This week VMware announced a view updates to their Cloud Management Products. This is an overview of what was announced. For me the most important and interesting Updates are for vRealize Suite which contain a lot of Resolved Issues and the new VMware Host Client 1.0 for ESXi which may give a feeling for a new HTML5 based WebClient.

This is a great update for Q1/16 and starts with availability of vRealize Suite 7.0 and continues with a lot of updates with bug fixes and minor enhancements.

vRealize Suite 7.0.0

GA Date : 15 March 2016

VMware vRealize Suite is an enterprise-ready, cloud management platform that delivers the industry’s most complete solution for managing a heterogeneous hybrid cloud. All the new capabilities for vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations Management, vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Business for Cloud that were introduced in 2015 are included in vRealize Suite 7. A new hybrid licensing model makes it even easier for you to manage vSphere and non-vSphere hypervisors and hybrid cloud workloads.

vRealize Suite 7 includes the following product features.

  • vRealize Automation 7.0.1
    • Simplified deployment architecture.
    • Ability to create an infrastructure and application blueprint in a single design canvas.
    • Improved support for VMware’s industry leading NSX network management solution.
  • vRealize Operations Management 6.2
    • Improved support for intelligent workload placement.
  • vRealize Log Insight 3.3.1
    • Improved integration of 3rd party applications.
    • Improved upgrade process for server side agents.
  • vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1
    • Enhanced capabilities that allow users to better compare workload placement options across private and public clouds.
    • Increased reporting capabilities, including better infrastructure service consumption reporting.

vRealize Automation 7.0.1

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - Build 3622989

vRealize Automation 7.0.1 contains several new features and enhancements.

  • Provides a management agent to automate the installation of Windows components and to collect logs
  • Automates the deployment of all vRealize Automation components
  • Provides an installation wizard to automate a Minimal or Enterprise installation

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

vRealize Orchestrator 7.0.1

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - Build 3571217

vRealize Orchestrator 7.0.1 is a patch release that introduces a number of improvements, bug fixes, and resolves an important issue - CVE-2015-7547 glibc getaddrinfo() stack-based buffer overflow. For details see Resolved Issues in the Release Notes

vRealize Orchestrator vRealize Automation plugin 7.0.1

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - Build 3515679

This release of the vRealize Orchestrator Plug-In for vRealize Automation introduces the following new functionality:

  • vRealize Orchestrator Plug-In for vRealize Automation 7.0.1 works with vRealize Automation 7.0 and 7.0.1 and vRealize Orchestrator 7.0 and 7.0.1.

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - Build 3631900

  • Branding Change vRealize Business Standard is rebranded to vRealize Business for Cloud. The user interface and the documentation use the new product name.
    • vRealize Business for Cloud refers to both Standard and Advanced editions.
    • vRealize Business for Cloud Standard refers to the Standard edition, which is accessible by vCloud Suite Standard and vRealize Suite Standard licenses.
    • vRealize Business for Cloud Advanced refers to the Advanced edition, which is accessible by the vRealize Business for Cloud, vRealize Business Enterprise, vCloud Air Advanced and Enterprise, and vRealize Suite Advanced and Enterprise licenses.
  • Supports additional licenses In addition to vRealize Business for Cloud, vRealize Business Enterprise, and vCloud Suite licenses, you can access vRealize Business for Cloud by using the vRealize Suite license. However, the vRealize Business for Cloud user interface options vary based on the license key edition. You can see all the available options by using the vRealize Suite Advanced and Enterprise licenses. Certain options might not be available as part of vRealize Suite Standard license.

  • Supports three versions of vRealize Automation vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1 is compatible with the vRealize Automation 6.2.4, 7.0, and 7.0.1 releases.

  • Supports the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) vRealize Business for Cloud participates in VMware’s CEIP. It allows VMware to collect technical details about vRealize Business for Cloud usage anonymously. This helps VMware to improve the product and features you use most often and to help solve problems.

  • Displays public cloud historical data You can view the public cloud account details and cost for the past months, similar to vCenter Server virtual machine historical reports.

  • Supports new currencies vRealize Business for Cloud supports several additional currencies for cost calculation, which you can set during vRealize Business Standard deployment. The new currencies supported are Thai Baht (THB), Danish Krone (DKK), Brazilian Real (BRL) and Mexican Peso (MXN).

  • Change in cost projection calculation The projected expense for public cloud and vCloud Air is sum of total cost till date and the cost of previous day multiplied by the remaining number of days for the current month.

  • Assign Business Management Controller roles You must explicitly assign the Business Management Controller role to the vRealize Automation users to allow access to vRealize Business for Cloud. In earlier releases, all the Business Management administrators were automatically assigned the Business Management Controller privileges.

  • Enhanced debug and supportability You can enable debug logging to collect the debug level information in the log files, which helps during support and debugging the issues.

  • Download support files for remote data collection You can download the support file to get support for the remote data collection problems.

  • Export vRealize Business for Cloud log files You can configure the vRealize Business for Cloud log files to export your setup details to the system log servers such as vRealize Log Insight for analyzing the operations and provide faster troubleshooting procedures.

