VMware drops the motherload, what’s new?

I just recently got back from a productive VMware Partner Empower Conference and since then I have been trying make some time to grind through the installing and upgrades of 10 new product releases. (Sorry I am a bit behind in getting this blog post publish) Yes, you heard correct 10!   I do hope VMware in the future consider staggering the product release as well as align the product compatibility.

Here is a list of new product updates available:

  1.  vRealize Automation 7.4.0 Release Notes Download
  2.  vRealize Orchestrator Appliance 7.4.0 Release Notes Download
  3. vRealize Code Stream 2.4 Release Notes Download
  4. vRealize Business for Cloud 7.4.0 Release Notes Download
  5. vRealize Operations Manager 6.7.0 Release Notes Download
  6. vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.2 Release Notes Download
  7.  vRealize Log Insight 4.6.0 Release Notes Download
  8.  vCenter Server 6.7 Release Notes Download
  9.  vSphere ESXi 6.7 Release Notes Download
  10.  vSphere Replication 8.1 Release Notes Download

Now let’s see the awesomeness that each of the new products brings.

vRealize Automation 7.4.0

  • Custom Request Forms Designer has been vastly improved!
  • Deployment of Blueprint from an OVF on AVA. sweet!
  • Improvement in the handling items in an in-progress state. This was a big pet peeve of mine which has finally been addressed!
  • Message board portlet security has been enhanced with a whitelist for URLs
  • Multitenancy in vRealize Orchestrator is great since now we do not have to deploy multi vRO environments for different tenants.

vRealize Orchestrator Appliance 7.4.0

  • Multitenancy in vRO, need we say more!  Allows for full isolation of content items and execution and no more need to deploy separate vRO environment for tenants.
  • Web-based Clarity UI update with new monitoring dashboards for workflow runs and metrics to monitor and troubleshoot workflow runs including centralized log views.

vRealize Code Stream 2.4

  • General defect fixes and improvements.

vRealize Business for Cloud 7.4.0

  • Note:
    • If you are running vRBC 6.x.x a direct upgrade is not possible and you must first upgrade to 7.3.1!
    • If you upgrade to 7.4.0, any vRealize Automation VMs that are deleted in the current month before the upgrade will be missing in the current months vRA Report.  There is currently no fix and the workaround is to download the vRA Report before you upgrade. KB 2151835
  • Enhancements to the VMC on AWS assessment with FTT and Erasure coding.
    • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.15.29 PM.png
  • Pricing and Chargeback capabilities enhancements
    • For vCloud Director, storage policy driven pricing is now available.
      • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.32.41 PM.png
      • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.32.26 PM.png
    • For vCD, you can define T-Shirt sizes for Pay-as-you-go VMs. This is cool and I wish we can get this in vRA as well for Component Profile!
      • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.51.14 PM.png
    • Apply differential rate for vCPU and Memory, that is beyond the guaranteed resources
      • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 6.45.43 PM.png
    • Apply daily pricing of OS license consumption
      • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 7.20.16 PM.png
    • Network pricing enhancements
      • Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 2.49.25 PM.png
    • vCloud Director usage and charge details through report API
    • Security enhancements

