VMworld 2018 US Recap and VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 1 Highlights

Posted by Paul Braren on Sep 3 2018 (updated on Sep 25 2018) in
  • Virtualization
  • ESXi
  • VMworld
  • My VMworld experience

    I had a wonderful week, and I managed to squeeze in the time to record 9 vendor visit videos too! They're mostly focused on what pertains to the home lab enthusiast of course, and the growing IoT/Edge Computing trend is likely to benefit all of us, both at work, and at home. Big jumps forward with vSAN configuration and support too!

    I'm happy to also find that playback of my VMTN TechTalk with vBrownBag Paul Braren - What you need to know about running VMware with U.2, M.2, M.3, and PCIe NVMe SSDs is now available here, entitled, along with the presentation deck. Thanks to William Lam, I have also located video of my co-presented VMworld session The Story of How Deloitte Migrated to vSAN [HCI2993BU], along with a PDF of the deck.

    Paul Braren - What you need to know about running VMware with U.2, M.2, M.3, and PCIe NVMe SSDs
    All my tweets with @VMworld mentioned shows you pretty much everything I did!

    Like last year, I found it a bit challenging to actually do a live demo in a shared space with many guests nearby for various activities, so instead I focused on showing the physical gear to those who stopped by, along with discussing a variety of tech topics. It was really great to hear the outpouring of support for my blogging activities, by some repeat visitors, and a lot of new faces. Given how solitary blogging is for most of the rest of the year, it's quite encouraging when folks stop by to see what's new and express thanks.

    For folks who were looking for a software demo of what you can do with a home lab like mine, using the equipment that I had brought with me to VMworld, worry not, it's still available here.

    Noteworthy technical news from VMworld 2018 US

    The week was productive and busy, and there were quite a few announcements that made me quite happy about the big happenings in vSphere 6.7. Especially great that HTML5 vSphere client will finally has feature parity once 6.7 Update 1 arrives by November 2nd, and I love that the creation of a valid cluster and/or vSAN cluster will become much easier then too, with more details below.

    Most of the noteworthy technical announcements were summed up nicely by Michael White here:

    • Newsletter: 8/30/18 – VMworld Edition
      Excerpts, with highlighting added:

      Product – VMware Skyline
      This is amazing stuff. I love how it shows you all the proactive findings and let you sort / filter to what you really need. I love how it supports the idea a VMware support guy pushing a button and requesting logs, and the customer getting an email and hitting approve or not approved and it uploads the logs automatically. Very cool stuff here.

    You'll also want to check out the following post carefully:

    • Introducing vSphere Platinum and vSphere 6.7 Update 1!
      Aug 27 2018 by Himanshu Singh at VMware vSphere Blog
      Excerpts, with highlighting added:

      VMware vSphere Platinum is a new edition of vSphere that delivers advanced security capabilities fully integrated into the hypervisor. This new release combines the industry leading capabilities of vSphere with VMware AppDefense, delivering purpose-built VMs to secure applications.
      Key Features and Capabilities
      vSphere Platinum delivers comprehensive built-in security and is the heart of a secure SDDC, delivering secure applications, data, infrastructure, and access.

      • Secure Infrastructure
        • Secure Boot for ESXi – Allows only VMware and Partner signed code to run in your hypervisor.
        • Secure Boot for Virtual MachinesHelps prevent images from being tampered with and prevents the loading of unauthorized components.
        • Support for TPM 2.0 for ESXi – Enables hypervisor integrity by validating the Secure Boot for ESXi process and enables remote host attestation.
        • (Virtual TPM 2.0) – Provides the necessary support for guest operating system security features while retaining operational features such as vMotion and disaster recovery.
        • Support for Microsoft Virtualization Based Security – Supports Windows 10 and Windows 2016 security features, like Credential Guard, on vSphere.

      Introducing vSphere 6.7 Update 1
      Along with vSphere Platinum, we are excited to announce vSphere 6.7 Update 1, which includes some key new and enhanced capabilities. Here are some highlights:

      • Fully Featured HTML5-based vSphere Client
      • Enhanced support for NVIDIA vGPU powered VMs; and Support for Intel FPGA
      • New vCenter Server Convergence Tool
      • Enhancements for HCI and vSAN
      • Enhanced vSphere Content Library

      You can learn all about these and other news in vSphere 6.7 Update 1 in this vSphere 6.7 Update 1 deep dive blog post.

    Let's unpack those last 5 bullets there, there is a lot going on here!

