Cloud general HCI NSX SDDC Security VCF vRealize vSAN vSphere

VCF 5.2 – big launch day

After a few months of winter darkness, rain, even storm (over here in Germany) and mostly negative publicity because of the Broadcom acquisition of VMware we can finally see the light at the end of the (SDDC) tunnel. The summer is back and so is VMware – back with a big and shiny monster release!

Broadcom has made it clear from day 1 that their focus will be on VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). Therefore they have made one dedicated license SKU for VCF and also one big Business Unit out of all the VCF-included products. That means in the future all included products will get more aligned and integrated. And that will lead to bigger update releases for VCF including updates for vSphere, vSAN, vVols, NSX, HCX & the Aria Suite products.

With this post I will share a few of my biggest take aways from the VCF 5.2 release.

// VCF 5.2

VCF 5.2 consists of the following Bill of Materials:

One of the most groundbreaking new features for VCF will be ability to import brownfield vSphere clusters. This will happen in various phases. In Phase 1 you will be able to import an existing cluster as a VI Workload Domain or convert an existing cluster into a Management Domain if it fits all of the requirements:

But most improvements will be in the Life Cycle Management area. You will have the ability to upgrade the SDDC Manager independently:

and you will also have more upgrade flexibility regarding the builds (if you really need it):

Even the Async Patch Tool will be built into the UI:

// vSphere 8 U3

vSphere 8 U3 will introduce the Partial Maintenance Mode which will be used to Live Patch ESXi hosts:

This will enable maintenance without VM migration for many (but not all) ESXi patches:

You will be able to see if the update/patch supports Live Patching:

The vSphere Cluster Service will change. The 3 little vCLS VMs will be replaced by 2 even more little VMs which will run in memory now:

Different vGPU Profiles will be supported on the same GPU/ESXi host:

New DRS Settings for vGPU will be available in the UI now:

There will be many news for vVols but the biggest (at least for Germany customers) may be the support for Stretched Storage Clusters:

// vSAN 8 U3

vSAN Data Protection will be probably the most interesting new feature here. Available only using vSAN ESA it will support the creation of immutable snapshots.

Using Protection Groups you can granuarly and also dynamically schedule snapshot creation:

vSAN Data Protection can be very useful for protection against Ransomware and is integratable with VMware Live Recovery:

You can easily and quickly revert VMs:

or even restore VMs which are no longer in the inventory:

Support for vSAN ESA Stretched Clusters will come in VCF 5.2:

And way more File Shares will be supported in vSAN ESA:

There will be many improvements in the Management area. One of them will be the cluster level view of the vSAN VM I/O Trip Analyzer:

// NSX 4.2

Isolated Workload Domains with Shared NSX instances will give you more flexibility and a smaller footprint in your VCF environment:

NSX will receive some major performance improvements for example by using TEP Groups:

or by using Enhanced Data Path interrupts for the NSX Edge Nodes:

// Aria Operations 8.18

There will be a new Skyline Health-like Diagnostics menu in AOps:

This includes new certificate checks of the whole VCF environment:

Another very big and potentially very helpful new feature will be the centralized license management and monitoring of your VCF environment:

There is so much more to name but just so little space and time. Please check out all the official VMware announcements and all the blog articles of the awesome vCommunity. Many of them will go way deeper than mine. That’s why I urge you to go ahead and read all of them!

Anyways, I hope this post was helpful to you. Feel free to share if you like…

// footnotes:

Date: 25.06.2024
Version: 1.0