VMware vSphere 7 has now been generally available since April 02, 2020. The new generation of vSphere has some massive enhancements on performance, security, and resiliency of the infrastructure and applications that provide critical services to organizations. This article shows what’s new in VMware vSphere 7.
What’s new in VMware vSphere 7
1. VMware vSphere 7 with Kubernetes
VMware vSphere with Kubernetes was announced at VMworld 2019 as Project Pacific. It adds Kubernetes’ capabilities to vSphere in ways that respect both developers and vSphere Admins’ traditional experiences.
To a developer, vSphere with Kubernetes looks and acts like a standard Kubernetes cluster. Their tools and processes work across implementations. They can use the Kubernetes “declarative syntax” to define what resources they need, such as storage, networking, and even relationships & availability requirements. By using the industry-standard Kubernetes syntax, they don’t need direct access to, or knowledge of, the vSphere APIs, clients, or infrastructure.
To a vSphere Admin, vSphere continues operating just as it has for decades but now with new workload management features to better meet developers’ needs. Management of vSphere is still done through the vSphere Client, PowerCLI, and APIs, as it has been done for years. vSphere Admins can deploy “namespaces” – the Kubernetes term for managing resources and policies – and manage the security, resource consumption, and networking capabilities available to the developers.
2. Lifecycle Management
Lifecycle management in vSphere refers to the process of installing software, providing maintenance through upgrades and updates and decommissioning the software. In vSphere environments, your clusters and hosts, particularly lifecycle management, refer to tasks such as installing ESXi and firmware on new hosts and updating or upgrading the ESXi version firmware when required.
In vSphere 7.0, vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) helps enforce consistency across ESXi hosts in a cluster using a declarative model. It helps in maintaining consistency across ESXi hosts, which is essential for creating reliable and high performing platforms. vLCM encompasses the functionality that Update Manager provided in earlier vSphere releases and enhances it by adding new features and possibilities for the ESXi lifecycle management at a cluster level.
3. Identity Federation
Identity federation is a security enhancement that allows vCenter Server to integrate with an enterprise identity provider without involving the vCenter Server and the VMware vSphere Administrators. This simplifies the Administrator’s job and helps reduce compliance audit scope.
4. vSphere Trust Authority
Another security enhancement introduced with vSphere 7 is allowing vSphere admins to protect the integrity of their virtual infrastructure with remote attestation by a trusted computing base. vSphere Trust Authority delivers this capability.
5. DRS Improvements
With vSphere 7, Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS) now uses a workload centric approach for efficient resource allocation and live migration of workloads. The improved DRS concentrates less on the ESXi host utilization and prioritizes the VM condition. The VM DRS score is calculated every minute, allowing vSphere to provide a much more granular optimization of resources.
6. vMotion Enhancements
vSphere admins can extend vSphere’s vMotion capability to large workloads such as SAP HANA and Oracle back ends. Previously, these workloads necessitated a longer stun-time during the switchover phase. With vSphere 7 and the much improved vMotion logic to transfer only those pages that are desired by the workload, stun time is reduced drastically for large workloads.
7. Assignable Hardware
With vSphere 7, vSphere admins can provision efficient pools of accelerated Hardware for AI/ML applications with supported GPUs. Assignable Hardware will now interact with DRS when a virtual machine is powered on (initial placement) to find a suitable ESXi host with the required device available. It will then claim that device and then register the virtual machine to that host. If there is a host failure and vSphere High Availability (HA) kicks in, Assignable Hardware will allow that virtual machine to be restarted on another suitable host within the HA cluster with the required Hardware device available.
8. Precision Time Protocol (PTP)
vSphere 7 delivers software timestamp-based PTP support for applications that need millisecond-level time accuracy.