Tuesday, 13 July 2010

vSphere 4.1!

OK, so vSphere 4.1 is out! and now the embargo is lifted I can finally share some of the awesome new features in 4.1.

Now lets be honest there are so many new and cool features in 4.1 that most other companies would probably release it as a version 5.0!But VMware release it as a point release...and that's cool.

Enough of the chit chat you did not come here to hear how great VMware is, its more about what are these new features? Is it worth upgrading to? and are they worth all the fuss?

So the features:

and here is a summary of the features that I think really count and why:

1)Storage I/O control
Prioritized use of storage (similar to how compute is prioritized with vSphere)
this means you can now make sure that your "VIV"s or Very Important VMs get the IO they need when you have IO congestion. This is done via the I/O Shares within the VM properties.

2)Network I/O Control
Set different levels of service per Storage Flow type.
virtual machine, vMotion, FT, and IP storage traffic.
This means you can make iSCSI or NFS take priority over vMotion.
But there is a gotcha:
Enabled with Distributed Switch only and therefore Enterprise Plus only

3)Memory Compression
Slower than real memory but much faster than swapping to disk.
Improves the performance for the VM when under contention as far less memory is swapped to disk.

4)vMotion Performance Increases and Scale Increases
Allows up to 4 on a 1Gbps network and 8 on a 10Gbps network.

5) Storage vMotion Scale Increases
Allows up to 128 (both VMFS and NFS)

6) DRS Host affinity
Allows you set set rules on where your VMs vMotion to when DRS needs to move them.
e.g. VM W2003-DC1 only goes to DRS Group 1, however VM W2003-Exchange only goes to DRS Group 2.

Here is where you create the rules:

7)vStorage API for Array Integration
This is another great feature (if supported by your SAN),
essentially this means vSphere can interact directly with your SAN.
Therefore instead of copying the files from one datastore to another, it instructs the SAN to move the blocks for you! Increasing the performance for Storage vMotion and Provisioning VMs etc

Also noteworthy:
4.1 will be the last release for ESX (ESX Classic) from now on there will only be ESXi releases

The binaries are avalible now so go grab them!

Thanks for John Toyer@vmware

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