Tag Archive: vSphere 5.5

Oct 14 2013

Top 5 big & little enhancements in vSphere 5.5

The August/September timeframe has become like Christmas for vSphere geeks as the anxiously awaited new release of vSphere arrives which they finally get to unwrap and play with. VMware released vSphere 5.5 on September 22nd this year, just one year after the last major vSphere 5.1 release. Overall vSphere 5.5 is a bit light on the number of new features/enhancements compared to previous releases and is also missing the long awaited new Virtual Volumes (vVols) storage architecture that VMware has been showing off for a while now.

Despite that there is still plenty of new stuff in vSphere 5.5 that make it a worthy upgrade. Typically each new release has some superstar new features that get a lot of attention along with lots of smaller enhancements and features that often get overlooked. In this post I thought I’d highlight a few of the big new features and also a few of the smaller ones that often go un-noticed.

This post brought to you by SolarWinds, the makers of great products for virtual environments including Virtualization Manager, Storage Manager and Server & Application Monitor.

1 – Scalability

Scalability in vSphere is important as it dictates the size and the amount of workloads that can run on a host. By steadily increasing scalability VMware has made it so almost any size workload can be virtualized and VM density can grow higher. On the VM side, the Monster VM has steadily grown quite large and able to tackle any workload, however its one weakness has always been the virtual disk size which has been limited to 2TB in past releases. That’s finally changed with vSphere 5.5 as the maximum virtual disk size has jumped to a whopping 62TB.

While the VM side got more disk, on the host size the increases were focused on compute resources. The maximum number of physical and virtual CPUs per hosts doubled to 320 pCPUs and 4096 vCPUs while the maximum physical memory doubled to 4TB. This greatly increases the VM density that you can achieve as it allows you to pack more VMs onto a host. While the CPU limits are so high that most people will never even get close to reaching them, the memory increases are definitely welcome as many applications running on VMs tend to be very memory hungry.

One other nice scalability jump was with the vCenter Server Appliance which is a pre-built virtual appliance complete with OS, database and the vCenter Server software installed. The big advantage of the using the vCSA is it’s simple to install and setup which made it very convenient especially for users that lacked database experience. The problem in vSphere 5.1 was that it was very limited in scalability and would only support the smallest of environments up to 5 hosts and 50 VMs. That’s all changed in vSphere 5.5 as it now scales to 100 hosts and 3000 VMs, a huge jump which it will make it attractive alternative to a much wider group. If you want to find out more about the scalability changes between vSphere releases check out this post and this post.

2 – Virtual SAN

VMware’s new Virtual SAN (VSAN), not to be confused with their existing VSA offering, is their latest product as VMware continues to try and become a storage vendor. The big difference between VMware’s VSA & VSAN is that VSAN is not a virtual appliance, it is baked into the hypervisor and VSAN also scales much higher than VSA which was limited to 3 nodes. VSAN also requires both SSD and traditional spinning disk as it utilizes the SSD tier as both a read cache and write buffer to complement the traditional spinning disk tier.
While VSAN was released as part of vSphere 5.5, it’s not quite ready yet and is only available in beta form.

You can sign up for the public beta here, note there is nothing to download as its native to vSphere 5.5, you just need a license key to activate it. Before you jump in and start using it you should be aware that it currently has limited hardware support and it has some known issues. But it’s beta so you should expect that and shouldn’t be using it in production anyway. That shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try though as long as you meet the requirements so you can get a look at what’s coming. And also the correct acronym is VSAN not vSAN, you have to love VMware’s ever changing letter case usage. If you want to know more about VSAN I have a huge collection of links on it.

3 – UNMAP

UNMAP is a SCSI command (not a vSphere feature) that is used with thin provisioned storage arrays as a way to reclaim space from disk blocks that have been written to after the data that resides on those disk blocks has been deleted. UNMAP serves as the mechanism that is used by the Space Reclamation feature in vSphere to reclaim space from VMs that have been deleted or moved to another datastore. This process allows thin provisioning to clean-up after itself and greatly increases the value and effectiveness of thin provisioning.

Support for UNMAP was first introduced in vSphere 5 and it was initially intended to be an automatic (synchronous) reclamation process. However issues with storage operations timing out while vSphere waited for the process to complete on some arrays caused VMware to change it to a manual (asynchronous) process that does not work in real time. A parameter was added to the vmkfstools CLI utility that would create a balloon file and delete it and during the process UNMAP all disk blocks to reclaim space. The problem with this was you had to constantly run it manually, it was resource intensive and not very efficient as it tried to reclaim blocks that may not have data written to them yet.

In vSphere 5.5 it’s still not an automatic process unfortunately but VMware has improved the manual process. To initiate an UNMAP operation you now use the “esxcli” command using the “storage vmfs unmap” parameter, you can pass it some additional parameters to specify a VMFS volume label/uuid and the number of blocks to reclaim (default is 200). In addition UNMAP is now much more efficient and the run duration is greatly reduced and the reclaim efficiency is increased. As a result where VMware previously recommended only running it off-hours so it wouldn’t impact VM workloads, you can now run it anytime and it will have minimal impact.

To see if your storage device supports UNMAP you can run the “esxcli storage core device vaai status get -d” command and the Delete Status will say supported if it does, you can also check the vSphere HCL to see if its supported and what firmware version may be required. To find out more about the changes check out this post by Jason Boche and if you went to VMworld be sure and check out session STO4907 – Capacity Jail Break: vSphere 5 reclamation nuts and bolts.

