VMware vSphere 7 Announced

Posted by Paul Braren on Mar 10 2020 (updated on Mar 20 2020) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • HowTo
  • HomeLab
  • This article is currently a work-in-progress, come back and refresh, with my See Also section below growing rapidly. If you're feeling kinda TLDR, try the video gallery below. General availability is expected by May 1 2020.

    This long awaited major vSphere release was officially announced earlier today, and I've included 3 key excerpts for you to enjoy, quoted below:

    featured

    We don't have a release date for when it will be GA (Generally Available) with bits ready for you to download, perhaps we'll find that out later today at the actual announcement at 2pm ET.


    Mar 10 2020 Update 3:15pm ET

    Dig in to the VMware vSphere Feature Comparison for a sneak peak at some of the new underlying changes to vSphere, which I suspect will be the basis of many posts to come at VMware vSphere 7 blog. From the tables at VMware vSphere Feature Comparison, here's what I spotted there as new, in vSphere 7 only:

    • Assignable hardware support for vGPU and vSphere DirectPath I/O™ initial placement
    • vSphere Trust Authority™
    • Identity federation with Active Directory Federation Services
    • vSphere Lifecycle Manager™
    • vCenter Server update planner
    • vCenter Server profiles
    • Maximum vCenter Server request latency 250ms (up from 200ms)

    I'm currently looking in to the accuracy of those latencies listed in that last bullet, it could be in error, I'll let you know if I hear back.

    I didn't hear any release dates given during the keynote, which is sure to frustrate early adopter/enthusiast types and bloggers alike, myself included. I do see that Virtualization & Cloud Review is estimating it will become available my May 1, 2020, details below. If you hear more publicly confirmed information from VMware on the planned release date, please drop us a no-login-required comment below this article, or reply to my tweet.

    tinkertry-front-view-of-home-datacenter-at-66-watts-700x393

    Of course, I'll be testing the final bits home lab Bundle as soon as I can get access to them, then I'll update my popular article with the ESXCLI way of updating to the latest ESXi:

    This testing also includes double-checking whether graceful shutdown still works with CyberPower PFCLCD UPSs.

    Next up, when can I update my popular article:

    easy-update-to-latest-esxi

    That process starts with home lab testing, issuing the usual command to query if the code is available yet. Sadly, the ESXi 7.0 bits just aren't there yet, seen screen-shotted below.

    no-esxi-7-yet--esxcli-TinkerTry
    My nerd fingers couldn't resist. On March 10 2020, the usual ESXCLI command reveals that the ESXi 7.0 bits aren't published yet, at least not at the back-end depot at the usual hostupdate.vmware.com server.

    I'll admit that I do miss the vSphere 6.7 launch back on Apr 17 2018, when the code dropping on the same day as the product launch! This had the nice effect of both VMware employees and bloggers all having access to the final bits. Anybody could demonstrate at will with screenshots and videos. Everybody's build numbers matched too.

    Given some last minute functionality got pulled after some posts already went up in the past, so this time, it appears bloggers and everybody else will just have to wait for a few weeks before we can do some first-hand testing. I don't believe there was an open invitation beta program sign-up for vSphere 7, but even if there was, participants would have NDAs anyway.

    It's possible we'll get a target date for the General Availability published by VMware, it's something they've actually done before. There are certainly risks of any anticipated GA date slipping, should last minute issues be identified.


    Mar 10 2020 Update 11:10pm ET

    On the VMware Blogs Blog Beat pages which also has an RSS feed, I'm noticing screenshots and images of feature have already surfaced from a variety of bloggers there that aren't VMware employees. I admit I wasn't briefed by the vExpert program or anybody at VMware on handling of this vSphere 7 release, nor was I involved in pre-release activities. Therefore it seems prudent to not to share links to the pre-release/release candidate screenshots at this time.

    Given I'm still not seeing any definitive information directly from VMware about an availability date, I'd consider the vSphere 7 Debuts with Kubernetes Support Among Many New VMware Products article's supposed "by May 1st" more in the rumor category.


    Mar 11 2020 Update

    • VMware Announces Expanded Portfolio of Products and Services to Help Customers Modernize Applications and Infrastructure
      Mar 10 2020 at VMware News Releases

      Availability

      VMware Tanzu Application Catalog, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and VMware Tanzu Mission Control are all available today. VMware Cloud Foundation 4, VMware vSphere 7, VMware vSAN 7, VMware vRealize Automation 8.1 and VMware vRealize Operations 8.1 (both on-premises and as SaaS) are all expected to become available by May 1, 2020 (the end of VMware’s Q1 Fiscal Year 2021).