  • Localization support vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1 is available in following languages:
    • English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

vRealize Business Enterprise 8.2.5

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - Build 3580268

Realize Business Enterprise 8.2.5 is a maintenance release with the following enhancements:

  • The vRealize Business Enterprise 8.2.5 license is upgraded for both existing and new installations The vRealize Business Enterprise 8.2.5 enables you to perform the following actions:
    • Select all applications as part of the Enterprise license.
    • Utilize all of vRealize Business capabilities, including IT Financial Management (ITFM) and Service Level Management (SLM).
  • The vRealize Business Enterprise 8.2.5 Information Center now includes an Administration Guide The vRealize Business Enterprise User Guide is now split into vRealize Business Enterprise Administration Guide, which provides information about managing an administrator’s task. It provides more information about how to work with vRealize Business Enterprise.

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

VMware vRealize Log Insight 3.3.1

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - Build 3644329

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

VMware vRealize Automation 6.2.4 and VMware vCloud Automation Center Application Services 6.2.4

GA Date : 15 March 2016

  • Build 3624994 vRealize Automation 6.2.4
  • Build 3570131 VMware Identity Appliance 6.2.4
  • Build 3631043 vRealize Automation Application Services 6.2.4

This release of vRealize Automation contains some resolved problems and the following enhancements:

  • Reporting of provisioning and reconfiguration request outcomes on the vRealize administration interface.
  • Validation of machine input parameters, custom properties, and property dictionary for machines provisioned with the REST API.
  • Ability to display time and day in United Kingdom format.
  • Acceptance of vRealize Automation 7 Standard, vRealize Suite 7 Advanced, and vRealize Suite 7 Enterprise licenses.
  • Reconfigure and edit functionality for System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) provisioned VMs.
  • Keystone v3 OpenStack Identity Provider Support for vRealize Automation 6.2 OpenStack endpoint.
  • Provide guest agent for Solaris OS.
  • Enable guest agent to recognize and decrypt command line arguments from InstallSoftware script.
  • Enable Display Names on Application Director for corresponding vRealize Automation properties.
  • Version support to the following endpoints:
    • vCloud Director 5.6.4 & 8.3.1
    • vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.4
    • vSphere 5.5 Update 3 & 6.0 Update 2

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

vRealize Code Stream 2.0

vRealize Code Stream is a release automation product that enables an organization to deliver quality software while leveraging existing tools in the build, development, test, provisioning, and monitoring environments. vRealize Code Stream provides features across several categories.

Parallel Task Execution

The original, workflow-based, vRealize Code Stream engine has been replaced with Xenon, an open source software, which is a newer, faster, more scalable and a more lightweight execution engine. The new execution engine supports native parallel tasks when modeling pipeline templates.The pipeline modeling canvas allows release engineers to model certain tasks to be executed in parallel along with sequential execution supported in the earlier releases. This allows faster executions and developers can get feedback to determine if a code change is ready for production.

Single Appliance Deployment

The Identity Manager is integrated within the same appliance and eliminates the need for setting it up on a separate appliance for authentication services.

Reporting Capability

vRealize Code Stream 2.0 now provides two out-of-the-box reports:

  • Pipeline Success Rate report: The Pipeline Success Rate report provides information on the Successful Vs Failed executions for a given release pipeline over time.
  • Pipeline Failure Analysis report: The Pipeline Failure Analysis report provides visibility into the top failing stages and tasks for a given release pipeline over time.

Integration Enhancements

  • In addition to Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2013, vRealize Code Stream now supports integration with Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2015 to trigger builds and jobs in TFS.

    Integration with vRealize Automation 7.0

    The integration with vRealize Automation 7.0 provides the following capabilities:

    • vRealize Code Stream now includes a new plug-in that supports converged blueprint in vRealize Automation 7.0.
    • The plugin supports triggering provisioning operations in vSphere.
    • Supports deployment of blueprints with application components.
    • Supports additional converged blueprint concepts such as multi-node deployments, network topology, and nesting of blueprints.

Other Enhancements

The other enhancements are:

  • vRealize Code Stream now includes version 4.4 of JFrog Artifactory, which includes a completely new user interface and several new capabilities including Docker repositories and API improvements.
  • The vRealize Code Stream login page is customizable with properties such as organization logo and corporate colors.
  • Two new global pipeline execution variables are now available. These variables can be used in core pipeline logic like conditional task skipping. It can also be used in custom tasks, for example, when updating external ticketing or auditing systems:
    • ${requestBy}, which captures the username of the user who triggered a pipeline execution
    • ${executionId}, which captures the unique ID of a particular pipeline execution

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

vRealize Code Stream Management Pack for IT DevOps 2.0

GA Date : 15 March 2016

What’s new?

  • The Management Pack now runs on the vRA 7.0.1/vRCS 2.0 appliance platform
  • 17 additional SDDC Package Types have been added, see below for details.
  • The addition of pre/post vRCS Pipeline Stubs allows customers to extend the business logic at various stages, this allows use cases such as:
    • Content can be altered prior to releasing to a content endpoint
    • Manual tasks can be added
    • Test environments can be stood up/torn down between tests
  • A new CloudClient plugin for complete control via a CLI.

