vSphere 4.1 Released: New Features

vSphere 4.1 Released:  New Features

vSphere 4.1 was released for download today and has many new features.  Future blog posts will go into greater detail, but for now I’d like to provide a high-level overview of the major new features and changes in vSphere 4.1:

  • Storage I/O Control (I had an earlier post on this here)
  • Network I/O Control
  • Memory Compression
  • Active Directory Integration
  • HA/DRS Improvements
  • Scripted Installs and Boot-from-SAN support
  • Enhanced I/O Statistics  (storage latency metrics are tracked per HBA, per VM and per volume basis – a much needed capability)
  • vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI – this will enable storage vendors to provide hardware-assist for functions like snapshots, cloning and more)
  • Load Based Network Teaming
  • Improved VSS Quisecing for Windows 2008 and Windows 7 (more on this later!)
  • 8GB HBA Support
  • vCenter performance improvements
  • Technical Support Mode
  • Passthrough USB support (memory sticks to VM’s)

There’s more, but that’s the quick tease and I will drill deeper into several of these new features in future posts.

One important note is that this is the last release of vSphere that will support the Service Console (a.k.a. the classic ESX hypervisor).  Only the ESXi hypervisor will be made available in future releases, so customers are strongly encouraged to begin the transition to ESXi as soon as possible.

For now here are some key KB articles which should be considered in preparation for vSphere 4.1 deployments:

KB Article: 1022104 – Upgrading to ESX 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1 best practices

KB Article: 1022842 – Changes to DRS in vSphere 4.1

KB Article: 1022263 – Deploying ESXi 4.1 using the Scripted Install feature

KB Article: 1021953 – I/O Statistics in vSphere 4.1

KB Article: 1022851 – Changes to vMotion in vSphere 4.1

KB Article: 1021970 – Overview of Active Directory integration in ESX 4.1 and ESXi 4.1

One Response to vSphere 4.1 Released: New Features

  1. Pingback: Performance Benefits of Storage I/O Control (SIOC) | Blue Shift

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