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What’s Changed in VMware vSphere 7: All You Need to Know

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With a wide range of products, VMware has grown into a leading vendor of cloud computing and virtualization software. VMware vSphere is considered to be one of the most advanced and easy-to-use platforms for managing virtual machines.

The latest vSphere 7 release on April 2, 2020, has brought upgrades and improvements as well as deprecated certain features. In this blog post, we highlight the main differences between vSphere 7 and the previous versions so you know what to expect when upgrading.

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What’s New in VMware vSphere 7?

vSphere 7 release is, without a doubt, VMware’s biggest release in a long time, adding new features and capabilities along with some updated features, such as:

Kubernetes support and integration (vSphere 7 Enterprise Plus): Kubernetes manages containers in a cluster and provides load balancing, high availability, and scalability. With VMware vSphere 7, users can run, organize and manage Kubernetes clusters, containers and VMs in a vCenter server.

Content library enhancements: A content library is a container that stores and manages VM and virtual appliance templates and other file types like scrips and ISO images. In vSphere 7, users can instantly change and monitor their template versions with the newly added administrative control and versioning support in the content library.

Intrinsic security: Through multi-factor authentication, VMware provides Identity Federation with ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) in vSphere 7 to increase the security level and to secure access and account management.

Improved clustering features: VMware DRS cluster (Distributed Resource Scheduler) provides load balancing among ESXi hosts to avoid overloading. With the improved DRS in vSphere 7, a more workload-centric approach is presented, providing sufficient resources for a VM to run smoothly.

Enhanced vMotion logic: VMware vMotion provides easy VM migration between ESXi hosts without crashing VM operation. The enhanced vMotion uses fewer resources than the earlier versions for VM migration, reducing the stun time of the VM.

Updated vCenter

Starting with vSphere 7, vCenter can no longer be installed on a Windows Server machine. Only, the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) will be available to use, which is faster, cleaner, and easier to operate.

vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM)

VMware Update Manager has been deprecated in vSphere 7. Now, as a part of the updated vCenter, vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) is provided in VMware vSphere 7 to manage lifecycle operations and configuration management in vSphere such as:

  • Install updates, patches and upgrades
  • Apply ESXi host profiles
  • Manage and automate the firmware update process
  • Manage images to install or update software for vSphere components
  • Notify users of available software upgrades and potential problems with the update with the vCenter Server Update Planner

VMware vSphere 7 Removed Features

vSphere 7 release has also included some changes and adjustments to the earlier releases, such as:

No more vSphere Flash Client

Flash-based vSphere Web Client is no longer supported for vCenter management. Starting from vSphere 6.5, VMware has released a supported version of an HTML5-based web client. VMware vSphere 7 uses only HTML5 vSphere Client that supports all features and is faster and cleaner than Flash Client.

VNC Server is gone

Bad news for VNC Server users; there is no built-in VNC server in vSphere 7. If necessary, users can install the VNC server on a guest OS of a virtual machine manually.

External Platform Services Controller

The Platform Services Controller (PSC) was introduced to handle functions like vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication, licensing, certificate management, and enhanced linked mode. One of the purposes of the Platform Services Controller was to simplify common vSphere infrastructure services. However, the PSC did not include native vCenter High Availability, the issue that required additional load balancers to achieve High Availability. Also, users had to manage and control extra nodes for enhanced linked mode.

In its pursuit of making users’ lives easier, VMware is dropping the external Platform Services Controller deployment model. Starting from VMware vSphere 7, the Platform Service Controller is going to be embedded in vCenter Server 7. All the benefits of using external PSCs are now available only without the need to utilize extra nodes or load balancers.

VMware vSphere 7 Licensing and System Requirements

Before upgrading to the latest version of the vSphere platform, users should know that there are some modifications in the licensing terms.

vSphere 7 license requirements

The licensing model in the vSphere 7 version has changed to a per-processor basis, which means that every processor installed on an ESXi server requires one license.

A single license covers 32 physical cores of a processor, and if a processor has more than 32 physical cores, an additional license needs to be assigned.

Processor requirements

vSphere 7 supports multiple multi-core 64-bit x86 processors, and only Westmere-based Intel processors are not supported.

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Summary

VMware vSphere 7 is one of the most powerful enterprise-level virtualization platforms and has a lot of great improvements and new features to build a hyper-converged infrastructure.

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What’s Changed in VMware vSphere 7: All You Need to Know
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