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VMware vSphere 6.0 – The Latest Upgrade to the Industry-Leading Virtualization Platform

Thought-Leadership by Heath Cejka
on March 31, 2015

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In February, VMware released vSphere 6.0, the latest edition to the industry leading virtualization platform that empowers users to scale-up and scale-out applications and workloads in a remote data center. As the foundation for the Software Defined Data Center, vSphere accelerates the shift to cloud computing by decreasing capex and opex, increasing system and application uptime, and drastically simplifying IT management.


Raising the Standard on Virtual Infrastructure

With the support of more than 3,000 applications from more than 2,000 ISV partners, vSphere is the trusted platform for any application or workload and is utilized in five general use-cases:

  1. Virtualization of applications and workload to enhance performance and availability.

  2. Simplify management of the virtual datacenter by creating, sharing, deploying, and migrating virtual machines with powerful, yet intuitive tools.

  3. Perform live workload migrations and data center maintenance with zero application downtime.

  4. Enable external storage arrays to operate in a more VM-centric manner that increases performance and efficiency.

  5. Build and operate cloud environments using OpenStack.

vSphere Hypervisor 6.0 has dramatically increased scalability. Clusters can scale to as many as 64 hosts, up from 32 in previous releases, now supporting 8,000 virtual machines in a single cluster. This enables greater consolidation ratios of 15:1 or more, and improved hardware utilization from 5-15% to as much as 80%, without sacrificing performance.

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Additional Hypervisor enhancements include:

  • Centralized account management across all hosts in a cluster

  • Improved Administrator Actions for auditability

  • Two new flexible Lockdown Modes, called “Normal Lockdown Mode” and “Strict Lockdown Mode”

  • Smart card authentication to DCUI

Key Features and Components of VMware vSphere

Although going over each every vSphere component is too monumental a task for a single blog post, below we’ll cover the most relevant features from a high-level perspective:

  • vSphere Hypervisor Architecture enables multiple VMs to share hardware resources with performance that can match and exceed native throughput

  • Virtual Symmetric Processing enables the use of ultra-powerful VMs that possess 128 virtual CPUs

  • Virtual Machine File System  allows VMs to access shared storage devices for other vSphere components

  • vSphere Storage APIs with supported 3rd-party data protection and multipathing

  • Storage vMotion enables live migration of VM disks with no disruption to users, eliminating the need to schedule application downtime for planned storage maintenance/migration

  • Fault Tolerance for continuous availability of any application with no data loss

  • vSphere Data Protection – VMware’s backup and replication solution – delivers storage-efficient backups through rapid recovery and WAN-optimized replication

  • Big Data Extensions support multiple Hadoop distributions for seamless deployment and management

Of course, this is only a taste of vSphere’s capabilities. As the reigning solution provider on Gartner’s Virtualization Technology Magic Quadrant, VMware is the unquestionable leader in driving innovation in VM technology, constantly seeking to improve its already industry-leading product. For more information on how VMware vSphere can accelerate your IT workload, click the banner below to schedule a consultation with a SoftwareONE Technical Specialist today!

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