4 – CPU C-states

vSphere can help reduce server power consumption during periods of low resource usage by throttling  the physical CPUs. It can accomplish this in one of 2 ways, by throttling the frequency and voltage of a CPU core or by completely shutting down a CPU core. This is referred to as P-states and C-states which are defined as follows:

  • A P-state is an operational state that can alter the frequency and voltage of a CPU core from a low state (P-min) to the max state (P-max), this can help save power for workloads that do not require a CPU core full frequency.
  • A C-state is an idle state that shuts down a whole CPU core so it cannot be used, this is done during periods of low-activity and saves more power than simply lowering the CPU core frequency.

Why would you want to use this feature, because it can save you money, especially in larger environments. It’s the equivalent to staffing a restaurant; do you want your full staff there standing around getting paid while doing nothing during off-peak periods? Of course not, just like you don’t want all your CPU cores powered on when you don’t need them, it wastes money.

Support for CPU P-states & C-states was first introduced in vSphere 4, but the balanced (between power/performance) power policy only supported P-states. You could use C-states as well but you had to create a custom policy for them. Now in vSphere 5.5 the balanced power policy supports both P-states and C-states to be able to achieve the best possible power savings. So now while your VMs are all tucked in bed and resting at night you can keep a green data center and save some cash. You can read more about power management in vSphere in this white paper.

5 – vSphere Flash Read Cache

vSphere has had a caching feature called Content Based Read Cache that was introduced in vSphere 5.0 which allowed you to allocate server RAM to be used as a disk read cache. Unfortunately this feature was only intended to be used by VMware View to help eliminate some of the unique I/O patterns in VDI environments such as boot storms. With vSphere 5.5 VMware has a new host-based caching mechanism called vSphere Flash Read Cache (formerly known as vFlash) that leverages local SSD disks as a cache mechanism.

As the name implies vFRC is a read cache only that is placed directly in front of a VMs virtual disk data path. It can be enabled on a per VM/virtual disk basis and is transparent to the guest OS and applications running in the VM. While caching is configured per host, you can optionally set up vFRC to migrate the cache contents to another host to follow a VM. Its primary benefit is for workloads that are very read intensive (i.e. VDI) but by offloading reads to cache it can indirectly benefit write performance as well.

Another component of vFRC is Virtual Host Flash Swap Cache which is simply the old Swap To SSD feature introduced in vSphere 5.0 that allowed you to automatically use SSDs to host VM desk swap files to support memory over-commitment. To find out more about vFlash you can check out the many links I have here and also check out this VMware white paper. Duncan also has a real good FAQ on it here.

As VMware continues to add more features, the management challenge of keeping up with the changes to the environment gets more difficult.   SolarWind’s Virtualization Manager provides a powerful and affordable solution that takes the complexity out of the managing VMware.  If you’d like to learn more or download a free trial, click on the banner below.

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Sep 23 2013

Configuration maximums that changed between vSphere 5.1 and 5.5

Below is a table of all the configuration maximums that changed between the vSphere 5.1 release and the vSphere 5.5 release.

MaximumTypeCategoryvSphere 5.1vSphere 5.5vSphere 6.0
Virtual disk sizeVMStorage2TB minus 512 bytes62TB62TB
Virtual SATA adapters per VMVMI/O DevicesNA44
Virtual SATA devices per virtual SATA adapterVMI/O DevicesNA3030
Logical CPUs per hostHostCompute160320480
NUMA Nodes per hostHostCompute81616
Virtual CPUs per hostHostCompute20484096
Virtual CPUs per coreHostCompute2532
RAM per hostHostCompute2TB4TB
Swap file sizeHostCompute1TBNA
VMFS5 - Raw Device Mapping size (virtual compatibility)HostStorage2TB minus 512 bytes62TB
VMFS5 - File sizeHostStorage2TB minus 512 bytes62TB
e1000 1Gb Ethernet ports (Intel PCI‐x)HostNetworking32NA
forcedeth 1Gb Ethernet ports (NVIDIA)HostNetworking2NA
Combination of 10Gb and 1Gb Ethernet portsHostNetworkingSix 10Gb and Four 1Gb portsEight 10Gb and Four 1Gb ports
mlx4_en 40GB Ethernet Ports (Mellanox)HostNetworkingNA4
SR-IOV Number of virtual functionsHostVMDirectPath3264
SR-IOV Number of 10G pNICsHostVMDirectPath48
Maximum active ports per host (VDS and VSS)HostNetworking10501016
Port groups per standard switchHostNetworking256512
Static/Dynamic port groups per distributed switchHostNetworkingNA6500
Ports per distributed switchHostNetworkingNA60000
Ephemeral port groups per vCenterHostNetworking2561016
Distributed switches per hostHostNetworkingNA16
VSS portgroups per hostHostNetworkingNA1000
LACP - LAGs per hostHostNetworkingNA64
LACP - uplink ports per LAG (Team)HostNetworking432
Hosts per distributed switchHostNetworking5001000
NIOC resource pools per vDSHostNetworkingNA64
Link aggregation groups per vDSHostNetworking164
Concurrent vSphere Web Clients connections to vCenter ServervCenterScalabilityNA180
Hosts (with embedded vPostgres database)vCenter ApplianceScalability5100
Virtual machines (with embedded vPostgres database)vCenter ApplianceScalability503000
Hosts (with Oracle database)vCenter ApplianceScalabilityNA1000
Virtual machines (with Oracle database)vCenter ApplianceScalabilityNA10000
Registered virtual machinesvCloud DirectorScalability3000050000
Powered-On virtual machinesvCloud DirectorScalability1000030000
vApps per organizationvCloud DirectorScalability30005000
HostsvCloud DirectorScalability20003000
vCenter ServersvCloud DirectorScalability2520
UsersvCloud DirectorScalability1000025000

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Sep 22 2013

Come and get your vSphere 5.5

vSphere 5.5 is now available for your downloading pleasure here, while you’re waiting for it to download be sure and check out my huge (and growing) vSphere 5.5 link collection to get you all the info you need to know how to use it. This is also the shortest release cycle from the previous version that VMware has done to date at 377 days from the release of vSphere 5.1. Also don’t forget the documentation, the first document I always check out is the latest Configuration Maximums document to see how much larger everything continues to grow.