vRealize Operations Manager 6.7.0

  • Analytics Advancements
    • Optimize placement and balancing of workloads based on software license via tag-based placement.
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.22.52 PM.png
    • New capacity overview, reclamation and planning UI workflows powered by new real time capacity analytics
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.25.32 PM.png
    • Native cost visibility in capacity overview, reclamation and planning with cost comparison of adding workloads across different clouds including private cloud, VMware Cloud on AWS and Amazon.
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.29.04 PM.png
    • OOTB Allocation based Capacity dashboard to assess clusters with capacity risk based on how much capacity is allocated to VMs
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.40.54 PM.png
  • Platform Improvements
    • 30% footprint reduction, meaning you can either monitor more object or resize your appliance.
  • Refreshed vSAN support natively in vRealize Operations Manager and in vCenter Server via a vRealize Operations Manager plugin in vCenter Server
    • Operational dashboards in vCenter Server via a vRealize Operations Manager plugin in vCenter Server that ships with vCenter Server 6.7
    • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.44.51 PM.png
  • Automated Agent Lifecycle Management to Enable Application Monitoring in Wavefront
  • User Experience Improvements
    • Much more subtle quick start page with workflows, which does not just throws red flags in your face when you login 🙂
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.05.35 PM.png
    • Ability to customize the default homepage
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.48.00 PM.png
    • New Colorized palettes, other than just a shade of blue 🙂
    • Dark Theme, always!
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.10.49 PM.png
  • Content Enhancements
    • New in-product videos provide step by step instructions
    • Enhanced vSAN dashboards with vSAN key performance
    • New out of box dashboards is provided to optimize performance & cost
    • Optimized metrics with new metric groups and quick metric descriptions are in the interface.
  • Changed and Deprecated Features
    • Deprecated:
      • What-if planning scenarios to add capacity- this functionality
      • Ability to reserve capacity at a cluster level for a given project
      • Several capacity metrics, sub-badges at an object level, OOTB views, dashboards and alerts
      • Option to calculate Capacity Remaining and Time Remaining based on demand vs allocation model
      • Management Pack for VMware Configuration Manager
    • Changed/added:
      • New simplified What-if planning workflow has been added to forecast capacity shortfalls and compares costs across clouds
      • ew capacity analytics based simplified workflows, alerts and dashboards have been added and refreshed.
      • The product shows capacity analytics based on VM demand. If the latest version of VMware Tools is installed, the VM demand takes into account the memory metrics from within the Guest OS for increased accuracy.
      • New simplified compliance pages and refreshed dashboards have been added to assess compliance with vSphere Security, PCI, HIPAA benchmarks
  • Supported Management Packs
    • VMware vRealize Operations Management Pack for VMware vRealize Orchestrator 1.0
    • VMware SDDC Health Monitoring Solution 4.0
    • VMware OpenStack Management Pack 4.1 for VMware vRealize Operations
    • VMware vCloud Director 4.5 Management Pack for VMware vRealize Operations
    • vRealize Operations Management Pack for Service Discovery 2.0
    • vRealize Operations Management Pack for NSX for vSphere 3.5.2

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.2

  • Install pre-checker
    • validate the environment create requests before starting the deployment
  • Content lifecycle management
    • This is probably the most exciting and I will create a blog about this feature shortly!
    • Allows you to manage the release automation of content such as vRealize Automation Blueprints, vRealize Orchestrator Workflows across multiple environments such as development, staging, production. It allows native source control management integration and dependency management between a cross-referenced content.
      • Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.58.02 PM.png
  • User interface enhancements

vRealize Log Insight 4.6.0

  • Server features
    • Support up to 15 vCenter Servers per node
    • Send an alert when a configured log source stops sending log events after a fixed amount of time.
    • Control the visibility of items on Dashboard widgets. Use Shift-Click to toggle and Option/Alt-Click to show all.
    • Authenticate with VMware Identity Manager, local users.
  • Agent features
    • Support for sending syslog over UDP
    • Importer support for bzip and bzip2 archiving formats.
    • Support for configurable compression for HTTP requests when an agent sends log events with the Ingestion API.

vSphere Replication

  • Unified native hypervisor-based replication solution for on-premise environment and VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Streamlined HTML5 user interface
  • The vSphere Replication virtual appliance now uses Photon OS 2.0 as the guest operating system.
  • Support for multiple VMware vSphere on-premises versions. vSphere Replication 8.1 is compatible with VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 3 and later, including 6.7

vCenter Server 6.7 & vSphere ESXi 6.7

At the time of writing vCenter Server 6.7 does not support NSX, so do not upgrade until NSX has received a product compatible upgrade release.

We have so much to talk about, and probably in another blog future blog post, but here but just some of my favorite new features:

  • vCSA delivers 2x performance improvements
  • vCenter Server with Embedded PSC now supports Enhanced Linked Mode
  • VAMI has received an update to the Clarity UI, including several enhancements
  • vCenter Server File-Based Backup was introduced in 6.5 with 6.7 adding a scheduler plus amount of copies to retain.
  • vSphere 6.7  marks the final release of the vSphere Web Client (Flash)!
  • Lost of security enhancements
    • vMotion Encryption
    • TPM 2.0
  • Per-VM EVC enables the Enhanced vMotion Compatibility mode to become an attribute of the VM rather than the specific processor generation it happens to be booted on in the cluster.
  • ESXi hosts reduced maintenance time by eliminating one of two reboots normally required for major version upgrades
  • vSphere Quick Boot restarts the ESXi hypervisor without rebooting the physical host, skipping time-consuming hardware initialization.
  • Support for Persistent Memory (PMEM)
  • Enhanced support for Remote Directory Memory Access (RDMA)

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