back to article vSphere 6.0 is BADASS. Not that I've played with it or anything. Ahem

VMware has officially launched vSphere 6.0, and I can say without reservation that it is a truly excellent release. I have spent much of the past year expressing skepticism about VMware; face-first exposure to the darker, more political aspects of the organisation had caused me to lose faith in the company. So good is vSphere 6 …

  1. WraithCadmus

    So... who's going to upgrade first?

    I've never had to do a major release change on VMWare, only 5.1 to 5.5.

    So is it like Windows where you wait for "SP1" or is it usually safe to start planning a jump forward on day one?

    Icon - Our cluster... possibly?

    1. WOOOOO

      Re: So... who's going to upgrade first?

      I've gone from 3 > 3.5 > 4 > 5 > 5.1 > 5.5 without waiting long and not had any show stopping incidents. As long as you plan ahead, there's plenty of information out there to use. Past upgrades you can run mixed clusters to let them test for a period before going all in, hopefully 6 will be the same.

  2. Spacedman

    plugin hell

    Getting the current VSphere web client working on a Linux desktop was fun. Firefox doesn't support a high enough flash version, and Chrome doesn't support NPAPI plugins anymore which you need to mount local ISOs. Eventually found a shim for FF that lets it load Chrome's PPAPI-interfaced Flash. But I get the feeling its very fragile. Anything fixed in that regard?

    Maybe I should ask our IT managers for a Windows VM just for running the native client...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: plugin hell

      I was going to sat WTF? over the need for flash, but I doubt I will be the only comentard saying so, and you clearly beat me to it.

      Why oh why do the go in for such douchbag interface designs?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: plugin hell

        The push to the web client came out of a seemingly fad to have a trendy cross-platform GUI, since as far as I can tell they must have hated or refused to hire any devs for the windows-only native client (although it works very well). Only the web client performance sucked big donkey balls, so like HP did with their atrocious flash-only virtual connect interface, they bundled it with flash to give it some of the feeling of a snappy native client. And yet somehow it's still unfeasibly slow. The VM techs we speak to don't like it either, tell us that their other customers don't like it, and yet VMware still persist with it and still tell their staff to try and get us to use it.

        Believe me, even getting the web client working nicely in an all-windows, all-IE environment is far from plain sailing since it still requires so much extra folderol to package and manage and the thought of trying to get it working across a big estate of FF or chrome, especially on linux, fills me with dread.

        We've been purposefully not upgrading any of our VMs hardware level past v10 for precisely this reason. Thankfully we don't require any of the new features, but when the fat client is finally given the chop most of my team will revert solely to the CLI for most tasks. Web client is just frustrating.

    2. Nate Amsden

      Re: plugin hell

      I run a Citrix XenApp fundamentals server(5 user license - which is damn cheap though no support) for my team. Has vSphere on it, 3PAR mgmt tools, firefox and IE browsers(mainly for managing Netscalers), and in combination with our VPN allows me to use all of them from my phone(Note 3 w/stylus which helps a lot running vsphere client on it) remotely if required. XenApp has Linux, Mac, Windows etc clients too. Myself I run a local windows VM for other things, and run Xenapp client in that (even though my host computer is Linux). My team mates are all macs though, they use the mac native xenapp. The time it saves managing the netscalers alone with their thick java client(vs running the client over a WAN connection) pays for Xenapp by itself, yet alone vsphere etc..

      I've barely touched the vsphere web console, I used to think the .NET client was bad, now I prefer it (as a linux user). I have a couple of windows 2012 VMs which need the latest hardware version which means I have to use the web console if I want to change their configs (fortunately that is a rare occasion).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: plugin hell

      Looks like the NPAPI plugin has been replaced with a new one which works on all browsers, not sure about linux though.

  3. compkriss

    Update Manager

    Any news on the update manager? It was rumored that it was going to be baked into the appliance. That's really the only reason I have vCenter still on Windows, no point in having a machine for the update manager and an appliance for vCenter.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Update Manager

      Yeah, in the GUI section. VUM has "it's own client", which is basically a version of the C# client with the plugin installed. No real change there. It's a bandaid, not a fix.