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Sep 04 2013

vSphere 5.5 Link-O-Rama

Your complete guide to all the essential vSphere 5.5 links. Bookmark this page and keep checking back as it will grow as new links are added.

VMware vSphere 5.5 Product Feature Interactive Walkthroughs – (VMware)
VMware Compatibility Guide (VMware)
VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes (VMware)
VMware vSphere 5.5 Release Notes (VMware)

VMware What’s New Links

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.5 Platform (VMware Tech Paper)
What’s New in VMware vSphere Flash Read Cache (VMware Tech Paper)
What’s New in VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) (VMware Tech Paper)

Documentation Links

vSphere 5.5 Product Documentation — PDF and E-book Formats (vmware.com)
vSphere 5.5 Configuration Maximums (vmware.com)
vSphere Installation and Setup (vmware.com)
vSphere Upgrade (vmware.com)
vSphere vCenter Server and Host Management (vmware.com)
vSphere Virtual Machine Administration (vmware.com)
vSphere Host Profiles (vmware.com)
vSphere Networking (vmware.com)
vSphere Storage (vmware.com)
vSphere Security (vmware.com)
vSphere Resource Management (vmware.com)
vSphere Availability (vmware.com)
vSphere Monitoring and Performance (vmware.com)
vSphere Single Host Management (vmware.com)
vSphere Troubleshooting (vmware.com)

Download Links

Main vSphere 5.5 download (vmware.com)
ESXi 5.5.0 (vmware.com)
vCenter Server 5.5.0 (vmware.com)
vSphere Replication 5.5 (vmware.com)
vSphere Data Protection 5.5.1 (vmware.com)
vCenter Orchestrator Appliance 5.5.0 (vmware.com)
Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Ethernet Module for vSphere 5.5.0 (vmware.com)
vCloud Networking and Security 5.5.0 (vmware.com)
vCenter Operations Manager Foundation 5.7.2 (vmware.com)
vSphere Big Data Extensions 1.0 (vmware.com)
vSphere App HA 1.0.0 (vmware.com)
vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) (vmware.com)
vSphere PowerCLI 5.5 (vmware.com)
vSphere CLI 5.5 (vmware.com)

ESXi Links

ESXi 5.5 Free Version – no more hard limit 32GB of RAM (ESX Virtualization)
Watch out with Hardware Version 10 in VMware ESXi 5.5! (Ivobeerens.nl)
Back To Basics: Managing VMware ESXi 5.5 Direct User Interface (DCUI) (Mike Laverick)
The vSphere Hypervisor 5.5-Web Client-HW Version 10-dilemma (running-system.com)
VMware vSphere 5.5 Physical Host Maximums (TechHead)
ESXi 5.5 introduces a new Native Device Driver Architecture Part 1 (Virtually Ghetto)
ESXi 5.5 introduces a new Native Device Driver Architecture Part 2 (Virtually Ghetto)
How to run Nested ESXi on top of a VSAN datastore? (Virtually Ghetto)
w00t! VMware Tools for Nested ESXi! (Virtually Ghetto)
Why is Promiscuous Mode & Forged Transmits required for Nested ESXi? (Virtually Ghetto)
The Good and the Bad of the new Native Driver Architecture in ESXi 5.5 (VMware Front Experience)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 1 – The New Hotness in ESXi 5.5 (Wahl Network)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Server and ESXi (WoodITWork)

General Links

The Monster VM didn’t get any smarter in vSphere 5.5 but it got a whole lot fatter (vSphere-land)
Configuration maximums that changed between vSphere 5.1 and 5.5 (vSphere-land)
No vMSC certification for vSphere 5.5 yet (vSphere-land)
Top 5 big & little enhancements in vSphere 5.5 (vSphere-land)
vSphere 5.5 – what I like from what’s new (Definit)
VMware Releases vSphere 5.5 – What’s New? (Jason Nash’s Blog)
vSphere 5.5 First Impressions (M80ARM)
VMworld 2013: VMware Announces vSphere 5.5 and vCloud Suite 5.5 (Petri)
Top 5 Features of VMware vSphere 5.5 (Petri)
vSphere 5.5: vSphere Ruby Console (Punching Clouds)
Read the vSphere 5.5 Release Notes!! (Technodrone)
What is new in VMware vSphere 5.5 (UP2V)
An overview of all VMworld 2013 announcements (UP2V)
vSphere 5.5 What’s New at VMworld 2013, NSX, SDDC, VSAN, vFlash (vClouds)
vSphere 5.5 My Top 10 New Features (vClouds)
vSphere 5.5 and VMworld Updates (Virtualised Reality)
What’s New in vSphere 5.5: Configs, The Web Client, vSANs (Virtualization Review)
Top 10 Most Important Features in vSphere 5.5 (Virtualization Software)
Whats new in vSphere 5.5 (Virtualize Tips)
VMTN Communities Roundtable Podcast – ESXi 5.5 What’s New? (VMTN Podcast)
A Summary of What’s New in vSphere 5.5 (VMware vSphere Blog)
What’s New in vSphere 5.5 Platform-Quick Reference (VMware Tech Paper)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 2 – Pushing For A Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) (Wahl Network)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: Introduction (WoodITWork)
vSphere 5.5: platform scalability (Yellow Bricks)

