vSphere 6.0 Update 1 now available

VMware has just released an incremental update to vSphere (vCenter Server and ESXi) which is 6.0 Update 1 as well as updates to vSphere Replication (6.1), Data Protection (6.1), Site Recovery Manager (6.1) and  vRealize Orchestrator Appliance (6.0.3). I don’t know why they are versioning everything else as 6.1 and vCenter Server and ESXi as 6.0 U1. They have been referring to the new VSAN version as 6.1 so it would be logical if ESXi and vCenter Server were 6.1 as well, now it looks like they are calling it VSAN 6.0.1

This may look like a minor and incremental upgrade which it mostly is but their are some big new features in VSAN 6.1 which they don’t do it justice in the release notes, read all about what’s new in VSAN 6.1 here. Almost all the product updates in this release center around the new VSAN 6.1 version which is included in it. There are some big updates in SRM with support for Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) and stretched clusters and vSphere Replication also has a new and improved 5 minute RPO replication with VSAN. The other big thing is support for VAIO in ESXi, I don’t see a lot of vendors integrating with this new APIs yet but I know there are some that are working on it such as Infinio and SanDisk (design partner).

This release of VMware ESXi contains the following enhancements:

  • I/O Filter: vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO) provide a framework that allows third parties to create software components called I/O filters. The filters can be installed on ESXi hosts and can offer additional data services to virtual machines by processing I/O requests that move between the guest operating system of a virtual machine and virtual disks.
  • Exclusive affinity to additional system contexts associated with a low-latency VM: This release introduces a new VMX option sched.cpu.latencySensitivity.sysContexts to address issues on vSphere 6.0 where most system contexts are still worldlets. The Scheduler utilizes the sched.cpu.latencySensitivity.sysContexts option for each virtual machine to automatically identify a set of system contexts that might be involved in the latency-sensitive workloads. For each of these system contexts, exclusive affinity to one dedicated physical core is provided. The VMX option sched.cpu.latencySensitivity.sysContexts denotes how many exclusive cores a low-latency VM can get for the system contexts.
  • ESXi Authentication for Active Directory:ESXi is modified to only support AES256-CTS/AES128-CTS/RC4-HMAC encryption for Kerberos communication between ESXi and Active Directory.
  • Support for SSLv3: Support for SSLv3 has been disabled by default. For further details, see Knowledge Base article 2121021.
  • Stretched Clusters: Virtual SAN 6.0 Update 1 supports stretched clusters that span geographic locations to protect data from site failures or loss of network connection.

This release of VMware vCenter Server contains the following enhancements:

  • Customer Experience Improvement Program: The Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) provides VMware with information that enables VMware to improve the VMware products and services and to fix problems. When you choose to participate in CEIP, VMware will collect technical information listed below about your use of the VMware products and services in CEIP reports on a regular basis. This information does not personally identify you. For more details, see the vSphere Documentation Center.
  • Feature Enhancement: Suite UI is now enabled by default for the vSphere Web Client.
  • Support for SSLv3: Support for SSLv3 has been disabled by default.
  • vCSA Authentication for Active Directory: VMware vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) has been modified to only support AES256-CTS/AES128-CTS/RC4-HMAC encryption for Kerberos authentication between vCSA and Active Directory.
  • Installation and Upgrade using HTML 5 installer: The following installation and upgrade scenarios are supported for vCenter Server using HTML 5 installer:
    • Installation using HTML 5 installer and target as vCenter Server is supported
    • Upgrade using HTML 5 installer and target as vCenter Server is not supported
    • Upgrade using command line and target as vCenter Server is supported
  • Resolved Issues: This release of vCenter Server 6.0 Update 1 addresses issues that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.

VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.1 provides the following new features:

  • Support for VMware vSphere 6.0 update 1.
  • Storage policy based protection of virtual machines.
  • Support for stretched storage when using storage policy protection groups in enhanced linked mode.
  • Support for auto-mapping of stretched NSX networks.
  • Enhancements to mappings for test networks.

VMware vSphere Replication 6.1 provides the following new features:

  • 5 minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for replication between Virtual SAN data stores – This version of vSphere Replication allows customers to replicate virtual machine workloads with an RPO setting as low as 5 minutes between Virtual SAN data stores.
  • Support for NFS v 4.1 – This release introduces support for NFS v 4.1 data stores. It allows customers to protect and recover virtual machines that are provisioned onto NFS v 4.1 environments using vSphere Replication.
  • UI Enhancements – the RPO settings in the Configure Replication wizard are simplified and provide more granular options of predefined RPO settings.
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