I imagine this will be the title of a thousand blog posts from now through July and August, but here goes…
ESX is no more – Version 5 is only available as ESXi – the worst kept secret in the world (was it even trying to be a secret – probably not), but VMware has done away with the Service Console for good, most people had anticipated this and already migrated across, but now you need to get to grips with the vCLI or the vMA.
New Virtual Machine Format – Version 8 of the format includes lots of new features (such as the ability to support the revised per-VM specs below), but also includes USB 3.0 device support (as long as the devices are on the limited HCL) and 3D Graphics support for Windows Aero
LARGE Virtual Machines – With Enterprise PLUS licensing, the limits for individual VM’s grow to silly proportions – 32 vCPU’s and 1TB of RAM
vCenter Server Appliance – a linux based VM that runs vSphere with minimal configuration and overhead, at last the logical step, let’s just hope that third party backup vendors like Veeam and Quest do similar
New Version of the VMFS File System* – Version 5 of VMFS (VMFS-5) supports Large Single Extent Volumes – up to 64TB (from 2TB) , enables 2TB+ Raw Device Mappings and uses a common allocation size of 1MB instead of the previous 1,2,4 or 8MB choices, support for up to 100,000 files (from 30,000)
Apple Support (at the server layer) – A compatible OS in vSphere 5 is Apple Xserve servers running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) as the guest OS – How long before we see OS-X client VM’s?
vCenter Web Client – not just browsing datastores any more, a full, feature-rich (but not feature complete) vSphere access using any compatible browser (which appears to be all of them)
ESXi Firewall – A stateless firewall that can restrict access to specific services by IP address or Subnet
Enhanced vStorage API – Expecting more vendors will now be able to take advantage of array integration to support thin provisioning
vSphere Storage DRS – Just as arrays get smarter at handling which tiers to place storage on according to IO requirements VMware provide a prioritisation mechanism that will align grouping, placement and balancing to be used alongside Profile-Driven Storage
Check out the VMware ‘What’s New’ Guide Here
Check out Virtual Geek’s Blog Here and the excellent Yellow Bricks Here
*Great VMFS-5 Blog Post Here