How time flies! Old reliable – Vmware vSphere 5.5 – is set for retirement in September of this year, meaning it will no longer be supported as of September 19, 2018.
It’s had a good run and due to its impressive stability and wide adoption, I still see it deployed within many of our clients’ environments.
So what now? Our recommendation is to upgrade your systems to vSphere 6.5. Not only do you get the essential extension of support, but some really great new features.
- A full featured vCenter Server Appliance – the appliance is the future for VMware and now we’ve got scale, ease of migration and Update Manager.
- HTML5 Web Client – vSphere Client continues to improve and now we get HTML5 support for a rich, simple experience for most operations.
- vSAN – remember, vSAN is built right into the kernel of vSphere so upgrades to vSphere unlock huge potential with vSAN advancements including erasure coding, stretch clustering with local protection, QoS, encryption, iSCSI targets and more.
- Encryption – protect critical VM’s at rest with VM Encryption.
- Unlock the future – Micro-segmentation, Horizon 7, vSAN and VMware Cloud on AWS all start with an upgrade to vSphere 6.5.
As with all vSphere upgrades, it’s important to validate your hardware, firmware and tools for monitoring, data protection (yes, the VADP changed again), and desktop brokering solutions for compatibility. A visit to VMware’s Compatibility Guide is recommended.
There’s also a good chance some servers from the vSphere 5.x days won’t be supported with 6.5. If so, we can plan a refresh that sets you up for vSAN as well. With advancements in CPU and memory density plus Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) options with vSAN, your virtualization environment could look a lot more compact and easier to manage with vSphere 6.5.