HA & DRS

VMware vSphere 5.5 Application High Availability – AppHA (ESX Virtualization)
vSphere App HA – Closer… But Not Yet (Technodrone)
An introduction to VMware AppHA (UP2V)
vSphere 5.5 Application HA, Advanced App Monitoring explained (vClouds)
A vSphere 5.5 Gem: Application High Availability (Virtualization Review)
High Availability in vSphere 5.5 Series – VMware vSphere App HA (Virtualization Software)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vSphere App HA (WoodITWork)
What’s new in vSphere 5.5 for DRS? (Yellow Bricks)
vSphere 5.5 nuggets: High Availability Enhancement (Yellow Bricks)

Installing & Upgrading

vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 1: Introduction (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 2: SSO Reborn (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 3: Upgrading vCenter (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 4: ESXi 5.5 Upgrade (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 5: SSL Deep Dive (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 6: Certificate Template (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 7: Install SSO (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 8: Online SSL Minting (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 9: Offline SSL Minting (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 10: Replace SSO Certs (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 11: Install Web Client (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 12: Configure SSO (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 13: Install Inventory Svc (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 14: Create Databases (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 15: Install vCenter (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 16: vCenter SSL (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 17: Install VUM (Derek Seaman)
vSphere 5.5 Install Pt. 18: VUM SSL & Misc. Config (Derek Seaman)
Installation of ESXi 5.5 in VMware Workstation (ESX Virtualization)
vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 (vCSA) – Installation and Configuration Video (ESX Virtualization)
VCSA 5.5 Installation and configuration – Part 2 (ESX Virtualization)
Installing and upgrading to ESXi 5.5 – Best practices and tips (ESX Virtualization)
vSphere 5.5 Host Upgrade using vSphere Update Manager (VUM) (Everything Should Be Virtual)
Back To Basics: Install VMware ESX 5.5 (Mike Laverick)
[Lab Post] Installing vCenter Server 5.5 on Windows Server 2012 R2 (mtellin.com)
Upgrade to vSphere 5.5? Take care about your backup software! (running-system.com)
Installing vSphere 5.5 tips and tricks pt 1 (SOSTech)
Installing vSphere 5.5 tips and tricks pt 2 (SOSTech)
Install and configure Orchestrator 5.5 (SOSTech)
Notes on Upgrading the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 to 5.5 (The Lone Sysadmin)
How to Upgrade the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 (The Virtual Way)
Quick Tip: Using the CLI to upgrade to a specific VM virtual hardware version in vSphere 5.5 (Virtually Ghetto)
How to upgrade to vSphere 5.5 (VMGuru.nl)
How to update your standalone host to ESXi 5.5 – beware of missing drivers and do NOT upgrade virtual hardware! (VMware Front Experience)
Update sequence for vSphere 5.5 and its compatible VMware products (2057795) (VMware KB Article)
Installing vCenter Server 5.5 best practices (VMwareKB TV)
Installing or upgrading ESXi 5.5 best practices (VMwareKB TV)
Installing VMware ESXi 5.5 using the Interactive Installer (VMwareKB TV)
Installing VMware vSphere 5.5 on a Windows platform using the Simple Install method (VMwareKB TV)
vCenter Server 5.5 – Simple vs Custom Installations (VMware vSphere Blog)
Upgrading vSphere vCenter Appliance 5.1 to 5.5 (vNinja)
Quick and Dirty ESXi 5.5 Upgrade (vNinja)

Knowledgebase Articles

vSphere 5.5 is here! – KBs you need to know about (VMware Support Insider Blog)

ESXi

Methods of installing ESXi 5.5 (2052439)
Methods for upgrading to ESXi 5.5 (2058352)
Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.5 best practices (2052329)

General

Update sequence for vSphere 5.5 and its compatible VMware products (2057795)
Processor support discontinued in vSphere 5.5 (2057614)
MSCS support enhancements in vSphere 5.5 (2052238)
Additional SR-IOV support in vSphere 5.5 (2058280)
Required ports for vCenter Server 5.5 (2051575)
Hardware features available with virtual machine compatibility settings (2051652)
Hardware and software requirements for running AMD and NVIDIA GPUs in vSphere 5.5 (2058778)

Storage

Support for virtual machine disks larger than 2 TB in vSphere 5.5 (2058287)
PDL AutoRemove feature in vSphere 5.5 (2059622)

vSphere Replication

vSphere Replication 5.1 may automatically upgrade to vSphere Replication 5.5 (2060190)

vFlash

Virtual Flash feature in vSphere 5.5 (2058983)
vSphere 5.5 Virtual Flash FAQ (2057157)
Setting up a Virtual Flash resource in vSphere 5.5 (2051647)
Disabling Virtual Flash in vSphere 5.5 (2051642)

vSAN

vSphere 5.5 Virtual SAN requirements (2058424)

vCenter Server

Methods for installing vCenter Server 5.5 (2053142)
Methods of upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5 (2053130)
Installing vCenter Server 5.5 best practices (2052334)
vCenter Server not listed in the inventory after installing or upgrading to vSphere 5.5 (2059528)
Configuring CA signed SSL certificates for vCenter Single Sign-On in vSphere 5.5 (2058519)
Creating and using a Service Principal Account in vCenter Single Sign-On 5.5 (2058298)
Reconfiguring the load balancer after upgrading a vCenter Single Sign-On High Availability deployment to version 5.5 (2058838)
VMware vCenter Server 5.x fails to start after upgrading Single Sign-On configuration from vSphere 5.1 to vSphere 5.5 (2058080)

