vSphere+ is a cloud service bringing many benefits to on-premises environments. One of the less talked, yet impactful benefits is the consistent rollout of novel features. In contrast to on-premises vSphere offerings, vSphere+ operates on an accelerated release schedule, introducing fresh features nearly every month. With the recent announcements for vSphere 8 Update 2, vSphere+ does not shy away from bringing enhanced operational efficiencies for our customers.
Here is a quick recap of the new features for the second quarter of the 2023 calendar year:
vCenter Cloud Gateway summary feature delivers a way to see all the gateway appliances connected, their status, and which vCenter instances are registered to each Cloud Gateway; very handy for planning and discovery of the cloud connected environment. Other features for this quarter increase operational efficiency, subscription usage overview for vSphere+ and vSAN+ as well as supportability enhancements for vCenter upgrades.
•Lifecycle Management available during free trial
•vCenter Cloud Gateway Summary
•Subscription usage for vSphere+ and vSAN+
•Update vCenter in HA Mode
Now on to the newest features. This time, the stars aligned and new features for both vSphere and vSphere+ for Q3 2023 were announced at VMware Explore Las Vegas 2023.
What’s New with vSphere+ in Q3 2023
Fleetwide Lifecycle Management for ESXi Hosts
Given the success and ease of vCenter Upgrades for cloud-connected on-prem environments, customers not only love this feature but want more of it. By more I mean, more of your environment. If you are thinking easier, faster ESXi host upgrades, then you are correct! We are introducing Fleetwide Lifecycle Management for ESXi Hosts. Imagine being able to create a desired state image profile including vSphere version, drivers, firmware, and other add-on components for all your ESXi hosts from one central location. Then just apply those profiles to the clusters of your choice globally, knowing they will all inherit that desired configuration and be remediated via vLCM. This is a game changer when it comes to faster, easier upgrades for all ESXi hosts regardless of location.
Desired State Configuration for ESXi Hosts
Yes, another feature that was highly requested based on vSphere+ vCenter Desired State Configuration. Desired State Configuration for vCenter allows you to create a profile of settings and parameters you want your vCenter instances to have. For example, same password expiration policy, same DNS server, etc. Now, the Desired State Configuration for ESXi hosts functions similar to what you know as host profiles or in the case of vSphere 8, configuration profiles. In the same manner you can export desired settings from a particular host and apply such profile to a cluster or set of clusters. The big advantage with vSphere+ is that this is done from the Cloud Console, meaning that you can assign said profile to all the hosts in your entire organization with one operation rather than doing it one cluster at a time. If you have not picked up on vSphere+ theme here, it is to make the life of the vSphere admin a lot easier.
Cloud Linked Mode
One of the great advantages of vSphere+ is the ability to see all your on-premises vCenter instances in one centralized location without having to worry about being on the same SSO domain or having a maximum of 15 connected vCenter instances, which is the case of Enhanced Linked Mode. So just by switching to vSphere+, you can bypass all those limits and have a truly centralized console. Now, what if I want to be able to be able to share some information between vCenter instances such as categories or tags, or even group vCenter instances? That is where Cloud Linked Mode comes into play, to make it even easier to administer your entire infrastructure.
Cloud Linked Mode allows you to create groups of vCenter instances, and at the same time be able to synchronize information between them. By creating a policy, you can choose between Global tags, Global content (libraries), Inventory view (unified) and even Role Based Access Control. RBAC policy has also been highly requested by current vSphere+ customers, as it provides a way to synchronize roles and permission across all assigned deployments.
More details on each of these features will be available soon, as well as other features coming to vSphere+.