      VMware vSphere 7 will be available in two major configurations. The first configuration, vSphere with Kubernetes, will be available in VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu to power container- and VM-based applications. vSphere 7 will also be available in a configuration for VM-based applications in a number of editions including VMware vSphere Standard Edition.


    Mar 18 2020 Update

    There is a fantastic new article published today. If you enjoy a deep dive into the technical details of how vMotion has been improved, you'll love this:

    • vSphere 7 – vMotion Enhancements
      Mar 18 2020 by Niels Hagoort at VMware vSphere eBlog

      The vSphere vMotion feature enables customers to live-migrate workloads from source to destination ESXi hosts. Over time, we have developed vMotion to support new technologies. The vSphere 7 release is no exception to that, as we greatly improved the vMotion feature. The vMotion enhancements in vSphere 7 include a reduced performance impact during the live-migration and a reduced stun time. This blog post will go into details on how the vMotion improvements help customers to be comfortable using vMotion for large workloads.
      ...
      To Conclude
      The improvements made in vMotion with vSphere 7 are enormous and greatly reduce the cost paid for a vMotion. You don’t need to anything to enjoy the new and improved vMotion logic, other than to upgrade your systems to vSpher 7.
      ...

    vmotion-history-1536x347
    Image from "vSphere 7 – vMotion Enhancements" at vmware.com

    I've also appended the new video that goes along with this new article to the video gallery below.


    Podcast

    episode148
    episode149

    Video

    App-Modernization-in-a-Multi-Cloud-World
    March 10 2020 - vSphere 7 Announcement - Replay
    UCN8FHFshMw-15AtFKWSLczA
    VMware vSphere Channel - vSphere 7 Playlist, as of March 10 2020 it already has 13 videos!
    vSphere 7 with Kubernetes - Description: What does the future of computing look like? This video is an introduction to vSphere with Kubernetes, a revolutionary advancement that will help IT administrators and developers run complex, modern applications as easily as they run their virtualized environments today.
    Overview of vSphere 7 - Description: vSphere 7 has many hundreds of new and improved features and we will take a stroll through the big areas, from lifecycle all the way through to security features like Identity Federation.
    vMotion Improvements in vSphere 7 - Description: vMotion is improved in vSphere 7. This video explains what has been changed and what the performance benefits are when using vMotion in vSphere 7.
    What's New in vCenter Server 7? - Description: vCenter Server 7 arrives with many new features such as vCenter Server Profiles and Update Planner. Learn more about how vCenter Server 7 helps simplify Lifecycle operations in this video.
    What's New with DRS in vSphere 7 - Description: This video details some of the improvements with made for Distributed Resource Scheduling [DRS] in vSphere 7.
    vCenter Server 7: Multihoming - Description: vCenter Server 7 now supports multihoming. Multihoming is the practice of adding multiple network adapters to a system.
    DRS with Scalable Shares in vSphere 7 - Description: Scalable Shares is a new capability with DRS in vSphere 7. This video explains why and how to enable Scalable Shares.
    vCenter Server 7: Update Planner - Description: Update Planner is part of vSphere Lifecycle Manager in vSphere 7 and is used to facilitate vCenter Server updates, further simplifying vCenter Server lifecycle.
    Timekeeping [NTP & PTP] in vSphere 7 - Description: Time is really important to clustered computer systems like vSphere. We discuss why it's important, what options you have in vSphere 7 [NTP & PTP], and good ideas around setting up time sources for infrastructure and guest OSes.
    vSphere Trust Authority in vSphere 7 - Description: vSphere Trust Authority in vSphere 7 is a step forward for being able to enforce trustworthiness in hardware and software. We talk about why it's helpful and some architectural considerations around implementing it.
    Identity Federation in vSphere 7 - Description: vSphere 7 adds Identity Federation, a method for attaching vCenter Server to enterprise identity providers. We discuss what this changes, why this is great, and how this impacts security and operations.
    vSGX & Secure Enclaves in vSphere 7 - Description: vSphere 7 brings the ability to allow workloads to access the Intel SGX features found in recent CPU families. We discuss this new feature, explore how it can be helpful in reducing risk, and talk about application design considerations.
    Assignable Hardware in vSphere 7 - Description: - This video details the new Assignable Hardware framework in vSphere 7. New capabilities like Dynamic DirectPath I/O will also be explained.
    vMotion Improvements in vSphere - Description: vMotion is improved in vSphere 7. This video explains what has been changed and what the performance benefits are when using vMotion in vSphere 7.

