With leaks starting to grow about next release of ESX(i), v4.1 is now out the door! It is a big upgrade and include a lot of new goodies for people. Below is a small sampling of the changes in 4.1:
– VMware now made it obvious ESX is dying and everyone should be migrating to ESXi. The next major release of vSphere will be ESXi only.
– VMware Converter vSphere client plug-in appears to be going away in future releases (standalone will remain supported)
– VUM in future releases will no longer patch or scan Windows and Linux VMs. VUM now seems to be destined to just manage VMware tools and ESX host software. VUM in 4.1 does not scan or patch Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 VMs.
– vSphere web access is going away in the next release.
– ESXi installs can now be scripted for rapid mass deployment.
– Boot from SAN supported for ESX and ESXi using iSCSI, FCoE, and Fibre Channel.
– New Hardware Acceleration with vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) allows leading-edge storage arrays to provide hardware assistance for certain disk operations. 3PAR put out a press release stating their support for VAAI.
– Storage I/O control provides I/O QoS capabilities. 3PAR is supporting SIOC. Short blog by VMware here with a nice chart.
– iSCSI hardware offloads for 10Gb broadcom NICs.
– Network I/O control – Traffic management controls to allow flexible partitioning of physical NIC bandwidth. Great blog on it here.
– VMware HA now supports Microsoft clusters
– Memory compression – slower that regular RAM but faster than disk.
– Up to 8x performance increase for vMotion
– ESX and ESXi Active Directory Integration for privileged user authentication
– USB device pass-through – vMotion compatible
– Windows Server 2008 R2 support for vCenter server
– NO support for SQL Server 2008 R2 (Bummer!!!)
– vCenter server is now 64-bit only.
To read the full list of new features, check out What’s New. Compatibility matrix is here. Check out the ESXi 4.1 release notes for known bugs and gotchas. You can download a full bundle of the 4.1 documentation here.