Web/vSphere Client

Installing the vSphere 5.5 Web Client on a Microsoft Windows platform (2058262)
Logging in to vCenter Server 5.5 using vSphere Web Client or vSphere Client takes a long time (2058827)
Logging into the vSphere Web Client 5.5 fails with the error: Provided credentials are not valid. (2058796)
vSphere Client and vSphere PowerCLI might fail to connect to vCenter Server 5.5 due to a Handshake failure (2049143)
Cannot drag and drop virtual machines across hosts using the vSphere Web Client 5.5 (2059828)

Update Manager

Installing vSphere Update Manager 5.5 on a Microsoft Windows platform (2058410)
Upgrading to vSphere Update Manager 5.5 on a Microsoft Windows platform (2058423)
Upgrading VMware vSphere Update Manager from 5.0 or 5.1 to 5.5 fails with the error: Error 25113 (2059567)

Networking

Enhanced LACP Support on a vSphere 5.5 Distributed Switch (2051826)
Differences in LACP support in vSphere Distributed Switch 5.5 and 5.1 (2051316)
Limitations of LACP in vSphere 5.5 (2051307)

Latency Sensitive Apps

VMware vSphere 5.5 Low Latency Applications Enhancements (ESX Virtualization)
Latency Sensitive Applications on vSphere 5.5 – Deployment and Best practices (ESX Virtualization)
VMware vSphere 5.5 Latency-Sensitivity Feature (TheSaffaGeek)
Deploying Extremely Latency-Sensitive Applications in VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)

Licensing Links

VMware vCloud Suite 5.5 Licensing, Pricing and Packaging (VMware.com)
What is new in VMware vCloud Suite 5.5 (UP2V)
Changes to VMware’s vCloud Suite 5.5 (Viktorious.nl)
VMWorld 2013: Understanding vCloud And vSphere Editions (Virtualization Software)
How to Get Your vSphere 5.5 Licenses (VMware.com)
License key requirements for new version of VMware products (VMware KB article)

Networking Links

VMware vSphere 5.5 Networking New Features (ESX Virtualization)
vSphere 5.5 – Changes on the Network Side (Jason Nash’s Blog)
VMworld 2013: What’s new in vSphere5.5: Networking (Mike Laverick)
Much awaited LACP enhancement – vSphere 5.5 (Stretch Cloud)
LACP Primer – vSphere 5.5 (Stretch Cloud)
Upgrading ESXi host to vSphere 5.5 with Cisco Nexus 1000V (Tom Fojta’s Blog)
Configuring LACP Support in vSphere 5 5 (VMwareTechPubs video)
Enhanced LACP Support in vSphere Distributed Switches (VMwareTechPubs video)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 9 – Networking and VDS Razzle Dazzle (Wahl Network)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCloud Networking & Security (WoodITWork)

NSX Links

VMware NSX Product Walkthrough (VMware.com)
VMware NSX and the SDDC Revolution (digirati.me)
Video: VMware NSX 6.0 for vSphere – 01 Deploying the NSX Virtual Appliance (Hypervizor)
Video: VMware NSX 6.0 for vSphere – 02 Deploying the NSX Controllers (Hypervizor)
Video: VMware NSX 6.0 for vSphere – 03 Preparing Hosts and Configuring Unicast VXLAN (Hypervizor)
Video: VMware NSX 6.0 for vSphere – 04 Configuring a Logical Switch (Hypervizor)
Diagram: VMware NSX 6.0 for vSphere – System Architecture (Hypervizor)
Traffic Filtering and DSCP Marking in vDS 5.5 (Stretch Cloud)
VMware NSX Conversations (The Virtualization Practice)
The Perfect Storm – My thoughts on the VMware NSX launch (Think Cloud)
Introducing VMware NSX – The Platform For Network Virtualization (VMware Network Virtualization Blog)
VMware NSX Partners: Best-in-Class Services For Virtual Networks (VMware Network Virtualization Blog)
VMware NSX Virtualizes the Network to Transform Network Operations (VMware Network Virtualization Blog)
Seven reasons VMware NSX, Cisco UCS and Nexus are orders of magnitude more awesome together (VMware Network Virtualization Blog)
VMworld 2013: NET5847 – NSX: Introducing the World to VMware NSX (VMworld TV)
VMworld 2013: SEC5893 – Changing the Economics of Firewall Services in the Software-Defined Center – VMware NSX Distributed Firewall (VMworld TV)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 8 – Network Virtualization with NSX (Wahl Network)

Operations Management

Announcing vSphere with Operations Management 5.5 – Increasing Performance and Availability for Your Business Critical Applications (VMware vSphere Blog)
What’s New in VMware vSphere with Operations Management 5.5? (VMware Data Sheet)

Performance

vSphere 5.5 Record Breaking Network Performance (Long White Clouds)
Greenplum Database Performance on VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)
Performance of vSphere Flash Read Cache in VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)
Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)
SEsparse in VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)
IPv6 performance improvements in vSphere 5.5 (VMware Vroom! Blog)
vSphere Replication 5.5 Performance Findings (VMware Vroom! Blog)
VDI Benchmarking Using View Planner on VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) (VMware Vroom! Blog)
A few cautionary notes about replication performance (VMware vSphere Blog)
VMware vSphere 5.5 Host Power Management (HPM) saves more power and improves performance (VMware Vroom! Blog)

Power Management

vSphere 5.5 Host Power Management (UP2V)
Host Power Management in VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)

Release Notes

VMware vSphere 5.5 Release Notes (vmware.com)

