Home > Hyper-V, VMware > What’s New in VMware vSphere 4.1 & Windows 2008 R2 SP1 Beta

What’s New in VMware vSphere 4.1 & Windows 2008 R2 SP1 Beta

Today , there are 3 Product releases that is of significance from VMware and Microsoft . I have tried to explain why these products assumes significance and benefits of them .

  • VMware vSphere 4.1
  • Windows 2008 R2 SP1 ( Beta )
  • Self-Service Portal 2.0 for Virtual Machine Manager ( RC )

VMware vSphere 4.1 :

Some importatnt enhancements in VMware vSphere 4.1 from the release notes are :

  • VMware recommends that customers start transitioning to the ESXi architecture when deploying VMware vSphere 4.1.
  • vCenter Server 4.1 now requires a 64-bit Windows operating system, it will not installl on a 32-bit Windows OS.
  • For ESX and ESXi, the vSphere Client is available for download from the VMware Web site. It is no longer packaged with builds of ESX and ESXi.
  • vSphere 4.1 enables ESXi boot from SAN (BFN). iSCSI, FCoE, and Fibre Channel boot are supported.
  • vSphere 4.1 offers enhanced visibility into storage throughput and latency of hosts and virtual machines, and aids in troubleshooting storage performance issues.
  • Storage I/O Control – This feature provides quality-of-service capabilities for storage I/O in the form of I/O shares and limits that are enforced across all virtual machines accessing a datastore, regardless of which host they are running on.
  • Network I/O Control – Traffic-management controls allow flexible partitioning of physical NIC bandwidth between different traffic types, including virtual machine, vMotion, FT, and IP storage traffic (vNetwork Distributed Switch only).
  • Windows Failover Clustering with VMware HA. Clustered Virtual Machines that utilize Windows Failover Clustering/Microsoft Cluster Service are now fully supported in conjunction with VMware HA  
  • vSphere 4.1 provides the ability to concurrently manage multiple VMware Data Recovery appliances
  • vCenter Converter allows users to point to a Hyper-V machine. Converter displays the virtual machines running on the Hyper-V system, and users can select a powered-off virtual machine to import to a VMware destination
  • vCenter Server 4.1 can support three times more virtual machines and hosts per system, as well as more concurrent instances of the vSphere Client and a larger number of virtual machines per cluster than vCenter Server 4.0
  • Memory Compression –  Compressed memory is a new level of the memory hierarchy, between RAM and disk. Slower than memory, but much faster than disk, compressed memory improves the performance of virtual machines when memory is under contention, because less virtual memory is swapped to disk
  • ESX/ESXi Active Directory Integration – Integration with Microsoft Active Directory allows seamless user authentication for ESX/ESXi. You can maintain users and groups in Active Directory for centralized user management and you can assign privileges to users or groups on ESX/ESXi hosts
  • User-configurable Number of Virtual CPUs per Virtual Socket –  You can configure virtual machines to have multiple virtual CPUs reside in a single virtual socket, with each virtual CPU appearing to the guest operating system as a single core. Previously, virtual machines were restricted to having only one virtual CPU per virtual socket

Download link : http://www.vmware.com/download

Detailed What’s New in vSphere 4.1 can be found at  http://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere4/doc/vsp_41_new_feat.html

Windows 2008 R2 SP1 ( Beta )

Windows 2008 R2 SP1 assumes significance as it introduces two much needed features to Hyper-V – Dynamic Memory and Remote FX .

Dynamic memory :

Memory. Dynamic memory is a memory management enhancement for Hyper-V that enables to increase the efficiency of using memory and thereby enable us to obtain higher consolidation ratios per host by dynamically and securely adjusting the memory between virtual machines. Dynamic memory dynamically increases and decreases the memory allocated to VMs based on usage. Dynamic memory enables to obtain benefits on their servers with predictable performance and consistent scalability for their production deployment environments.

Dynamic memory requires that hot add memory capabilities be available in the guest operating systems. The current list of supported guest operating systems includes the following:

Client Operating Systems:

  • Windows Vista Business/Enterprise/Ultimate
  • Windows 7 Business/Enterprise/Ultimate

Server Operating Systems:

  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 Enterprise/Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise/Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise/Datacenter

RemoteFX enhances Microsoft desktop virtualization. RemoteFX lets Windows Server 2008 R2 administrators provide an even richer and user-transparent desktop virtualization experience. RemoteFX delivers rich content, independent of any graphics stack, to server-hosted virtual and session-based desktops, allowing them to support any screen content, including full-motion video, portable graphics stacks such as Silverlight, and 3D applications. Because it can use virtualized graphics on the server and advanced codecs , RemoteFX can deliver those experiences to a much wider array of target devices, including standard desktops and laptops but also an emerging slew of thin clients. You’ll also be able to forward the USB ports of the local client to the virtual machine being accessed on the device – just like you can forward the local printer over RDP today.

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Beta can be downloaded from  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/trial-software.aspx

Self-Service Portal 2.0 for Virtual Machine Manager ( RC ) :

VMMSSP (also referred to as the self-service portal) is a fully supported, partner-extensible solution built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and System Center VMM. You can use it to pool, allocate, and manage resources to offer infrastructure as a service and to deliver the foundation for a private cloud platform inside your datacenter. VMMSSP includes a pre-built web-based user interface that has sections for both the datacenter managers and the business unit IT consumers, with role-based access control. VMMSSP also includes a dynamic provisioning engine. VMMSSP reduces the time needed to provision infrastructures and their components by offering business unit “on-boarding,” infrastructure request and change management. The VMMSSP package also includes detailed guidance on how to implement VMMSSP inside your environment.

Important: VMMSSP is not an upgrade to the existing VMM 2008 R2 self-service portal. You can choose to deploy and use one or both self-service portals depending on your requirements.

The self-service portal provides the following features that are exposed through a web-based user interface:

  • Configuration and allocation of datacenter resources: Store management and configuration information related to compute, network and storage resources as assets in the VMMSSP database.
  • Customization of virtual machine actions: Provide a simple web-based interface to extend the default virtual machine actions; for example, you can add scripts that interact with Storage Area Networks for rapid deployment of virtual machines.
  • Business unit on-boarding: Standardized forms and a simple workflow for registering and approving or rejecting business units to enroll in the portal.
  • Infrastructure request and change management: Standardized forms and human-driven workflow that results in reducing the time needed to provision infrastructures in your environment.
  • Self-Service provisioning: Supports bulk creation of virtual machines on provisioned infrastructure through the web-based interface.Helps business units to manage their virtual machines based on delegated roles.

Download SCVMM Self Service Portal 2.0 RC from :  http://bit.ly/b0W7RA

  1. Thiru
    July 17, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Thanks Sudharsan, for bringing various virtualization products in a single blog. its more informative and usefull… Keep Blogging…

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