Thursday, October 2, 2014

VCP550D – What’s New with vSphere 5.5 Study Guide

Overall vSphere 5.5 Enhancements

·         Platform

  • Virtual Machine Compatibility ESXi 5.5 (vHW 10)
  • Expanded vGPU and GP-GPU Support
  • Hot-Plug SSD PCIe Devices
  • Support for Reliable Memory

·         vCenter Server Features

  • New Single Sign On
  • OSX support for vSphere Web Client
  • vSphere App HA

·         Storage
  • Support 62TB VMDK
  • 16GB E2E Support
  • MSCS supportability enhancements
  • Storage vMotion and SDRS compatibility
  • VAAI UNMAP and VMFS Heap enhancements

·         Network

  • Enhancements to LACP feature
  • Enhanced SR-IOV
  • Traffic Filtering
  • QoS Tagging
  • Host Level Packet Capture
  • 40 Gig Support


vSphere 5.5 Maximums

  • 320 pCPU
  • 4TB Memory
  • 16 NUMA Nodes
  • 4096 vCPU

Virtual Hardware 10

  • LSI SAS Support for Solaris 11
  • Enablement for new CPU Architectures
  • AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Architecture) Support 
    • SATA controller support with both virtual disk and CDROM on controller 
    • MAC OSX will require AHCI controller 
    • Support 30 Devices per controller

vGPU and GPU-GPU Support

  • Support for additional vGPU
    • AMD 
    • Intel
  • In Automatic mode, if a GPU isn't avaialble at the destination vSphere host, software rendering is enabled
  • Supports vMotion between different vGPU vendors
  • Hardware 3D Render cannot vMotion to a host without a hardware GPU

Graphics Acceleration for Linux Guests

  • Linux Support 
    • Improved performance of graphics operations in Linux guests by leveraging GPU on ESXi Host
    • Supported on Fedora 17 or later, Ubuuntu 12.04 or later, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7
  • OpenGL Support
    • OpenGL 2.1
    • DRM kernel mode setting
    • Xrandr
    • Xrender
    • XV
  • Accelerating Entire Linux Driver Stack
    • Accelerates the entire Linux drive stack and provides it as a Free Software

Hot-Pluggable PCIe SSD Devices

  • Use Cases
    • No downtime to Hot-Plug PCIe SSD drives (add/remove) on running ESXi host 
    •  PCIe IO Expansion chassis to provide Hot-Plug of PCIE devices to an ESXi host
  • Requirement 
    • Hardware and BIOS must support Hot-Plug PCIe

Support for Reliable Memory

  • Reduce memory corruptions
    • Memory corruption = PSOD 
    • Provide greater uptime and reliability for ESXi
  •  How does it work 
    • Feature of hardware 
    • Some memory is more “reliable than others which is reported to ESXi for optimization
  • Protecting Critical Components 
    • VMkernal 
    • User Worlds 
      • Init thread 
      • Hostd and watchdog

Enhancements for CPU C-States

  • Use deep C-States in default Balanced policy 
    • Saves much more power 
    • Can potentially increase performance by quickly entering Turbo Mode frequencies if some other core(s) in the same CPU are in deep C-State
  • More aggressive setting in Low Power policy 
    • More eager to enter deeper C-States
  • USB Auto-suspend 
    • Automatically put idle USB hubs in lower power state 
    • Unused port doesn’t draw much power


vSphere vCenter Server Features

vCenter Single Sign On

  • Improved user experience in multi domain environments 
  • Secure Database connectivity with Windows Authentication

vCenter Server Appliance

  • Scalability of embedded database database (vPostgres) 
  • Now supports more vSphere hosts/virtual machines (100 vSphere/3000 VMs)

vCenter Database

  • Official support for DB clustering technologies

vSphere Web Client

  •  Increased Platform Support 
    • Added support for OS X 
      • VM Console access 
      • Deploy OVF Templates 
      • Attach Client Devices
  •  Enhanced Usability Experience 
    • Drag and Drop
    • Filters 
    • Recent Items

    vSphere App HA

    • Detect and recover from application or OS failure 
    • Supports most common packaged applications
    • vCloud Extensibility – APIs to Ecosystem 
    • Supports SQL Server, Sharepoint, Apache HTTP Server, IIS
    • Can be configured to restart an application service when an issue is detected
    • Uses two virtual appliances the vSphere App HA and vFabric Hyperic appliances
    • Agents are installed in the virtual machines that are protected 
    VM-VM Anti-Affinity Rules