Scripting Links

What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.5: Management APIs (Double Cloud)
VM Storage Policy APIs aka Storage Profile APIs will be available in vSphere 5.5 (Virtually Ghetto)
Exploring the vSphere Flash Read Cache (vFRC) APIs Part 1 (Virtually Ghetto)
Exploring the vSphere Flash Read Cache (vFRC) APIs Part 2 (Virtually Ghetto)
Exploring the vSphere Flash Read Cache (vFRC) APIs Part 3 (Virtually Ghetto)
Automate the migration from Virtual Standard Switch to vSphere Distributed Switch using PowerCLI 5.5 (Virtually Ghetto)
How to automate vFRC configurations using the command-line in ESXi (Virtually Ghetto)
How to add the missing ESXi 5.0 drivers to the ESXi 5.5 installation ISO (VMware Front Experience)
PowerCLI 5.5 What’s New-Overview (VMware PowerCLI Blog)

Security

vSphere Security: Understanding ESXi 5.x Lockdown Mode (Definit)
vSphere 5.5 Hardening Guide – Public Draft Beta released (VMware Community)
Virtual Appliances getting more secure with vSphere 5.5 – Part 1 (VMware vSphere Blog)
Virtual Appliances getting more secure with vSphere 5.5 – Part 2 (VMware vSphere Blog)
Virtual Appliances getting more secure with vSphere 5.5 – Part 3 (VMware vSphere Blog)
Virtual Appliances getting more secure with vSphere 5.5 – Part 4 (VMware vSphere Blog)

SRM/vSphere Replication

Do *NOT* Install vSphere Replication 5.5 onto your 5.1 environment yet! (VMware vSphere Blog)
VMworld 2013: What’s new in vSphere Replication 5.5 (Mike Laverick)
vCenter Replication 5.5 appliance install (SOSTech)
What is new in vSphere Replication 5.5 (UP2V)
What is new in VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.5 (UP2V)
VMware Communities Roundtable Podcast – 249 – SRM 5.5 What’s New? (VMware Podcast)
VMware vSphere Replication 5.5 Overview (VMware Tech Paper)
VMworld 2013: BCO5129 – Protection for All – vSphere Replication & SRM Technical Update (VMworld TV)
What’s New With vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager 5.5 (VMware vSphere Blog)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 6 – Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere Replication (Wahl Network)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vSphere Replication and vCenter Site Recovery Manager (WoodITWork)

Storage Links

vSphere 5.5 Storage Enhancements Part 1: 62TB VMDK (Cormac Hogan)
Hot-Extending Large VMDKs in vSphere 5.5 (Cormac Hogan)
vSphere 5.5 Storage Profiles Are Now Storage Policies (Everything Should Be Virtual)
vSphere 5.5 Jumbo VMDK Deep Dive (Long White Clouds)
vSphere 5.5 Windows Failover Clustering Support (Long White Clouds)
VMworld 2013: What’s new in vSphere 5.5: Storage (Mike Laverick)
vSphere 5.5 UNMAP Deep Dive (VMware vEvangelist)
64TB VMDKs? Yes we can. (VM Today)
VMware’s Strategy for Software-Defined Storage (VMware CTO Blog)
What’s New in vSphere 5.5 Storage (VMware vSphere Blog)
Comparing VMware VSA & VMware Virtual SAN (VMware vSphere Blog)
VMworld 2013: STO5715-S – Software-defined Storage – The Next Phase in the Evolution of Enterprise Storage (VMworld TV)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 3 – Lions, Tigers, and 62TB VMDKs (Wahl Network)
vSphere 5.5 nuggets: changes to disk.terminateVMOnPDLDefault (Yellow Bricks)
vSphere 5.5 nuggets: Change Disk.SchedNumReqOutstanding per device! (Yellow Bricks)

vCenter Orchestrator

What is new in VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.5 (UP2V)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Orchestrator (WoodITWork)

vCenter Server Links

How-to backup and restore VCSA 5.5 internal database (ESX Virtualization)
How to change the default password policies in vSphere 5.5 (ESX Virtualization)
vSphere 5.5 – Using vCenter Server Appliance (Everything Should Be Virtual)
VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 5.5 deployment tips and tricks (ivobeerens.nl)
VMworld 2013: What’s New in vCenter 5.5 (Mike Laverick)
vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 – some basic information (running-system.com)
Upgrading to vSphere 5.5 and using default self-signed certificates? Read this first! (Viktorious.nl)
VMware vCenter Server 5.5: Installable vs Appliance (Virtual To The Core)
Administrator password expiration in new VCSA 5.5 (Virtually Ghetto)
vPostgres Database Backup in vCSA 5.5 (vNinja)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Server and ESXi (WoodITWork)
Drag and drop vMotion not working with the 5.5 Web Client? (Yellow Bricks)
vSphere 5.5 nuggets: vCenter Server Appliance limitations lifted! (Yellow Bricks)

vCenter Server Single Sign-On

The Trouble With SSL Certificates and Upgrading to VMware SSO 5.5 (Long White Clouds)
Single Sign-On (SSO) Improvements in vSphere 5.5 (Petri)
Issues with authentication when running vSphere 5.5 with AD and SSO server on Windows Server 2012 (Shogan.tech)
What is new in VMware Single Sign-On 2.0 (UP2V)
A Look At vCenter 5.5 SSO RC Installation (VMware vEvangelist)
Allow me to introduce you to vCenter Single Sign-On 5.5 (VMware vSphere Blog)
vCenter Single Sign-On 5.5 Not Recognizing Nested Active Directory Groups (VMware vSphere Blog)
vCenter Single Sign-On “Cannot parse group information” Error (VMware vSphere Blog)
vCenter Single Sign-On 5.5 – Backwards Compatible? (VMware vSphere Blog)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 7 – Single Sign On Completely Redesigned (Wahl Network)
Using Active Directory Integrated Windows Authentication with SSO 5.5 (Wahl Network)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Server SSO (WoodITWork)

