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The Beginning of the End of 2019: Finishing the Decade with vSphere

Calendar IconThe end of a year is always a time to contemplate the past and make changes for the future. For many, 2019 was a good year, filled with opportunity and accomplishments both personally and professionally. For some, 2019 can’t end fast enough, replaced by the hopes that 2020 will be better. Life is like that, ups and downs, and it’s alright. However, to mark the end of the year, and possibly the end of the decade, on a higher note we will be posting every day through December 31 with lighter vSphere and VMware topics. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

I can see the question in your mind now: “Possibly the end of a decade?” Like most things in IT, the answer to when the decade ends is “it depends.” The timekeepers of the world like to point out we, as a civilization, never had a year “zero.” Therefore, in their eyes, the new decade starts with a year ending in 1, like 2021. Others contend that we start counting our ages at zero, and we refer to certain eras like “the 1980s,” therefore it’s more intuitive to start a decade with a year ending in 0. Others, often wishing both groups would be quiet, point out that a decade is simply ten years long and we can define it however we want.

All we really know is that VMware has been around for 2.1 decades and is still going strong. Speaking of that, 2019 was a big year for this blog. Let’s look at five of the most popular posts for readers this last year:

10. “Thick vs Thin Disks and All Flash Arrays” comes in at #10 in popularity this year. It’s a post from 2014 all about thin & thick VMDK types, and like much of the vSphere content out there this post continues to be relevant. While we at VMware often write about current trends and new topics, vSphere has a deep, stable, and feature-rich heritage that it builds on. That’s especially true for storage technologies, which underpin everything in the software-defined data center. Reliable & performant cluster storage isn’t an easy thing to do and is not to be taken lightly. We are very proud of what the vSphere platform enables for our customers, from core storage technologies to vSAN and more, giving people great value and choice.

9. “Introducing vSphere 6.5” comes in at #9. A blast from the past? Absolutely, but not surprising. vSphere 6.5 was instrumental in setting the stage for the way vSphere looks today, with things like the HTML5 client, the vCenter Server Appliance, and modern migration tools, as well as many of the intrinsic security features we talk about all the time. VM Encryption and Secure Boot were two of those technologies, making it incredibly easy to secure workloads and infrastructure. As VMware users have been upgrading away from vSphere 5.5 and 6.0 it makes a lot of sense that they’d be examining what is in vSphere 6.5 and 6.7.

8. “vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Migration Walkthrough” comes in as #8. There’s a very clear trend in what our readers are looking for: advice on getting to vSphere 6.5 and 6.7! Fortunately, there is a ton of advice on migrating, found both on the blog and on vSphere Central, another big resource for vSphere customers.

7. “Introducing VMware vSphere 6.7” is #7, which is the launch page for all things vSphere 6.7-related. vSphere 6.7 brought hundreds of improvements and features to the software-defined data center, including massive updates to operations management, APIs, the HTML5 client, support for things like Optane and persistent memory, support for security features like Microsoft Device Guard & Credential Guard, host attestation and TPM support, per-VM EVC, and more. Beyond the initial release, vSphere 6.7 has had 3 major update releases, with additional new features and functionality to help vSphere admins operate and secure their infrastructure in the face of challenges like CPU vulnerabilities.

6. The last post in the list for today is “Custom Certificate on the Outside VMware CA (VMCA) on the Inside – Replacing vCenter 6.0’s SSL Certificate.” We continue to get lots & lots of questions about certificates in vSphere. There’s a newer post, “10 Things to Know About vSphere Certificate Management,” which covers a lot of the common questions about certificates, including the pros & cons of the different VMware Certificate Authority modes, why hybrid mode is so popular, why self-signed certificates aren’t evil, and how to explain it all to a CISO or an auditor who might be mandating certain things. Check it out.

(What has armor but isn’t a knight, snaps but isn’t a twig, and is always at home even on the move? Come back tomorrow for a look at the creatures that inhabit the VMware headquarters pond! For more posts in this series visit the “2019 Wrap Up” tag.)

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