VMware announces remote exam testing!

VMware have announced that remote exam testing will be available from 20th April via Pearson Vue. This is for all exams except for lab based VCAP Deploy exams which will come at a later date.

Remote exam testing involves all the same security checks as being at a test center. You show ID, take pictures of your room, cannot have materials to hand and are recorded via webcam the entire time.

Having taken remotely proctored exams for other technologies, the convenience of it is hugely valuable. Being able to now sit these for VMware is a huge plus.

Check out the announcement at vmware.com

vSphere 6.7 Update 3 released!

vSphere 6.7 Update 3 has now been released. Among the new features:

Ability to change vCenter Server PNID/Hostname

PNID (Primary Network IDentifier of vCenter Server) is the host name of a vCenter and 6.7 Update 3 now supports changing this post-deployment. This will be great news to anyone who has had to rename or change the domain of a vCenter on prior releases and found it required a whole rebuild.

Read more about this feature at this blog @ vmware.com

Support for multiple NVIDIA® vGPUs

VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 3 will introduce support for multiple NVIDIA GRID virtual GPUs (vGPU) per virtual machine to enable more graphics and compute intensive workloads running on vSphere. You will be able to configure up to four NVIDIA vGPUs connected to one virtual machine.

AMD EPYC™ Generation 2 support

The vSphere 6.7 U3 is compatible with the 2nd Generation of AMD EPYC™ processors.

Dynamic DNS support

With vSphere 6.7 Update 3, the usage of Dynamic DNS will be supported! vCenter will now support dynamically updating IP information in DNS, another manual job saved.

Driver Enhancements

Enhancements to VMXNET3: Guest encapsulation offload and UDP, and ESP RSS support to the Enhanced Networking Stack (ENS). Checksum calculations are offloaded from encapsulated packets to the virtual device emulation and you can run RSS on UDP and ESP packets on demand. The feature requires a corresponding VMXNET3 v4 driver.

Various driver updates will be shipped with 6.7 Update 3. The ixgben driver adds queue pairing to optimize CPU efficiency. The bnxtnet driver will support Broadcom 100 GbE network adapters and multi-RSS feeds. These are just some highlights, the following drivers are updated:

  • VMware nvme
  • Microchip smartpqi
  • Marvell qlnativefc
  • Broadcom lpfc/brcmfcoe
  • Broadcom lsi_msgpt2
  • Broadcom lsi_msgpt35
  • Broadcom lsi_msgpt3
  • Broadcom lsi_mr3
  • Intel i40en
  • Intel ixgben
  • Cisco nenic
  • Broadcom bnxtnet

More information about this update @vmware.com

Release Notes:
ESXi 6.7 Update 3
vCenter 6.7 Update 3
vSAN 6.7 Update 3

vSphere 6.7 U1 GA released! Release notes & downloads

VMware have finally bestowed upon us their latest release of vSphere 6.7 – Update 1!
This brings with it some rather welcome new festures and quality-of-life tweaks:

  • Migrate vCenter with Embedded PSC *between* vSphere domains, retaining data such as tags & licences.
  • vCenter can provide relevant links to KB articles
  • Burst filter to protect vCenter from identical alert flooding
  • HTML5 client now fully featured including new simplified workflows for VCHA
  • vCenter converge tool to migrate from external to easier to manage embedded PSCs
  • Provides upgrade path from 6.5 U2 to 6.7

And many more
vCenter Server 6.7 U1 :
Release Notes
ESXi 6.7 U1:
Release Notes
PowerCLI 11:
What’s New

PSA: vSphere 5.5 end of life imminent!

Quick reminder that vSphere 5.5 reaches end-of-life this month – September 19th.
That old workhorse of a platform that many customers are still running for a plethora of reasons is finally reaching end of life. That means no more updates, and no more support from VMware. You will be limited to the self help portal and VMware does not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes.

What are my options?

Quite simple here. You need to upgrade. There is no direct path to the latest and greatest vSphere 6.7, so you will need to upgrade to either 6.0 or 6.5 first.
Even if your 5.5 era hardware will not support vSphere 6.5, I would recommend you at least update vCenter to 6.5 even if you can only uplift your old hardware to ESXi 6.0. Not least so you have access to the beautiful vCenter HTML5 Client. Uplevel vCenter is always compatible with downlevel ESXi.
Further reading: VMware Upgrade Center