vCloud Director

VMworld 2013: What’s New in vCloud Director 5.5 (Mike Laverick)
Fast Provisioning Enhancement in vCloud Director 5.5 (Tom Fojta’s Blog)
What is new in VMware vCloud Director 5.5 (UP2V)
VMware vCloud Director 5.5 new features (Virtual-blog)
Reports of vCloud Director’s death exaggerated (VMware ReThink IT Blog)
What’s New with VMware vCloud Director 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)
A Summary of What’s New in vCloud Director 5.5 (VMware vSphere Blog)
vCloud Director Convergence and Transition Plan – What’s the Scoop? (VMware vSphere Blog)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCloud Director (WoodITWork)

vCloud Hybrid Service

How To Use VPN to Connect Multiple vCHS Clouds (Chris Colotti)
How To Move Workloads Between vCHS Virtual Private and Dedicated Clouds (Chris Colotti)
Understanding vCHS Resource Management – Virtual Private Cloud (Chris Colotti)
An introduction to VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (UP2V)
VMware vCloud Hybrid Service: Now Available to All U.S. Customers (VMware vCloud Blog)
Introducing The New vCloud Hybrid Service Marketplace (VMware vCloud Blog)
What Can I Run On vCloud Hybrid Service? (VMware vCloud Blog)
Introducing vCloud Hybrid Service at VMworld 2013 (VMworld TV)
vCloud Hybrid Service Demo at the VMware Booth, VMworld 2013 (VMworld TV)
vCloud Hybrid Service Overview Video (VMworld TV)
VMworld 2013: PHC5605-S – Everything You Want to Know About vCloud Hybrid Service – But Were Afraid to Ask (VMworld TV)

vFlash Read Cache Links

VMware vSphere Flash Read Cache 1.0 FAQ (VMware.com)
VMware vFlash Read Cache (vFRC) configuration steps (ESX Virtualization)
vSphere 5.5 – A Look at Flash Read Cache (Jason Nash’s Blog)
Introducing vSphere Flash Read Cache (Punching Clouds)
Nested ESXi 5.5 – Configure Virtual Flash? (SOSTech)
Introduction of VMware vSphere Flash Read Cache (UP2V)
vSphere 5.5 Flash Read Cache (vFRC) (vClouds)
Introducing Flash Read Cache to my lab – HP N36L (viktorious.nl)
Virtual Flash feature in vSphere 5 5 (VMware KB TV)
Performance of vSphere Flash Read Cache in VMware vSphere 5.5 (VMware Tech Paper)
What’s New in VMware vSphere Flash Read Cache (VMware Tech Paper)
vSphere Flash Read Cache – Single and Multiple Host Configuration (VMware TV)
vSphere Flash Read Cache – Configuring a VM to use Virtual Flash Read Cache (VMware TV)
vSphere Flash Read Cache – Interoperability with HA & DRS (VMware TV)
vSphere Flash Read Cache – Interoperability with vMotion (VMware TV)
Can you combine vSphere Host Cache and vFlash on a single SSD? (vNinja)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 5 – vSphere Flash Read Cache (vFlash) (Wahl Network)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: VMware Virtual Flash (vFlash) (WoodITWork)
Introduction to vSphere Flash Read Cache aka vFlash (Yellow Bricks)
Frequently asked questions about vSphere Flash Read Cache (Yellow Bricks)
Something to know about vSphere Flash Read Cache (Yellow Bricks)
vSphere Flash Read Cache and esxcli (Yellow Bricks)

Virtual Machine

VMworld 2013: What’s New in vSphere 5.5 – The Virtual Machine – 62TB VMDK (Mike Laverick)
Quick Tip: New Hyper-V guestOS identifier in vSphere 5.5 (Virtually Ghetto)

