VMworld 2013: What’s new in vSphere 5.5


This session was a fire hose of the top vSphere 5.5 features. There’s a lot that’s new in this release, and they’ve addressed many of the vSphere 5.1 SSO headaches. So if you skipped vSphere 5.1 (like I did) for production environments, then get ready for the vSphere 5.5 train and jump on board. This is a release that you won’t want to miss. Also learn why vCloud Director will be going the way of the Windows c# vSphere client (hint, think dodo bird).

Cloud Management Offerings

  • vSphere with Operations Management – new SKU in March 2013 -vSOM Enterprise + is $4245 per socket
  • vCloud Suite per CPU: Enterprise Plus is $11,495
  • Operations management – A large customer found 90% of VMs were over provisioned

What’s new in vSphere 5.5


  • vSphere Big Data Extensions – Optimize Hadoop workloads and extend project Serengeti
  • Pivotal and VMware vSphere – Building PaaS on-Prem
  • Latest chip set support – Intel E5 V2, Intel Atom C2000
  • OpenStack – Delivering architecture choices

Performance and Scale

  • 2x in configuration maximums
  • Up to 62TB VMDKs
  • Low latency application configuration 31% latency improvement
  • 320 pCPUs, 4TB RAM, 16 NUMA nodes, 4096 vCPUs
  • 4GB ESXi minimum RAM (e.g. for labs)

vSphere App HA

  • Detect and recover from application or OS failure
  • Supports most common packages apps (Exchange, SQL, Oracle, SharePoint, etc.)
  • vCloud Extensibility – APIs and ecosystem
  • Deployed as two virtual appliances
  • Tier 1 application protection at scale

vSphere Flash Read Cache

  • Virtualized flash resource managed just like CPU and memory
  • Per-VM hypervisor based read caching using server flash
  • Compatible with vMotion, DRS and HA
  • Accelerates performance for mission critical apps by up to 2x
  • Enables efficient use of server flash in virtual environments
  • Fully transparent to VMs

vSphere Big Data Extensions

  • Elastic scaling
  • Easy to use interface
  • Enhanced HA/FT leveraging vSphere
  • Higher cluster utilization

vSphere Replication

  • Still 15 minute RPO
  • Multiple point in time copies
  • Multiple replication appliances per vCenter
  • Support storage vMotion and storage DRS

vSphere Data Protection

  • 4x greater scalability – Advanced SKU (more $$)
  • Agent-based application awareness of Exchange and SQL – Advanced SKU only (extra $$)
  • Direct recovery – can recover VMs without vCenter
  • Restore individual VMDKs
  • Can restore with a different VADP appliance
  • 6x faster recovery
  • 4x more storage efficient
  • Managed from vSphere web client

vCenter Server 5.5

  • SSO: Improved user experience. SSO no longer requires SQL database.
  • vCenter Appliance supports 500 vSphere hosts and 5000 VMs
  • vCenter Databases – Official support for database clustering – Oracle RAC, SQL cluster
  • Added support for OS X vSphere web client
  • VM console access, deploy OVF templates
  • Drag and drop

Best of the Rest

  • Hardware version 10
  • MSCS support enhancements
  • VMFS heap enhancements
  • Enhanced LACP support
  • Enhanced SR-IOV
  • QoS tagging
  • Packet capture
  • 40G support
  • Support “reliable memory”
  • Hot-plug SSD PCie Devices
  • Expanded vGPU and GP-GPU support

License SKUs

  • Enterprise: Adds big data extensions and reliable memory
  • Enterprise Plus: Flash read cache and App HA

vSphere 5.5 Support Lifecycle

  • Normal 5 year support would end 2016 (based on vSphere 5 starting in 2011)
  • Support will be extended to 2018
  • Only applies to ESXi and vCenter 5.5

Reduce Complexity

  • vCloud Director is GOING AWAY post vSphere 5.5. Functionality migrated to vCAC and the virtualization platform
  • vCloud Automation Center – vCAC
  • vCloud director will also have extended support period like vSphere 5.5
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