Hi! In this series of posts, we shall look at new enhancements that vSphere 6.0 version has brought to us. The following posts do not discuss about the support maximums unless worth mentioning, we primarily focus on the features that are new to vSphere. Use the below links to read different posts in this series.
- vSphere 6 Platform Features
- vCenter Server Features
- Networking and Storage Features
- Availability Features
- vSphere with Operations Management 6.0
Let’s get started with our very first one in the list, Platform Features. This explains mainly about the scalability, account management enhancements in ESXi and the VM compatibility options. vSphere 6 introduces many vm level compatibility features as below.
VM Level Compatibility Features
- Max CPUs and RAM – Support for 128 vCPUs and 4TB RAM enables most demanding applications to be virtualized.
- vNUMA – A vNUMA VM with hot-add memory enabled, and when a memory is added, the newly added memory is now equally allocated across all NUMA regions, in prior releases, memory was allocated to region 0. This avoids downtime of VM.
- WDDM 1.1 – Hardware acceleration of operations helps reduce memory footprint in Windows machines running Windows 7 and above.
- USB 3.0 xHCI – vSphere 6 now supports USB 3.0 xHCI allowing them to run at full speeds
- Serial and Parallel Port – With VM hardware version 11, serial and parallel ports can now be removed from VM, enhances security by removing unused hardware on the VM.
ESXi Account Management
- ESXCLI Commands – In the earlier versions, the local users and their permissions were managed from host directly and with vSphere 6, it is now possible to manage local ESXi user accounts by invoking them against vCenter Server.
- Account Lockout – Advanced System Settings of host now allows to configure lockout policies for ESXi local accounts. By default, maximum allowed failed login attempts is 10. Settings this to 0 disables account locking. Duration of lockout is by default 2 min. The above settings only effect the SSH connections but not the DCUI and shell access.
- Password Complexity – In earlier versions, password complexity changes were made using the file /etc/pam.d/passwd on each host. From version 6, this option is now available in Advanced Settings and there is no need to make a direct host connection.
- In prior versions, the actions run on ESXi from vCenter would record the username as vpxuser rather than the actual user account. In version 6, the username is recorded in the ESXi logs.
Apart from the above, vSphere 6 has the following new features
- Enhancements to Microsoft Clustering Capabilities like vMotion support, IPv6, Paravirtual SCSI adapter support.
- Support for NVIDIA GRID vGPU for better 3D graphics.
Hope this post was informative. Thanks!