Davoud Teimouri

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New Features in vSphere 6.7 Update 1

What’s New in vSphere 6.7 Update 1?

17th April 2018, VMware has introduced vSphere 6.7 with lot of new features. 18th October 2018, VMware announces vSphere 6.7 Update 1 is now generally available. There is some big changes that we’ll review those changes in this post.

First and biggest change is using single platform for vSphere Client. vCenter High Availability has a big change and improvement. Content Library gives you more flexibility.

VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 1

vSphere Client

HTML5 based vSphere Client has been fully featured now and it will single platform to manage vSphere 6.7 from now. There are two features I want to highlight from the vSphere Client in vSphere 6.7 Update 1. The first is the improved searching capabilities. Customers can now search objects with a string and filter based attributes. These attributes include Tags, Custom Attributes, and VM power state to name a few. For common searches, there is also an option to save the search for future usage.

The second feature I want to highlight is considered one of the top feature requests. The vSphere team has been listening and now the dark theme option is available. Now customers can switch between the traditional light theme to the new dark theme in a single click.

vCenter High Availability

vCenter High Availability has three-step configuration now:

  • vSphere SSO credentials for either management vCenter Server or management credentials
  • Resource settings for the Passive and Witness nodes including compute, storage, and network
  • IP Settings for the Passive and Witness nodes

Also included is auto-creation of the Active node clones to create the Passive and Witness nodes.

Content Library

This release Content Library now supports two more new file formats. This functionality is already available to VMware Cloud on AWS customers. Now it’s making its way to on-premises vSphere customers in vSphere 6.7 Update 1. Customers can now manage their templates on the local vCenter Server Content Library. Replication of template files to other subscriber Content Libraries is not available in this release. The other new supported format is Open Virtual Appliance (OVA). When importing an OVA file format in a Content Library, its content is first extracted. This allows Content Library to validate the OVA manifest and certificate. After the validation process is complete, it creates an OVF item for deployment. Give Content Library a try in your environment and let us know your thoughts.

vSphere Health

When deploying your vCenter Server there is an option to enable CEIP. It stands for Customer experience improvement program. When enabled data gets sent to VMware’s analytics cloud, customer workload data is not part of the data collected. This is all anonymous, data is secure and housed in VMware’s data centers. VMware uses this telemetry data to help improve features and customer experience. Now when enabled this functionality provides even more value to the customers. It provides an assessment of the vSphere environment and returns KBs on how to solve the problem at hand. For example, the warning you get when you only have a single management network for your ESXi hosts. We detect and provide alarms for both existing and potential problems. This helps in protecting customer environments from future problems.

Keep in mind this is a new service and will not have all health checks day one. The good news is this services independent of the vSphere release cycle. It features an out-of-band delivery infrastructure. If you are running vSphere 6.7 you also have the same capabilities as well. The goal here is overtime this service will become more proactive to ensure you have a healthy vSphere environment. If you haven’t enabled CEIP during your vSphere deployment, it’s easy enough to enable and gain the new benefits this service has to offer.

Other New Features

vCenter Server

  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can move a vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller from one vSphere domain to another vSphere domain. Services such as tagging and licensing are retained and migrated to the new domain.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds screening for issues in your vSphere environment that proactively provides links to relevant VMware knowledge base articles.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds support for virtual machine (.vmtx) templates in the Content Library Service.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds a CLI tool to convert instances of vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller instances into vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller connected in Embedded Linked Mode.
  • Burst Filter: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds a Burst Filter to manage event bursts and prevent the database of vCenter Server from flooding with identical events over a short period of time.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 supports VMware vSphere vMotion between on-prem systems and VMware Cloud on AWS. You can use either the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client, or the API. To enable the feature, you must upgrade the source on-prem vCenter Server system to vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 and ESXi 6.7 Update 1.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can import Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) files in a Content Library. The OVA files are unzipped during the import, providing manifest and certificate validations, and create an OVF library item that enables deployment of virtual machines from a Content Library.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can restore external Platform Services Controller instances which are replicating data with other external Platform Services Controller instances. This includes restore of external Platform Services Controller instances in all topologies supported in replication mode. The external Platform Services Controller being restored syncs with active peers or if no replication partner is available, it is restored to a backed-up state.
  • Create and Extend Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI): The Create/Extend HCI cluster feature provides a guided user experience for configuration of vSphere and vSAN clusters. The feature also delivers a centralized wizard experience, embeds best practice, and automates repetitive operations.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can use the Appliance Management User Interface to configure and edit the firewall settings of the vCenter Server Appliance.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, users with vCenter Single Sign-On administrator privileges, who are part of the SystemConfiguration.BashShellAdministrator group, can access and manage the vCenter Server Appliance by using the Bash shell.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 supports Windows 2016 Active Directory.
  • vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 adds support for configuration and monitoring of vCenter High Availability by using the vSphere Client.
  • With vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1, you can change color schemes in the vSphere Client to display the interface in a dark theme.
  • AppDefense vCenter Server Plugin: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 introduces VMware Appdefense as an integrated component of vCenter Server. The AppDefense vCenter Server Plugin provides aggregated security metrics, visibility, and health statistics for applications and workloads running on vSphere.
  • AppDefense lifecycle management: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 supports one-click, integrated installation and upgrade workflows for AppDefense directly within vCenter Server.
  • AppDefense virtual machine monitoring: vCenter Server 6.7 Update 1 supports AppDefense behavior monitoring for visibility, security assessment, and troubleshooting directly within vCenter Server.