    • Under the Hood – vSphere 6.7 Update 1
      Aug 27 2018 Adam Eckerle at VMware vSphere Blog
      Excerpts, with highlighting added:

      vSphere Client
      Let’s first take a look at the vSphere Client. From vSphere 6.7 U1 onward, the vSphere Client is the only client you’ll need to manage vCenter Server. As promised here, all administrative functions have now been completed for the vSphere Client.
      Enhancements for HCI and vSAN
      This next set of features is aimed at making it easier to setup, configure, and scale host clusters. In this release we’ve added a new workflow called Cluster Quickstart which provides one simple, efficient wizard to create a cluster, add hosts, and configure those hosts so they are all identical.
      One other important improvement in this area is the integration of I/O controller firmware update with VUM. Customers are now able to remediate software and firmware in one maintenance cycle under a single VUM UI. It is much faster and safer to do cluster remediation in one operation. vSAN HCL checks are built-in to ensure the host being remediated is compliant to the vSAN HCL before VUM moves to the next host. The I/O controller firmware is updated via an integration with the server vendor’s firmware update utility.

      vMotion for NVIDIA vGPU & Support for Intel FPGA
      Following the introduction of Suspend and Resume capabilities in vSphere 6.7, VMware and NVIDIA are introducing VMware vSphere vMotion with NVIDIA vGPU powered VMs.
      vSphere 6.7 Update 1 is an exciting release. Not only does it add support for vSphere Platinum but it includes a number of exciting new features. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade to vSphere 6.7 then start planning your upgrade. If you’re just waiting to finally get rid of flash or your external PSCs, have the ability to more efficiently manage your HCI environment, or vMotion your NVIDIA vGPU workloads, then start getting prepared to upgrade!

    vSAN 67u1 What's New

    Release Date


    Have a look at the Press Release which states:

    Product Availability
    VMware vSphere Platinum Edition, VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 1, VMware vSAN 6.7 Update 1, VMware vRealize Suite 2018, VMware vRealize Operations 7.0, VMware vRealize Automation 7.5, and vRealize Network Insight 3.9 are expected to become available by the end of VMware’s Q3 FY19 (November 2, 2018)..

    ESXi on ARM!

    Then there was the big ARM announcement, which is rather signficant news, seen in this Aug 27 2018 Press Release:
    VMware Previews Technology Innovations at VMworld 2018

    Virtualization on 64-bit ARM for Edge: VMware demonstrated ESXi on 64-bit ARM running on a windmill farm at the Edge. VMware sees an opportunity to work with selected embedded OEMs to scope and explore opportunities for focused, ARM-enabled offering at the edge.

    It's further described at STH here, and proclaimed in this tweet:

    See also:


    Happy Handstand Guy

    Seems right to end on an up-note, this should do it, but be sure to click/tap to zoom right in!

    VMworld attendee Dennis Lewis from Vox Mobile earns some smiles, thanks to his mad handstand skills.

    Sep 04 2018 Update

    I just learned that I might be featured on an upcoming episode of Hello From My Homelab! You can see the entire series on VMUG's YouTube Channel here, and I've included a sample below.

    Hello From My Homelab - Episode 6 Live from the Indianapolis UserCon

    There's also the recent panel of home labbers that Lindy Collier-Grady @indylindy22
    pulled together for VMworld 2018 US, with video playback here! I unfortunately had conflicts at that same time, so I couldn't participate.

    VMUG Advantage EVALExperience has been a huge boon for the home lab enthusiast, see also:

    2018 VMUG Advantage & EvalExperience

    Sep 11 2018 Update

    Here's a much-appreciated quote, from my amazing colleague Ron Scott-Adams @Tohuw, this tweet:

    3,000 VMs with 1PB of data live migrated to @vmwarevsan via cross-vCenter vMotion. All with success, no downed apps. Wow. Even working at @vmware doesn’t make this seem less like superpowers and wizardry. #VMworld2018 #HCI2993BU
    5:39 PM - 28 Aug 2018 from Paradise, NV

    I've had the honor of working with Ron at VMware, one of the most talented, intelligent, and experienced minds in the storage industry. A great guy too! See for yourself by visiting his Tohuw.Net blog, and follow him @tohuw. Finally, don't miss The Art in the Architecture – vSAN Performance Design, Part 1, and don't forget to read Part 2 too!


    Video embeds are now available for any session, using William Lam's list to get the direct URL.

    [HCI2993BU] - The Story of How Deloitte Migrated to vSAN

    Grand Canyon

    This is something I've been wanting to do for decades. Take an extra day while in Vegas for business to have a look around. So this year, with enough lead-time to make some plans, I finally enjoyed a side-trip to see the Grand Canyon, my first time there. It was an incredible experience, as you can see for yourself, pictured-below. Tooling around in an 8 seat / 2 million dollar helicopter is my idea of a blast, one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences I won't be forgetting. Ever.

    Heading down into Grand Canyon West on a Maverick Helicopter [4K]