vSphere 7 Update 3 has been announced by VMware so in this blog I will go over vSphere 7 Update 3 and see What’s new.

New innovations

Here is a short overview of the topics I will discuss today:

vSphere Lifecycle, Upgrade and Patching

SD cards and VMware’s take on them

VMware has given some more guidance on what they think is the proper way to deal with SD cards as boot media.

Source: VMware

The TL:DR version of their take:

  • SD cards or other USB Flash devices are not suitable for use as a boot device
  • ESX-OSData Partition should be stored locally on a reliable persistent storage device
  • ESXi 7 needs 32GB as a minimum amount of storage
  • Using SD cards or USB Flash devices will generate a warning and operate in a “Degraded” mode

If you want to know more about this please have a look here.

Lifecycle manager updates

It is now possible to edit depots which allows for updating of depots. So now you can not only add for instance drivers but you can also remove them. For now this can only be done via the API.

Secondly Lifecycle manager (LM) can now also manage vSAN witness nodes and allowing you to patch them using LM. Also included is the ability to check vSAN disk compatibility (firmware) against the vSAN HCL.

VMware Cloud on AWS improvements

VMware has made the process of updating vCenter on VMware Cloud easier ensuring shorted downtime.

Source: VMware

vSphere with Tanzu

Kubernetes Clusters with GPU capabilities

In this latest update it is now possible to create service classes with a GPU assignment. Assignable hardware was introduced in vSphere 7 and is now also available for containers.

This means developers can use standard tools or YAML files to create and deploy GPU enablements across Kubernetes clusters.

Source: VMware

Network setup streamlined for Kubernetes clusters

As Tanzu integrates well into existing environments VMware decided to add flexible DHCP support. You can now choose DHCP to automatically populate IP addresses. DNS, NTP and override them if you want to. This works for Management networks as well as for Workload networks.

Error message improvements

Error messages have been made more detailed allowing for easier troubleshooting of Tanzu related problems.

Source: VMware

AI & ML

NVIDIA and VMware have joined forces to create the NVIDIA AI & ML suite. NVIDIA provides the hardware and applications and VMware provides the management stack for both vSphere and Tanzu.

Source: VMware

Resource management

VMware has added enhanced performance stats for persistent memory.

Improvements include:

  • Enhanced metrics for DRAM and persistent memory
  • Statistics for persistent memory in memory mode
  • New alerting capabilities
  • Host & VM level counters

These statistics are now visible directly from the UI

Guest OS and Workloads

The following updates are provided with vSphere 7 Update 3:

  • Full support for cloud-init
  • Guest Data Publisher
  • EUFI 2.4
  • AMD supports for VBS (virtualization-based security)

Storage

NVMe-oF TCP/IP

With the introduction of vSphere 7 Update 3 support for NVMe-oF TCP/IP has been added to vSphere. One of the major advantages is that you no longer need specific HBA’s or RDMA network cards. You can now simply use standard Ethernet cards and networks instead of FC or RDMA networks / cards.

With the introduction of NVMe-oF TCP/IP you will also be able to reduce costs as you can use standard Ethernet hardware instead of the more expensive FC or RDMA hardware. Of course your storage vendors also need to support NVMe/TCP like for instance NetApp, who according to this blog, will add support for NVMe/TCP in their upcoming ONTAP 9.10.x release.

VMFS6 and NFS scale to 128 nodes

With the ever increasing size of environments there is a need to attach more hosts to a single datastore. In this latest release you can add up to 128 nodes to a single datastore (VMFS6 or NFS) without special approval. This will help you avoid the need for storage vMotions and makes upgrades easier.

vVol snapshot improvements

With Update 3 comes the ability to take a large volume of snapshots by putting them into a batch proces offering better performance.

Networking

NSX-T integration improvements

The NSX-T manager will now be integrated into the vSphere Client, which makes the life of an administrator a lot easier in term of install and maintenance tasks.

Secondly, distributed firewalling can ow work with distributed switches in vSphere without the need for making any changes to the existing environment.

vSphere management with PowerCLI

The latest release of PowerCLI (12.4) will be available soon. This release includes the following improvements:

  • PowerShell-based certificate management cmdlets
  • SDK modules for direct access to the vSphere automation API.
  • PowerCLI API bindings which significantly improve the usability of working with vSphere REST APIs and provide PowerShell native user experience

If you want to have more information on PowerCLI 12.4 please have a look here.

Conclusion and wrap up

So there you have it, the latest and greatest vSphere release. A lot of smaller improvements but some very interesting once at that.

At the time of writing this blog vSphere Update 3 has not been released yet but as soon as it does just hop on over to the download center to get your copy and start updating.

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