Archives for December 2014

vSphere 5.1 U3 Now Out

Right on the heels of VMware Workstation 11 being released, VMware has released vSphere 5.1 U3. No major new features, but according to the release notes there is support for new guest operating systems (without being specific) and it also resolves a number of issues. Also updated in this release are VMware tools and the SCSI MegaRAID SAS VIB. Some security patches are also included, so be sure to start testing this release and planning your change control windows.

One interesting change in 5.1 U3, which was included in 5.5 U2, is the resetting of the CBT counter when doing a storage vMotion. Now if you do a svMotion CBT state will be maintained. New to vCenter 5.1 U3 is the support for Oracle 12c, and Microsoft SQL 2014. It’s great to see VMware keeping up with database support. vCenter 5.1 U3 also includes an updated Java engine, which addresses a plethora of security issues. So once again, view 5.1 U3 as a security update which you need to plan on rolling out in your environment.

ESXi 5.1 U3 Release notes are here

vCenter 5.1 U3 Release notes are here

As always, you can download the newest updates from My VMware portal. Be sure to conduct thorough testing in a lab environment before deploying this into product. Nutanix supports “U” releases day zero. But remembering back to NFS issues introduced in “U” releases, a good amount of testing is advised before putting this into production.



VMware Workstation 11 & Player 7 Pro Out

Hot off the presses is the release of VMware Workstation 11, and Player 7 Pro. Even though I have a full blown ESXi lab at home, I still find uses for VMware Workstation. For example, I have Windows 10 tech preview running in a Workstation VM. For those of you without a physical ESXi lab, Workstation is a great way to run multiple VMs on your PC. New features in Workstation 11 include:

  • Increased OS support. Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Server 2012 R2, Ubuntu 14.10, RHEL 7, CentOS 7 and OpenSUSE 13.2. Also included is support for Windows 10 technical preview (although I had this running on WS10 without issues).
  • Now sports VM hardware version 11, coming to vSphere 6.0 this spring. Features updated xHCI and NDIS drivers.
  • Improved support for high DPI displays, such as QHD+ (3200×1800)
  • When running on a Haswell PC, you can see up to a 45 percent improvement in CPU intensive operations like multi-media over Workstation 10.
  • VMs can now support 16 vCPUs, 8TB disks, 64GB of RAM and 2GB of video memory.
  • Boot VMs with EFI
  • Create desktop shortcuts for VMs
  • Connection to VMware vCloud Air. Easily upload, run and view your VMs right from Workstation.

For the full release notes, see this link. You can download Workstation 11 from here (login required). I hope that vExperts will be issued Workstation 11 license keys…crossing fingers.