Surviving vSphere 6.0 End of Support: What Comes Next
On March 12, 2020, VMware will officially conclude support for vSphere 6.0, marking the end of the line for the roughly half-decade old virtualization platform. Once that happens, organizations that haven’t moved to a more modern alternative will be left to carry on without the benefit of security patches or performances fixes. Avoiding concerns like those is incentive enough to pursue an upgrade – but it’s not the only reason. Recent versions (vSphere 6.5 and 6.7) include new and enhanced capabilities that more than make the upgrade a trip worth taking.
Here are four advanced abilities (plus a few bonus observations) that could ultimately make it easier for organizations to leave vSphere 6.0 behind.
- Streamlined, intelligent administrative experience: Admins are famously short on time and bandwidth – something more recent versions of vSphere seek to change. In 6.5, REST-styled APIs power time-saving automation while predictive load balancing uses historical patterns and analytics to adjust accordingly to ensure high performance without significant hands-on admin intervention. As for 6.7, this version realizes operational efficiency through machine learning, Big Data collection and more.
- Goodbye to the Flash interface: Following up on that topic, we made this point in our post covering vSphere 6.7’s debut at VMware Empower back in 2018, but it bears repeating. Admins have long waited for the end of vSphere’s Flash-based interface. The farewell process began with 6.5, which introduced vSphere’s HTML5-based client. With 6.7 comes full feature parity between the Flash client and the new HTML5 client. The Flash client remains in support of plug-ins that demand it, however, feel free to use it as little as possible.
- Revamped VMware vCenter Server Appliance: Regardless of whether organizations land on vSphere 6.5 or 6.7, they’ll find an enhanced version of VMware vCenter Server Appliance waiting for them. The 6.5 version boasts performance and scale capabilities 2-3x greater than its predecessor. Additionally, it offers built-in file-based backup and recovery and host management and patching. As for 6.7, this version of VMware vCenter Server Appliance will let admins connect and manage multiple vCenters seamlessly via its embedded platform services controller.
- Greater overall security preparedness: Newer versions of vSphere are inherently more secure than 6.0 as they’ll continue receiving patches and updates for the foreseeable future. These versions also have an advanced collection of baked-in security features. For example, 6.5 supports policy-informed encryption at the VM-level for data at-rest and in-motion. Beyond that, digital signatures ensure only authorized OS software runs on a VM. Then there’s forensic insights, which allows admins to get to the root of malicious activity more quickly. The latest version of vSphere, 6.7, builds on those capabilities by adding in new support for TPM 2.0-enabled devices.
These are just four of the new abilities powered by vSphere 6.5 and 6.7. A few other highlights worth pointing out? In vSphere 6.7, admins can enjoy a seamless hybrid cloud experience driven by vCenter Server Hybrid Linked Mode. This utility allows admins to have a seamless view of the entirety of their on-prem and cloud-based vSphere environments. Those moving to 6.5 will still be able to enjoy the Proactive High Availability feature. This can sense hardware failures before they happen and adjust workflows accordingly. Another feature of note introduced in 6.5 is Host Profile Management. It leverages the policies put in place by IT to keep an organization’s virtual environment compliant with established regulations.
Next Steps: Prepare your organizations for vSphere 6.0 end of support
Interested in learning more about any of the above features – or discussing how you can prepare for vSphere 6.0’s approaching end of support date? Connect with our virtualization and data center experts today by visiting: https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/.
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