VMware vSphereOn March 10th, VMware announced the newest version of vSphere 7.0, in case you missed the announcement, here are some highlights.

vSphere 7.0 comes in two different editions-

  • vSphere 7.0
    • The new generation of vSphere for existing enterprise applications.
    • Two editions Standard and Enterprise Plus
  • vSphere 7.0 with Kubernetes
    • The new generation of vSphere for containerized applications
    • Available through VMware Cloud Foundation
    • This was formally Project Pacific

vSphere 7 adds improvements on these areas:

  • Simplified Lifecycle Management
  • vSphere Lifecycle Manager
  • Update Planner
  • Upgrade using REST API
  • Intrinsic Security
  • Remote attestation
  • Identity federation with ADFS
  • Simplified Patching
  • Application Acceleration
  • Cost efficient AI/ML hardware pools
  • Performance & Resiliency
    • Improved vSphere DRS
  • Predictable QOS

Overview of the new improvements:

vCenter Server

  • vCenter Server Profiles.
    • Profiles can import and export vCenter Server configuration via REST APIs
    • These are not Host Profiles
    • They are the settings you can make in the vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface (VAMI)
    • Maintain version control between vCenter Servers
      • Max 100 vCenter Servers are supported
  • vCenter Server Multi-Homing is now officially supported
    • Maximum of 4 NICs that are supported per vCenter Server
    • NIC1 is reserved for vCenter HA
  • vCenter Server CLI tools
    • Simplified vSphere SSO domain consolidation tool (cmsso-util)
    • The repointing option is gone, replaced with ‘unregister’ and ‘domain-repoint’
  • Content Library VM templates versioning
    • Check-in/Check-out of templates
    • You can Check-out a VM template you are editing, make changes, and check-in the template
    • See the versioning information
  • Automatic migration of a vCenter external PSC
    • External Platform Services Controller (PSC) is gone
    • No Windows Installer
    • vCenter Server converged tool is no longer available from the ISO
    • External PSC it will be automatically converged to a vCenter Server with an embedded PSC when migrating or upgrading
  • vCenter Server Update Planner
    • Helps with discovering, planning, and upgrading a vCenter Server
    • You receive an notifications in the vSphere Client when an upgrade or update is available. No more need to look in the VAMI for an update
    • Detects installed VMware products and if they are compatible or not

vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM)

  • Single Cluster Image Manager
    • Consistency across ESXi hosts in a cluster
    • When a host is not compliant you can remediate it
    • The host firmware management from within vSphere
    • Works in conjunction with vendor tools like Dell OpenManage and HPE OneView
    • The VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) and Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) checks remove the risks of unsupported drivers and firmware levels
    • Available in the GUI and REST API
    • Includes desired state of vSAN management

Security & Compliance

  • vSphere Software Guard Extensions (vSGX)
    • Hardware protection for secrets
    • Allows applications to work with hardware to create a secure enclave
    • Applications can move sensitive logic & storage into secure enclave
    • Cannot be viewed by the guest OS or hypervisor
    • Intel only
  • Improved Certificate Management
    • Certificate management is much simpler
    • Manage the vCenter Server certificates by using APIs
  • vSphere Trust Authority (vTA)
    • vSphere infrastructure
    • Trust that your hosts are configured correctly
  • Identify Federation
    • Standard-based federation authentication with an enterprise provider (idPs)
    • SSO still exists

Hardware & Performance

  • Improved Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)
    • DRS is improved and based on a workload centric standard
    • VM DRS score is the new metric that migrate or balance the workload across the cluster. The VM DRS score is calculated using the following metrics:
      • CPU Ready time
      • Memory swap (overcommit)
      • CPU cache behavior
      • Headroom for the workload to burst
      • Migration cost
  • DRS Scalable shares
    • Relative resource entitlement to other resource pools depending on a number of VMs in the resource pool
    • Setting a share level to “high” ensures prioritization over lower share VM
    • The share allocation dynamically when spinning up VMs
    • This is not enabled by default
  • Assignable Hardware
    • Allows Dynamic DirectPath I/O to use vSphere HA and DRS for initial placement.
    • No more VMs was stuck on the host
    • Requires hardware version 17
    • Example: When powering on a VM with a vGPU profile, DRS will look if it can place that VM with the vGPU profile on another host
    • DRS load balancing of  Dynamic DirectPath I/O devices is not available yet
    • Initial placement of the VM only
    • Supports NVIDIA GRID vGPU devices
  • vMotion
    • vMotion is improved so that it reduces the performance impact on large (monster) VMs during a vMotionThis brings back vMotion capabilities for large workloads like SAP HANA or Oracle
    • Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC). In vSphere 7 there is support for the Intel Cascade Lake and AMD Zen2 generation
  • Virtual Machine Hardware version 17
    • Watchdog Timer
      • Helps by resetting the VM if the guest OS is no longer responding
      • Important for clustered applications
    • Precision Time Protocol (PTP)
      • For applications that require sub-millisecond accuracy
      • Requires both the in-guest device and ESXi service to be enabled.
      • Choose between NTP or PTP for the entire ESXi host

Links and More Information

  • Introducing vSphere 7: Features & Technology for the Hybrid Cloud – Link
  • Overview of vSphere 7 (YouTube) – Link
  • vSphere with Kubernetes 101 White Paper – Link
  • vSphere 7 with Kubernetes (YouTube) – Link
  • DRS Improvements in vSphere 7 Explained – Link
  • vSphere 7 YouTube playlist – Link

I hope you have enjoyed reading about “What’s new in vSphere 7.0”
What do you think of the announcements?

Is this something you are interested in? Did I miss something?

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

About the Author
Raj Patel
Winslow's HCI Lead & Sr. Professional Services Engineer

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