    • Optimal workload placement



    62TB VMDK

    •  Supported on VMFS5 and NFS 
    • No specific virtual hardware requirement 
    •  Requires ESXi 5.5 
    • 62TB Virtual Mode RDMS also supported 
    • Only supported in the vSphere Web Client

    16 GB E2E Support

    • Supports 16 Gb end-to-end Fiber Channel connectivity

    MSCS Enhancements
    • Supports 5 node clusters 
    • Supports FCOE and iSCSI for SAN disk access 
    • Supports round-robin path policy

    PDL AutoRemove

    • PDL (Permanent Device Loss) 
      • Occurs on failure or is incorrectly removed from host 
      • Based SCSI Sense Codes
      • PDL means hot no longer sends I/O to these devices 
    • PDL Auto-Remove in 5.5 
      • Automatically removes a device with PDL from the host 
    • A PDL state on a device implies it cannot accept more IOs, but needlessly uses up one of the 256 devices per host limit

    vSphere Replication Multiple Snapshots Points-In-Time

    VAAI UNMAP Improvements

    • vSphere 5.5 introduced a new simpler VAAI UNMAP/Reclaim Command 
      • # esxcli storage vmfs unmap 
    • Creates temp files and uses UNMAP primitive to inform the array that these blocks may be reclaimed
      • A reclaim size can now be specified in blocks rather than a percentage value 
      • Dead space can now be reclaimed in increments rather than all at once

    VMFS Heap Improvements

    • Previous version of VMFS heap had issues when access above 30TB of open files from a single ESXi host. 
    • ESXi 5.0p5 and 5.1u1 introduced a larger heap size to deal with the issue
    • Improved heap eviction process avoids the need for larger heap size which consumes size in vSphere 5.5 
    • vSphere 5.5 has a max of 256MB of heal which allows ESXi hosts to access all address space of a 64TB VMFS

    vSphere Flash Read Cache

    • Hypervisor-based software defined flash storage tier solution 
      • Cache is a high-speed memory that can be either a reserved section of main memory or a storage device 
      • Supports Write-Through Cache Mode 
      • Improve VMs performance by leveraging local flash devices
      • Ability to virtualize business critical applications 
    • Aggregates local flash devices to provide a clustered flash resource for VM and vSphere host consumption 
    • Leverages local flash devices as cache 
    • Integrated with vCenter, HA, DRS and vMotion 
    • VFFS Volume is created 
    • Fine-grained control via per VMDK caching 
    • Block Size configuration capabilities Min 4KB – Max 1024KB 
    • Virtual Flash Host Swap Cache
      • Provides the ability to use virtual flash resource for memory swapping 
      • Legacy support for Swap-to-SSD 
    • Scale-out Storage Capability: 32 Nodes
    • Requirements 
      • vSphere Server 5.5 
      • vSphere Web Client
      • VM Hardware version 10 
      • License 
      • User Privileges 
        • Host.Config.Storage
        • Host.Config.AdvancedConfig


    Performance and Scale

    • Enhanced LACP 
      • Standards based link aggregation method 
      • Automatic negotiation of link aggregation between virtual and physical switches 
      • Support for multiple LACP Link Aggregation Groups 
        • 64 per Host 
        • 64 per vDS 
      • Support for various hashing algorithms – 22 
      • Improved LACP configuration workflow using templates
    • Enhanced SR-IOV 
      • Single Root IO Virtualization 
      • Standard that allows once PCI express adapters to be presented as multiple separate logical IO devices (virtual funtions) 
      • Customers who want to offload IO processing to the adapters and reduce nework latency can make use of this feature 
      • Downside is that vMotion, FT, and HA features are not available when selected 
    • 40 Gig NIC support

      Packet Classification
      • Traffic Filtering (ACLs) 
        • Helps filter traffic based on various packet header parameters 
          • MAC SA and DA qualifier 
          • System Traffic qualifier – vMotion, Management, FT
          • IP qualifiers 
        • Equivalent to ACL feature on physical switches 
        • Provides Port level security
        • Allows to permit and deny selected type of traffic 
      • DSCP Marking (QOS) 
        • Classify network traffic and provide QoS 
        • 6 bits in the IP header are for packet transmission
          • 64 different traffic classes
        • Important traffic can be tagged so that it doesn’t get drop in the physical network during congestion 
        • Helps provide end to end QoS and SLA

      Visibility and Troubleshooting

      • Host-Level packet capture tool 
        • Visibility/Monitoring using Neflow 
        • Troubleshooting using SPAN/RSPAN/ERSPAN
        • Host level packet capture and command set 
        • Allows you to capture at different levels: vnic, vswitch, ect..
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