VMware vSphere 6.7 includes several improvements that accelerate the host lifecycle management experience to save administrators valuable time.
New vSphere Update Manager Interface
For starters, this release of vSphere includes a brand-new Update Manager interface that is part of the HTML5 Web Client.
Update Manager in vSphere 6.7 keeps VMware ESXi 6.0 to 6.7 hosts reliable and secure by making it easy for administrators to deploy the latest patches and security fixes. And when the time comes to upgrade older releases to the latest version of ESXi 6.7, Update Manager makes that task easy, too.
The new HTML 5 Update Manager interface is more than a simple port from the old Flex client – the new UI provides a much more streamlined remediation process. For example, the previous multi-step remediation wizard is replaced with a much more efficient workflow, requiring just a few clicks to begin the procedure. In addition to that, the pre-check is now a separate operation, allowing administrators to verify that a cluster is ready for upgrade before initiating the workflow.
This initial release of the new interface is the minimum viable product, and supports the workflows required for upgrading and patching VMware ESXi hosts. Many customers also leverage Update Manager beyond vSphere host patching and upgrading. Additional capabilities, such as upgrading VMware Tools and hardware compatibility, are slated to appear in a subsequent release.
Faster Major Version Upgrades from VMware ESXi 6.5 to 6.7
Hosts that are currently on ESXi 6.5 will be upgraded to 6.7 significantly faster than ever before. This is because several optimizations have been made for that upgrade path, including eliminating one of two reboots traditionally required for a host upgrade. In the past, hosts that were upgraded with Update Manager were rebooted a first time in order to initiate the upgrade process, and then rebooted once again after the upgrade was complete. Modern server hardware, equipped with hundreds of gigabytes of RAM, typically take several minutes to initialize and perform self-tests. Doing this hardware initialization twice during an upgrade really adds up, so this new optimization will significantly shorten the maintenance windows required to upgrade clusters of vSphere infrastructure.
These new improvements reduce the overall time required to upgrade clusters, shortening maintenance windows so that valuable efforts can be focused elsewhere.
Recall that, because of DRS and vMotion, applications are never subject to downtime during hypervisor upgrades – VMs are moved seamlessly from host to host, as needed.
vSphere Quick Boot
VMware vSphere 6.7 introduces vSphere Quick Boot – a new capability designed to reduce the time required for a VMware ESXi host to reboot during update operations.
Host reboots occur infrequently but are typically necessary after activities such as applying a patch to the hypervisor or installing a third-party component or driver. Modern server hardware that is equipped with large amounts of RAM may take many minutes to perform device initialization and self-tests.
Quick Boot eliminates the time-consuming hardware initialization phase by shutting down ESXi in an orderly manner and then immediately re-starting it. If it takes several minutes, or more, for the physical hardware to initialize devices and perform necessary self-tests, then that is the approximate time savings to expect when using Quick Boot! In large clusters, that are typically remediated one host at a time, it’s easy to see how this new technology can substantially shorten time requirements for data center maintenance windows.
The new streamlined Update Manager interface, single reboot upgrades, and vSphere Quick Boot shorten the time required for host lifecycle management operations and make VMware vSphere 6.7 the Efficient and Secure Platform for your Hybrid Cloud.