VSAN Links

What’s New in VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) (VMware Tech Paper)
VSAN Public Beta Registration (VMware.com)
VSAN Public Beta Program Community Site (VMware.com)
What’s New in VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) (Tech paper) (VMware.com)
Virtual SAN (VSAN) Beta Technical FAQ (VMware.com)
Virtual SAN Beta – Introduction (webinar slides) (VMware.com)
vSphere 5.5 Virtual SAN Public Beta Release Notes (VMware.com)
VMware Virtual SAN Datasheet (VMware.com)
Virtual SAN (VSAN) Proof of Concept (POC) Kit (VMware.com)
VSAN Design & Sizing Guide (VMware.com)
VMware VSAN Interactive Product Walkthrough (VMware.com)
VMware vSphere 5.5 Virtual SAN Hosted Beta (Lab Guide) (VMware.com)
VMware Communities Roundtable Podcast – 251 – VSAN (VMware.com)
VMworld 2013 session – STO5391 – VMware Virtual SAN (VMware TV)
Virtual SAN Beta Webinar – Introduction to VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) (VMware TV)
Virtual SAN (VSAN) Beta Webinar – How to Install, Configure & Manage (video) (VMware TV)
Virtual SAN (VSAN) Setup (VMware TV)
How To Monitor Virtual SAN (VSAN) (VMware TV)
Deploying a Virtual Machine on Virtual SAN (VSAN) (VMware TV)
Changing a VM Storage Policy On-The-Fly with VSAN (VMware TV)
Virtual SAN (VSAN) & VM Availability (VMware TV)
Virtual SAN (VSAN) & vSphere HA Interoperability (VMware TV)
VSAN Part 1 – A first look at VSAN (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 2 – What do you need to get started? (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 3 – It is not a Virtual Storage Appliance (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 4 – Understanding Objects and Components (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 5 – The role of VASA (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 6 – Manual or Automatic Mode (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 7 – Capabilities and VM Storage Policies (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 8 – The role of the SSD (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 9 – Host Failure Scenarios & vSphere HA Interop (Cormac Hogan)
VSAN Part 10 – Changing VM Storage Policy on-the-fly (Cormac Hogan)
VMware VSAN configuration steps with nested ESXi hypervisors (ESX Virtualization)
VMware VSAN Video (ESX Virtualization)
Homelab Thoughts – VSAN (ESX Virtualization)
My completely ridiculous VSAN test (Gabe’s Virtual World)
VMworld 2013: What’s New in 5.5 – vSAN (Mike Laverick)
VMworld 2013: What’s New in VSAN 1.0 (Mike Laverick)
How does VMware VSAN help Horizon View? (My Virtual Cloud)
How is Horizon View configured for VMware VSAN? (My Virtual Cloud)
Why is Content-Based Read Cache (CBRC) so important for Horizon View and VSAN? (My Virtual Cloud)
VSAN Observer (Punching Clouds)
vSphere 5.5: Using RVC VSAN Observer Pt1 (Punching Clouds)
vSphere 5.5: Using RVC VSAN Observer Pt2 (Punching Clouds)
VMware’s VSAN in the Home Lab (Sean Crookston)
vSphere 5.5 VSAN, Introducing Your New Storage Vendor VMware (vClouds)
About VSAN capacity and VMDK placement (viktorious.nl)
VMware VSAN – Virtual SAN – How to configure (Virtual-blog)
Configure Disk Redundancy VMware VSAN – Virtual SAN (Virtual-blog)
VMware Virtual SAN Scalability Limits – VSAN (Virtual-blog)
STO5027 VMware Virtual SAN Technical Best Practices (virtualarchitect.nl)
How to quickly setup and test VMware VSAN (Virtual SAN) using Nested ESXi (Virtually Ghetto)
Additional steps required to completely disable VSAN on ESXi host (Virtually Ghetto)
VSAN and Storage Controllers (VMware vSphere Blog)
Virtual SAN & Disk Groups (VMware vSphere Blog)
Three Hosts, two VSAN Datastores! (VMware vSphere Blog)
vSphere 5.5 Availability and VSAN Public Beta (vNinja.net)
vSphere 5.5 Improvements Part 4 – Virtual SAN (VSAN) (Wahl Network)
In Which I Muse Over VMware’s Virtual SAN Architecture (Wahl Network)
What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: Virtual SAN (VSAN) (WoodITWork)
Introduction to VMware vSphere Virtual SAN (Yellow Bricks)
Frequently asked questions about Virtual SAN / VSAN (Yellow Bricks)
Virtual SAN news flash pt 1 (Yellow Bricks)
Testing vSphere Virtual SAN in your virtual lab with vSphere 5.5 (Yellow Bricks)
How do you know where an object is located with Virtual SAN? (Yellow Bricks)
How VSAN handles a disk or host failure (Yellow Bricks)
Virtual SAN and Data Locality/Gravity (Yellow Bricks)
Isolation / Partition scenario with VSAN cluster, how is this handled? (Yellow Bricks)
Initialized disks to be used by VSAN task completed successfully, but no disks added? (Yellow Bricks)
I created a folder on my VSAN datastore, but how do I delete it? (Yellow Bricks)
Be careful when defining a VM storage policy for VSAN (Yellow Bricks)
Designing your hardware for Virtual SAN (Yellow Bricks)
Pretty pictures Friday, the VSAN edition… (Yellow Bricks)
How to configure the Virtual SAN observer for monitoring/troubleshooting (Yellow Bricks)
VMware vSphere Virtual SAN design considerations… (Yellow Bricks)
Virtual SAN and Network IO Control (Yellow Bricks)
vSphere Metro Storage Cluster using Virtual SAN, can I do it? (Yellow Bricks)
4 is the minimum number of hosts for VSAN if you ask me (Yellow Bricks)

vSphere Data Protection

How to upgrade VDP – from VDP 5 to VDP 5.5.1 (ESX Virtualization)
What is new in VMware vSphere Data Protection (UP2V)
What’s New with vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 5.5 (VMware vSphere Blog)

vSphere Web Client

vSphere 5.5 Web Client Workflows – Configure Software iSCSI (blog.shiplett.org)
vSphere 5.5 Web Client Workflows – Create Distributed Virtual Switch and Port Groups (blog.shiplett.org)
vSphere 5.5 Web Client Workflows – Add Hosts to DVS and Create VMkernel Ports (blog.shiplett.org)
vSphere 5.5 Web Client Workflows – Create a New Datastore (blog.shiplett.org)
vSphere 5.5 Web Client Workflows – SSO Configuration (blog.shiplett.org)
vSphere 5.5 Web Client Workflows – Licensing (blog.shiplett.org)
Few tips when working with vSphere 5.5 web client – video (ESX Virtualization)
vSphere Web Client 5.5: Drag & Drop cannot be used to start a vMotion (running-system)
My top 5 favorite enhancements to the new vSphere Web Client 5.5 (Virtually Ghetto)
5 Quick tips for the vSphere Web Client (VMwareTechPubs video)
Examining the User Experience in the new vSphere 5.5 Web Client [Video] (Wahl Network)

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