What’s new in vSphere 6.5 and a lot of things vSphere I wasn’t aware

I had the chance to attend vSphere 6.5 ICM training at VMware office in Bangalore recently. My last ICM was 5 or 5.1 some years ago. The world does not need another “what’s new in vSphere 6.5” post. I took some notes during the training and I thought I would dump it here anyway.

1.VCSA 6.5 is based on Photon OS and not SLES as before. Photon OS began its life as VMware’s customized for container Linux distro that does not depend directly on any other distro.

2.vSphere Update Manager (VUM) is now apart of VCSA 6.5. Before 6.5, you have to run it on Windows.

3.Dump Collector is also apart of VCSA (not sure from which version).

4.VCSA 6.5 has a management portal which can be accessed at VCSA_IP:5480. You can create a backup from here and restore from it using the installer.

5.You can still use service-control to manage vCenter services from the command. From 6.5, you can also manage vCenter Services from the Web client.

6.Speaking of Web Client, there are two web clients. The old vSphere Web Client (Flash/Flex client) and the new vSphere Client (HTML 5).

7.The legacy C# client is not available for 6.5

8.During the training, I used the HTML 5 client as much as possible. It has limited functionality right now. I found the following not working:

You cannot increase datastore
It is hard coded to create VMFS5 type data store only
You cannot create NFS datastore
You can do host migration only

The full set of features available in the HTML 5 client:

9.There is a new version of VMFS, VMFS 6. ESXi 6.5 can create VMFS 5 and 6. VMFS6 supports 1 MB and 512 MB block sizes.

10.In addition to LSI Logic SAS, BusLogic, PVSCSI and AHCI SATA, ESXi 6.5 has virtual NVMe storage controller for virtual machine.

11.Support for 32 Gbps HBA in ESXi 6.5

12.VCSA 6.5 has native HA – Enabling it deploys in passive mode and quorom appliance

13.DRS evenly distributes VMs

I was not aware of the following:

1.vpxa is baked into ESXi

2.SRM can use vSphere Replication.

3.VIB = vSphere Infrastructure Bundle.

4.Enhenced Linked mode since vSphere 6.0

5.e1000e virtual NIC since vSphere 5.0 with HW version 8.

6.Enhenced Linked mode since 6.0

7.iSCSI HBA- The configuration is done from the HBA BIOS.

8.ToE NIC- The configuration is done from vSphere client.

9.Starting with vSphere 6.0, there are two Lockdown Modes – Normal and Strict. (KB 1008077)


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