      1. compkriss

        Re: Update Manager

        Just saw it thanks - I think I missed the entire second page. Definitely time for more coffee!

        1. FartingHippo

          Re: Update Manager

          Maybe not, looks like you've already got the jitters.

    2. Mr-Flibble

      Re: Update Manager

      Page 2 - The GUI clients

      Last paragraph.

      1. compkriss

        Re: Update Manager

        Just saw it - I think I missed the entire second page. Definitely time for more coffee!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All this talk of GUI's still implies that this is designed for people who don't know what they are doing.

  5. John Sanders

    VMWare client

    I'm shocked that a company as large as VMWare, with as many resources as VMWare, with as many clever people as VMWare, and with as much money as VMWare:

    Can not write a decent multi-platform client for its management console using QT4/5.

    And I'm even more shocked that they went from .NOT to Adobe Air.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: VMWare client

      I'm not, they already put everything else on flash. Not that it's a good idea, mind you. It's all slow. Personally, I'll miss the C# version. It worked well.

    2. Hans 1

      Re: VMWare client

      Shocked ? This is how the whole thing started, me thinks ...

      dev manager: We have a great product and now need a ui for this, not really a priority, anything cheap will do.

      HR guy: Well, I just looked and there are a bunch of MSCD's on <jobsite> looking for work, I am sure they can write us something nice.

      dev manager: Great!

      .... 3 weeks later

      dev manager: We need a ui for this thingy.

      win dev:Ok

      dev manager: It should be multiplatform, like windows, linux, mac.

      win dev: Ok, that means flash plugin in a browser. We will also build a native windows client alongside, because as I learned during MCSD, windows has 99.99997% of the world marketshare, can you imagine, exact same percentage as Erich Honecker on election day, back in the days. On UNIX you do not have a common ui framework you can use, except for curses, and it is too hard to display the VM in ASCII art.

      dev manager: eh, hm, sure, hm ... you're hired.

      win dev: thanks!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's become too expensive

    For the same budget, I can buy (and license) 2 VMware Hosts or 4 KVM hosts, or 3.5 HyperV hosts.

    And if I go with KVM or HyperV, I save the cost of dealing with Flash patching...

    VMWare nearly doubles the cost of a Tier 1 server, meanwhile, the alternatives keep getting better. VMWare has followed Oracle down the too-greedy path.

    The features are nice, but if I have to fire all the admins to afford VMWare, there's no one left to appreciate those features! (and no running system, either)

    1. ecarlseen

      Re: It's become too expensive

      I feel your pain in this area (as I get ready to type an email asking for budget to renew a VMWare service agreement), but unfortunately many applications demand a certified infrastructure stack (bare metal + hypervisor + OS) and it's worth the money to not give our multi-million dollar ERP vendors an excuse to play the Blame The Stack game. And yes, the Flash client direction also makes me insane.

    2. CheesyTheClown

      Re: It's become too expensive

      I've been making the full shift to Hyper-V and Azure as well. I work on a much larger scale than what you're mentioning but VMware is dancing around talking about how great their 7 million IOPs storage is and I haven't seen anything near that slow since moving to Windows Storage Spaces.

      It's just a shame, VMware is still screwing around with making 30 different products they can sell one by one instead of focusing on a solution which is what MS did

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: It's become too expensive

        Okay, here I need proof that VSAN is slower on the same hardware than storage spaces. The past 6 months of testing tell me a dramatically different story than you just did.

  7. Nate Amsden

    I guess I'm old

    I read the article and don't see a single thing that excites me. There is some cool stuff, but unlike the 3.5->4.x migration 5.x and 6.x for me are nothing to get excited about. I'm sure there are cool features for certain market segments out there. VVOLs sound pretty neat but in the grand scheme of things they aren't going to do much for the org I work at. VSAN - not going to touch it - 4 vCPU FT sounds cool too, but with count em 1 sudden host failure in the past 3 and a half years I'm not exactly in a panic to get that in place either (measured against the risks of a new release). I already have automatic MySQL failover by means of ScaleArc, which would be my most important application level single point of failure -- of course that auto failover covers far more than just host failure.

