vToolBelt – April 2017

Lots of information to relay this month.  Let’s jump right in…

Breaking News

vCloud Air to be acquired by the OVH Group – VMware has recently announced that the vCloud Air business will be acquired by the OVH Group.  VMware will still continue to sell vCloud Air as an offering.

Windows Receive Side Scaling (RSS) issues for virtual machines running specific versions of VMware Tools – When using the VMXNET3 network adapter. RSS is disabled by default.  However if enabled on a Windows 2012 / R2 virtual machine with the certain versions of VMware Tools (9.10 – 10.1.5) there may be problems with dropped packets.  You can read more about this here.

VMware discontinues the 3rd party vSwitch program – VMware has announced that after vSphere 6.5 Update 1, the APIs which enable 3rd party vSwitch software to work will be discontinued.   A few examples of such software are:  Cisco Nexus 1000v, HPE 5900v and IBM DVS 5000v.  VMware recommends migrating from these switches to the vSphere Distributed Switch.  VMware is offering a free migration tool to assist.

vSphere Data Protection (VDP) will no longer be available after vSphere 6.5 – VMware has announced the End of Availability (EOA) for vSphere Data protection, and intends to focus on VMware vSphere Storage APIs.    If you currently use this product and have active SnS – it will be supported until the listed End of General Support Date.

Notes From The Field

VMware Horizon 7.1 is available!  Some of the new capabilities – Windows 2016 is now supported for Horizon components, instant clone is now available for RDSH servers, and more.  Take a deeper look at the new features.    Watch a video technical overview.

Considering using Linux in your VDIenvironment?  Take a look at the Ubuntu OVA for Horizon fling.  It automates most of the tasks you likely need to perform.

The vSphere Hardening Guide has been renamed to the vSphere Security guide.  This is a result of the focus on ESXi to make it more secure by default.  The majority of the guidelines are more about auditing and configuration than “hardening”.  The guide for vSphere 6.5 has just been released.  You can get your copy here.

Do you run your VMs with CPU Hot Add enabled?  Perhaps it is enabled in your template(s)?  Did you know there could be some performance impacts?  Take a few moments and read Frank Denneman’s article on the topic.  You can follow some basic rules of thumb when it comes to right-sizing the virtual CPUs you give a VM.

Have you considered turning on VM encryption in vSphere?  Learn more about what VMware has done to minimize the performance impacts of encryption.   Speaking of performance – have you considered the performance improvements the last few vSphere releases have introduced? 

Be careful when considering a change to the system name or IP address of a vCenter server & Platform Service controller in vSphere 6.x.     If you have an embedded PSC, at some point, you might need to migrate to an External PSC.  Learn from others before you attempt yourself.