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I missed out on the vSphere 4.1 launch as I was out on vacation. So here’s a belated post announcing the “What’s new in vSphere 4.1 – vCenter Server” whitepaper. The paper provides an overview of new virtualization management capabilities in the vCenter Server 4.1, including enhancements in VMware vCenter Orchestrator, VMware Host Profiles, VMware vCenter Update Manager, vSphere Management Assistant and VMware vCenter Converter. I will cover these enhancements in detail in future posts. Today I will highlight the two key changes in vCenter Server 4.1:

  1. Transition to 64-bit: With vSphere 4.1, vCenter Server is a native 64-bit application, thus eliminating the limits typcially associated with 32-bit environment. This should enable vCenter Server to scale to the larger vSphere-based cloud deployments we envision for the future.
  2. Performance and Scalability Enhancements: vCenter Server 4.1 includes significant performance and scalability enhancements compared to its 4.0 version. These improvements are the result of several performance optimizations in vCenter, and not simply because of the 64-bit transition.

The whitepaper provides several numbers highlighting the scalability improvements compared vSphere 4.0. I will provide just one of those tables here:

Vc41_scalability
The vSphere 4.1 Upgrade Guide provides detailed information on how to migrate existing vCenter Server deployment to the new version. For example, you can use the data migration tool to back up  vCenter Server configuration data such as port settings, SSL certificates, and licensing information. The data migration tool can restore these settings when you upgrade to vCenter Server on a new 64-bit machine.