    So by contrast, as I mentioned in the other vsphere 6 article just recently, last week even, started upgrading my ESX 4.1 to 5.5U2, for literally no other reason than 4.1 is beyond end of support, and well it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to be paying for gold support when the software is no longer supported. 4.1 has treated me very well over the years..

    I'm hoping 5.5U2 is solid though I've already had several instances where VMs have failed on 5.5U2 to the point where I have to login to the host and kill the process manually, something I never ever had to do in any other version of vsphere, at least personally.

    I find that quite a bit of the stuff I have is at or near end of support, I mean I upgraded my network switches in October to a new release, the other release went end of support in June (after being in my production for about 3 years), my Netscaler load balancer software goes end of support in March (again, I see no reason to upgrade other than end of support, at this point I won't make the deadline). My Splunk installation is past end of support(still running 4.x - it works quite well, the last splunk bug I had took more than a year to trace down and nobody is even asking me to upgrade). ESX is of course end of support (RIP - I prefer the thick ESX over ESXi as a linux person).

    The shit is working, so I'm less inclined to rush to upgrade.

    Not that I plan to leave vmware, been a customer for almost 16 years, a happy one too. vSphere has been overall probably the most solid piece of software I've ever used (note by no means do I utilize every feature of enterprise+, I prefer to keep it simple, the core stuff has been very solid for me).

  8. ecarlseen

    Love vSphere, but seriously: Flash/Air?

    If there were ever two technologies that need to be taken behind the barn and shot, they are Adobe Flash and Adobe Air. Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs was right to declare war on that garbage which seemingly exists only to give us and our end-users a few new remotely-exploitalbe zero-days every month. I'm happy to hear that the web client now has less suck, but I kind wish they had gone the Java route like Cisco (or for heaven's sake something, anything else).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't cha

    VMware has generally been rather good since 4.x days (yes, I've done earlier). Some showstoppers along the way but not many, and nothing that a iDRAC/iLO can't be used to cure and certainly nothing that caused a full cluster fsck (apart from one unfortunate customer and a VM of death combined with HA).

    TBH VMware 5.x is pretty damn useful at the SME and beyond scale to the point that I can't get too excited about 6 (and that's a good thing)

    NFS 4.1? Come on! I've been using it for quite a while now elsewhere and its quite easy to port a Linux implementation of something to a system that has many suspiciously Linux like attributes.

    I'll get around to upgrading eventually but I'm not too enthused (apart from security related stuff)


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    woe betide the un-v'ed

    Trevor, it might have been a bit note helpful to me and the rest of my vm-clueless brethren if you explained a bit more about what vSphere actually is, what it does and how it is commonly used in the wild. Even my dearest friend, Wiki Peter, wasn't able to paint me a plain enough pictuure.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: woe betide the un-v'ed any of these meet your needs?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shiny object.....squirrel!

    650+ features sound like tons of bug fixes and introducing new things plus hardening of some features. I'd rather see them reduce the overhead and improve their cpu scheduling so I can drive higher utilization levels in a more balanced fashion. I'm tired of VMware's marketing statements and ready to look at alternatives - probably KVM, even IBM is using KVM on their servers now.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Shiny object.....squirrel!

      "I'd rather see them reduce the overhead and improve their cpu scheduling so I can drive higher utilization levels in a more balanced fashion"

      What workloads are you running - and with what configs - that you can't flatten a VMware node if you want? I'm intensely curious, as I spend all day long comparing metal to virtualised systems and there's not a hell of a lot of overhead with VMware for most workloads.

  12. Forty Two

    whew, thought it was just me.

    At the bottom of page 3 I was thinking, /yawn. I must be missing something here as I do not see anything to make my job easier and my datacenter will have gold plated frames before I get 40GB/s to the top of the racks much less the HBA's for the hosts. Guess the Fortune 50 guys will be chuffed. Me not so much. So it was nice to read the other comments and realize I am not delusional.

  13. gbwelly

    Watch closely..

