout updates that the vSphere cluster offers.
ESXi breaks free from the 32GB vRAM
By taking away the capped limit of 32GB, vSphere helps many IT professionals build their startup home labs. This limit acted as a constraint for many host servers, especially when products were sold with a much bigger RAM. Using one host server and then upgrading it to another competitor’s hypervisor became quite a challenge. Hence, by removing the limit, VMware made certain that free ESXi wasn’t rendered useless due to a fixed memory value. Larger setups are now possible on a single ESXi host, thus facilitating users to learn different kinds of innovative features and products.
Really large data centers can find it quite challenging to locate a fitting storage group to cater to their specific needs. As a new feature, the name tag Print Server has been assigned to the VM Storage Policy. This policy is aimed at creating simplified storage provisions that allow hypervisors to use dedicated storage space for a print server.
Enhanced LACP support
LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) enables users to combine the bandwidth of several physical NICs. Earlier only one LACP group per distributed switch was sustained by vSphere 5.1. This aggressively minimized a user’s combination choices. But vSphere 5.5 supports up to 64 Plus, which empowers users to accumulate LACP configurations as templates with the purpose of using these other hosts. Furthermore, 22 varying hashing algorithms have also been enabled to activate load distribution across links on which users can draw upon.
vSphere high availability for specific applications
High availability has always been the first feature any admin activates in a vSphere platform. VMware high availability essentially restarts a VM on a different host server if the original host has gone unresponsive and can also restart the VM if it goes unresponsive. In the latest version, high availability is configured to serve a dual purpose — monitoring and restarting applications. Earlier this was done through special third-party controlled APIs. But now the 5.5 version supports many packaged applications like SQL, Exchange and Oracle with an in-built mechanism.
Improvements in vCenter server
While all previous vSphere versions supported only a specific number of VMs and hosts, the 5.5 version increases the ceiling to incorporate 500 hosts and almost 5,000 VMs. VMware has also simplified the installation of vCenter Single Sign-On. This proves that vSphere 5.5 aims to make the user interface not only useful but convenient as well.
These features are some nice key enhancements for improving performance and platform scalability. However, this only touches the surface. There is a much wider room waiting to be explored. But without a doubt, these significant enhancements made in 5.5 are definitely worth the excitement that the IT world has been abuzz with all this while!
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Anjali Bisaria is a digital content writer with interest in a wide variety of genres. She often writes for technology and IT training companies like Koenig Solutions.