    See also at TinkerTry

    my-vmware-vsphere-67u3-experience

    vsphere-67u3-download

    easy-update-to-latest-esxi

    my-tinkertry-d-xeon-d-bundle-2-supermicro-superserver-bundle-2-of-joy

    configure-automated-shutdown-homelab-datacenter-15-minutes

    See also

    vsphere-7-features

    announcing-vsan-7
    • Announcing vSAN 7
      Mar 10 2020 by vSAN Team at VMware Blogs - Virtual Blocks

      ...
      Overall enhancements

      Integrated DRS awareness of Stretched Cluster configurations
      ...
      Immediate repair operation after a vSAN Witness Host is replaced
      ...
      Stretched Cluster I/O redirect based on an imbalance of capacity across sites
      ...
      Accurate VM level space reporting across vCenter UI for vSAN powered VMs
      ...
      Improved Memory reporting for ongoing optimization
      ...
      Visibility of vSphere Replication objects in vSAN capacity views
      ...
      Support for larger capacity devices
      ...
      Native support for planned and unplanned maintenance with NVMe hotplug
      NVMe has helped usher in all-new levels of performance capabilities for storage systems. vSphere 7 introduces one feature that meets or exceeds the capability associated with older SAS and SATA devices: Hotplug support for NVMe devices in vSphere and vSAN. This introduces a new level of flexibility and serviceability to hosts populated with NVMe devices, improving uptime by simplifying maintenance tasks around adding, removing, and relocating storage devices in hosts. Modern hosts can potentially have dozens of NVMe devices, and the benefits of hotplug most help environments large and small.

      Removal of Eager Zero Thick (EZT) requirement for shared disk in vSAN
      ...

      vsphere-lifecyle-management-vsan-7
      Image from "Announcing vSAN" post at VMware

    vsphere-7
    • vSphere 7 Debuts with Kubernetes Support Among Many New VMware Products
      Mar 10 2020 by David Ramel at Virtualization & Cloud Review

      VMware Tanzu Application Catalog, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and VMware Tanzu Mission Control are all available today. VMware Cloud Foundation 4, VMware vSphere 7, VMware vSAN 7, VMware vRealize Automation 8.1 and VMware vRealize Operations 8.1 (both on-premises and as SaaS) are all expected to become available by May 1, 2020 (the end of VMware's Q1 Fiscal Year 2021).

      VMware vSphere 7 will be available in two major configurations. The first configuration, vSphere with Kubernetes, will be available in VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu to power container- and VM-based applications. vSphere 7 will also be available in a configuration for VM-based applications in a number of editions including VMware vSphere Standard Edition.

    vsphere-7-core-storage
    • What’s New in vSphere 7 Core Storage
      Mar 10 2020 by Jason Massae at VMware Virtual Blocks

      Under core storage, we’ve added external connectivity to NVMe device with NVMeoF, shared VMDKs for Microsoft WSFC, and in VMFS, optimized first writes for thin-provisioned disks. On the vVols front, many products our customers use were not supported. Many of our engineering groups have been hard at work, adding support for vVols. SRM, CNS, and vRops now support vVols!
      ...
      vSphere now supports NVMe over Fabrics allowing connectivity to external NVMe arrays using either FC or RDMA (RoCE v2). As NVMe continues to grow and become the preferred storage, being able to connect to external NVMe arrays is critical. With this first iteration partners and customers will be able to evaluate NVMeoF.
      ...

    vsphere-7-core-storage-storagehub

    upgrade-center

    Vmware-vSphere-compare-versions
    • VMware vSphere - Feature Comparison
      According to the tables, these features are only in vSphere 7:
      • Assignable hardware support for vGPU and vSphere DirectPath I/O™ initial placement
      • vSphere Trust Authority™
      • Identity federation with Active Directory Federation Services
      • vSphere Lifecycle Manager™
      • vCenter Server update planner
      • vCenter Server profiles
      • Maximum vCenter Server request latency 250ms (up from 200ms)

    I'm currently looking in to the accuracy of those latencies listed in that last bullet, it could be in error, I'll let you know if I hear back.

    vsphere-7-0-link-o-rama
    • vSphere 7.0 Link-O-Rama
      Mar 10 2020 by Eric Siebert at vSphere-land

      Your complete guide to all the essential vSphere 7.0 links from all over the VMware universe. Bookmark this page and keep checking back as it will continue to grow as new links are added everyday. Also be sure and check out the Planet vSphere-land feed for all the latest blog posts from the Top 100 vBloggers.
      ...

    vmware-announces-vsphere-7-0-heres-what-you-need-to-know
    • VMware announces vSphere 7.0: Here’s what you need to know
      Mar 10 2020 by Eric Siebert at vSphere-land

      VMware just announced the latest release of vSphere, 7.0, and it’s their biggest release to date. Before we dive in and cover what’s in it, let’s talk about timing first. Note this is just the announcement, VMware typically does the announcement first and the GA is usually about 30 days later.