New Package Types:

  • vRA 6.2
    • vRA 6 IaaS Build Profiles
  • vRA 7.0
    • Composite Blueprint’s
    • XaaS Blueprint’s
    • Resource Action’s
    • Software
    • Property Groups
    • Property Definitions
  • vSphere
    • Virtual Machine Templates
    • Customization Specifications
  • vROPS
    • Alerts including Symptoms and Recommendations
    • Dashboards
    • Reports
    • Super Metrics
    • Views
    • Resource Kind Metric Configs
    • TopoWidget Configs
    • Text Widget Content

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2

GA Date : 15 March 2016

  • vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 - ISO Build 3634788
  • vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Update 2 - ISO Build 3634788
  • vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 on Windows Build 3634793
  • vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 on vCenter Server Appliance Build 3634794

What’s New

  • Two-factor authentication for vSphere Web Client: Protect the vSphere Web Client using the following form of authentication:
    • RSA SecurID
    • Smart card (That is the UPN based Common Access Card)
  • Support to change vSphere ESX Agent Manager logging level: This release supports dynamic increase or decrease of vSphere ESX Agent Manager (EAM) logging levels without restarting EAM.
  • vSphere Web Cient support: vSphere Web Client now supports Microsoft Windows 10 OS.
  • vCenter Server database support: vCenter Server now supports the following external databases:
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1
  • Resolved Issues: This release of vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 addresses issues that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section in the Release Notes.

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

ESXi 6.0 Update 2

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - Build 3620759

What’s new

  • High Ethernet Link Speed: ESXi 6.0 Update 2 supports 25 G and 50 G ethernet link speeds.

  • VMware Host Client: The VMware Host Client is an HTML5 client that is used to connect to and manage single ESXi hosts. It can be used to perform administrative tasks to manage host resources, such as virtual machines, networking, and storage. The VMware Host Client can also be helpful to troubleshoot individual virtual machines or hosts when vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client are unavailable. For more information about VMware Host Client, see VMware Host Client 1.0 Release Notes.

  • vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO) Enhancement

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

Virtual SAN 6.2

GA Date : 15 March 2016 - ISO Build 3620759

Virtual SAN 6.2 introduces the following new features and enhancements:

  • Deduplication and compression Virtual SAN 6.2 supports deduplication and compression to eliminate duplicate data. This technique reduces the total storage space required to meet your needs. When you enable deduplication and compression on a Virtual SAN cluster, redundant copies of data in a particular disk group are reduced to single copy. Deduplication and compression are available as a cluster-wide setting on all-flash clusters.

  • RAID 5 and RAID 6 erasure coding Virtual SAN 6.2 supports both RAID 5 and RAID 6 erasure coding to reduce the storage space required to protect your data. RAID 5 and RAID 6 are available as a policy attribute for VMs in all-flash clusters. You can use RAID 5 in clusters with at least four fault domains, and RAID 6 in clusters with at least six fault domains.

  • Software checksum Virtual SAN 6.2 supports software-based checksum on hybrid and all-flash clusters. The software checksum policy attribute is enabled by default on all objects in the Virtual SAN cluster.

  • New on-disk format Virtual SAN 6.2 supports upgrades to new on-disk virtual file format 3.0 through the vSphere Web Client. This file system provides support for new features in the Virtual SAN cluster. On-disk format version 3.0 is based on an internal 4K block size technology, which provides improved efficiency, but can result in reduced performance if the guest operating system I/Os are not 4K aligned. >

  • IOPS limits Virtual SAN supports IOPS limits to restrict the number of I/O (read/write) operations per second for a specified object. When the number of read/write operations reaches the IOPS limit, those operations are delayed until the current second expires. The IOPS limit is a policy attribute that you can apply to any Virtual SAN object, including VMDK, namespace, and so on.

  • IPv6 Virtual SAN supports IPv4 or IPv6 addressing.

  • Space reporting The Virtual SAN 6.2 Capacity monitor displays information about the Virtual SAN datastore, including used space and free space, and provides a breakdown of capacity usage by different object types or data types.

  • Health service Virtual SAN 6.2 includes new health checks that help you monitor the cluster and enable you to diagnose and fix problems with the cluster. If the Virtual SAN health service detects health issues, it triggers vCenter events and alarms.

  • Performance service Virtual SAN 6.2 includes performance service monitors with cluster-level, host-level, VM-level, and disk-level statistics. The performance service collects and analyzes performance statistics and displays the data in a graphical format. You can use the performance charts to manage your workload and determine the root cause of problems.

  • Write-through in-memory cache Virtual SAN 6.2 improves virtual machine performance by using a host resident write-through read cache. This caching algorithm reduces read I/O latency and reduces Virtual SAN CPU and network usage.

Please see the Release Notes for Details and Resolved Issues.

Have some fun with vRealize Suite, vSphere, vSAN and your endless creativity!