ESXi

  • ESXi 6.7 Update 1 adds a Microsemi Smart PQI (smartpqi) LSU plug-in tо support attached disk management operations on the HPE ProLiant Gen10 Smart Array Controller.
  • ESXi 6.7 Update 1 adds Quick Boot support for Intel i40en and ixgben Enhanced Network Stack (ENS) drivers, and extends support for HPE ProLiant and Synergy servers. For more information, see VMware knowledge base article 52477.
  • ESXi 6.7 Update 1 enables a precheck when upgrading ESXi hosts by using the software profile commands of the ESXCLI command set to ensure upgrade compatibility.
  • ESXi 6.7 Update 1 adds nfnic driver support for Cisco UCS Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).
  • ESXi 6.7 Update 1 adds support for Namespace Globally Unique Identifier (NGUID) in the NVMe driver.
  • With ESXi 6.7 Update 1, you can run the following storage ESXCLI commands to enable status LED on Intel VMD based NVMe SSDs without downloading Intel CLI:
    • esxcli storage core device set -l locator -d
    • esxcli storage core device set -l error -d
    • esxcli storage core device set -l off -d 
  • ESXi 6.7 Update 1 adds APIs to avoid ESXi host reboot while configuring ProductLocker and to enable the management of VMware Tools configuration by the CloudAdmin role in cloud SDDC without the need of access to Host Profiles.
  • ESXi 6.7 Update 1 adds the advanced configuration option EnablePSPLatencyPolicy to claim devices with latency based Round Robin path selection policy. The EnablePSPLatencyPolicy configuration option does not affect existing device or vendor-specific claim rules. You can also enable logging to display paths configuration when using the EnablePSPLatencyPolicy option.
  • With ESXi 6.7 Update 1, you can use vSphere vMotion to migrate virtual machines configured with NVIDIA virtual GPU types to other hosts with compatible NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. For more information on the supported NVIDIA versions, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
  • With ESXi 6.7 Update 1, Update Manager Download Service (UMDS) does not require a Database and the installation procedure is simplified. For more information, see the vSphere Update Manager Installation and Administration Guide.

vSAN

  • Guided cluster creation and extension. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 introduces a Quickstart wizard in the vSphere Client. The Quickstart workflow guides the user through the deployment process for vSAN and non-vSAN clusters. It covers every aspect of the initial configuration, such as host, network, and vSphere settings. Quickstart also plays a part in the ongoing expansion of a vSAN cluster by allowing a user to add additional hosts to the cluster.
  • HBA firmware update through VUM. Storage I/O controller firmware for vSAN hosts is now included as part of the vSphere Update Manager remediation workflow. This functionality was previously provided in a vSAN utility called Configuration Assist. VUM also supports custom ISOs that are provided by certain OEM vendors and vCenter Servers that do not have internet connectivity.
  • Maintenance mode enhancements. vSAN now performs a simulation of data evacuation to determine if the operation will succeed or fail before it starts. If the evacuation will fail, vSAN halts the operation before any resynchronization activity begins. In addition, the vSphere Client enables you to modify the component repair delay timer, so you can adjust this setting.
  • Historical and usable capacity reporting. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 introduces a historical capacity dashboard that reports on capacity usage over a period of time, including historical changes to the deduplication ratio. This release also includes a usable capacity estimator, which enables you to see the usable datastore capacity based on a selected storage policy.
  • TRIM/UNMAP for storage efficiency.  vSAN 6.7 Update 1 now has full awareness of TRIM/UNMAP commands sent from the Guest OS, and reclaims previously allocated blocks as free space within the underlying vSAN objects. TRIM/UNMAP can be configured in automatic or offline mode, which is set within the Guest OS.
  • Mixed MTU for witness traffic separation. vSAN now supports different MTU settings for the witness traffic VMkernel interface and the vSAN data network VMkernel interface. This capability provides increased network flexibility for stretched clusters and 2-node clusters that utilize witness traffic separation.
  • Health check enhancements. Storage controller firmware health check now supports multiple approved firmware levels to provide additional flexibility. You can silence health checks from the UI. You can purge inaccessible swap objects that are no longer needed. The All hosts have matching subnets health check has been deprecated.
  • Unicast network performance test. A new proactive network performance test, based on Unicast, determines if all hosts in the cluster have proper connectivity and meet bandwidth recommendations.
  • vRealize Operations enhancements within vCenter Server. Native vROps dashboards built into vCenter Server can display intelligence for vSAN stretched clusters. Additionally, the deployment process now supports virtual distributed switches and full compatibility with vROps 7.0.
  • In-product support diagnostics. vSAN 6.7 Update 1 introduces product diagnostics to assist VMware Global Support in resolving customer cases more quickly. Specialized performance dashboards in vCenter Server, and an on-demand network diagnostic test, reduce the need to generate and upload support bundles to GSS, speeding time to resolution of support cases. In addition, health check history is stored in a log file to aid support personnel.
  • Advanced settings. The vSphere Client provides an Advanced settings dialog box (Configure > vSAN > Services > Advanced Options). You can adjust the component repair delay timer. You also can enable/disable thin swap files, site read locality and large cluster support.

Download Links

vCenter Server 6.7u1

ESXi 6.7u1

vSAN 6.7u1

PowerCLI 11

vSphere Management SDK 6.7u1

vSphere Client SDK 6.7u1

vSphere Web Client SDK 6.7u1

vSphere Virtual Disk Development (VDDK) SDK 6.7u1

See Also

VMware Fling – ESXi Embedded Host Client

What’s New in VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere 6.4.2

[Review]: vSphere 6.5 Update 2

VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 1

Supported Update Sequence – vSphere 6.5

Compatible VMware Products – vSphere 6.5

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New Features in vSphere 6.7 Update 1
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Davoud Teimouri is as a professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

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