vSphere 7 U2 was released on the 9th of March 2021 and brought a bunch of nice features for various use cases.
Soon after the release I could upgrade my lab vCenter 7 U1 to U2. Easy through the VAMI: https://vcenter.fqdn:5480. Then I deployed a couple of nested ESXi 7 U2 hosts and came in touch with the new surface.
If you beak the update down, improvements for vCenter, ESXi and vSAN emerge.
Now let’s start with an overview and proceed to my top features and their content.
History and Outlook
First lets have a look at the history of VMWare top-notch on-premises virtualization solution. I mapped the important dates and I think this is the last update until VMworld 2021. By the way, please save the date: VMworld ’21 will be online again from 5th to 7th of October 2021. I suggest there will be a free pass to attend the event like last year. At least most of the sessions. I am looking forward for some new certification vouchers to finally pass my vRealize Automation VCP.
So on 09th of March was not only released vSphere 7 U2 but also vSAN 7 U2. Since 2017 there is a coupling with a lockstep between vSphere and vSAN.
End of general support infos:
By the way. vSphere 6.5 has received an extended support of about 11 months due to COVID-19.
7 U2: New Features, Maxima & Improvements
So let’s have a look at the top features!
- One of my personal highlights is the vSphere Native Key Provider. Now you have the possibility to use a VCenter integrated KMS usable for features like VM or vSAN datastore encryption and vTPM. It was always a struggle because you need some external KMS products and free versions don’t exist anymore.
- Meanwhile, I am heavily invested in the new cloud native thing. Currently, a lot of free time flows into learning regarding my Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam (CKA). In vSphere 7 GA you could only use vSphere with Kubernetes with vCloud Foundation (VCF). Since 7 U1 you received more choices in form of NSX-T or HA-Proxy load balancing without VCF. Finally, with U2 you got NSX Advanced Load Balancer Essential (AVI) as a further possibility, and it sounds wonderful. It is free of charge and I will soon deploy & test it in my lab. Report incoming!
- Another interesting improvement is the vSAN Mesh. You can now use the vSAN datastore of a remote cluster without a vSAN license for the mounting cluster. This improved scalability, makes things easier and lowers TCO. But be aware of the additional single points failure. Do the review of your architecture! Don’t just mount the datastore.
- Maybe interesting for Windows admins: You can now mount a folder in a shared datastore directly via. VMware Tools into the VM. This feature is called VMware Tools Guest Content Distribution.
- Finally, vSAN file services, SMB and NFS is now available for my beloved 2-Node ROBO deployments. This means a great advantage for your remote sites. By the way, vSAN file services is getting better and better. Of course, it is not comparable with a Netapp Filer but for some use cases it will suffice.
- Up to 30% higher performance in certain scenarios with AMD ZEN processors (Naples/Rome). Better placement of VMs and Containers. Optimized scheduling.
There are several more improvements, but I think if you are interested just look it up yourself:
What is next?
Currently, preparing for a speech at interface systems VMware Workshop on 20th of April. Topics are Containers, Kubernetes and Tanzu amplified with a life demo. One of my slots is one hour, so I got a lot to tell. Also, my colleague and I are preparing a nice showcase of vRealize Orchestrator.
Would be happy to see you there: Registration-Link
Wish you and your family a nice and peaceful extended Easter weekend!
See you next time 🙂