    ..this is the moment where VMware start to play catch up to Microsoft. Wow, 64 nodes per cluster? 8000 VMs per cluster? Sounds familiar, it's been free capability in 2012 R2 since release. They could have at least done 16000 VMs and 128 nodes so it looks like they are leading.

  14. Porco Rosso

    VDI for small company

    Hello Trevor,

    Is this VDI a good solution for a small company <10 end users ?

    Could we just buy a second-hand server to virt. the desktops (all win 7 pro) and let the users login in via remote desktop ? (more and more of my colleagues want a nice looking Imac as their desktop ... )

    I see the value in VDI for updating and managing ... but isn't this overkill for us ?

    When does it start to make sense from a budget vs management point of view for a small group of users

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: VDI for small company

      Hi Porco Rosso, the first question we have to answer is "what do you mean by VDI?" If you just want your users to log into something over RDP, grab a desktop and have a Windows computing experience, you don't need to give every user a VM to do that. You can probably get away with one (I would normally argue two, just for paranoia's sake) Windows Server instances done up with Remote Desktop Services.

      For small deployments, I use RDS where I can, because the licensing on "real" VDI is fearful. You can use Liquidware Labs's UEM software to do most of the "really neat VDI stuff" that you would want without even having to buy the expensive VDI licenses. This includes migrating resources between VMs and physical systems, including application settings for applications that don't migrate. It's complicated topic, but - as luck would have it - Liquidware recently commissioned me to write a whitepaper on the topic, which you can find here:

      If I were to design your environment blindly (and without more information it's pretty blind!) I'd say "go buy a VMware Essentials or Essentials Plus kit (depending on which features you feel you need), get Windows Datacenter licenses for all the servers you need and use Veeam to back it all up."

      VMware Essentials is cheap cheap cheap, like $500 for 3 servers. But you don't get HA or any of the other really nice toys for that. That's okay, but all you really care about is the fact that it gives you access to the backup APIs. The chances that you need HA for 10 users is pretty small. Hardware doesn't fail that often, and - to be perfectly blunt - you'll run a business just fine off of a single physical server (which runs multiple virtual workloads) and using Veeam to back that up to something like an ioSafe ( NAS.

      This gives you full disaster proof storage. It gives you expandability (you can add nodes to your cluster as you grow,) and you can fit a lot of workloads on a single modern server. But the server a Windows Datacenter license so you can have as many Windows VMs as you want.

      Virtualise two copies of Windows Server for Remote Desktop Services and spin up a third to act as an RDS gateway. This way your users will be load balanced between the two VMs, and you can take one down for maintenance while only affecting half your users. Or, since it's datacenter, spin up 10 server VMs, one for each user! (Don't forget you still need 10 RDS CALs, no matter how you spin this.)

      You can then put all your remaining (server) workloads in either Windows or Linux VMs as you see fit. If you plan on going past one server to start, look at hyperconverged solutions in order to be able to get away from SAN or NAS complexity for such a small deployment. Just take the local disks on you nodes and lash them together into a single storage pool. There's a list of the big players in the article. E-mail me if you need introductions to any of them.

      Your biggest single expense should be the Windows license. A single server is cheap, and a two disk IOsafe with enough storage to back up your workloads is cheap too. VMware Essentials is cheap, and you don't need essentials plus with one server in play. Veeam for a single server should be free.

      *Poof*. SMB setup for 10 users on a single server with recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives that should be compatible with your typical 10-man shop. If that doesn't seem like it would work for you, please give me more info, and I can suggest alternatives.

      1. Porco Rosso

        Re: VDI for small company

        Thank you

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: VDI for small company

          All part of the service!

  15. Liam Proven Silver badge

    You call this an improved client? You are having a laugh, Trev.

    Not Good Enough, VMware. 2/10, must try harder.

    It's 2015. Virtualisation is free now. There are a choice of both proprietary freeware & FOSS hypervisors & management tools. VMware still has a stranglehold on the high end, sure, but MICROS~1 is working hard to attack that, whereas the FOSS crowd have caught on to what I was writing about on the Reg in 2010 and are starting to develop better, more mature tools than VMware's 1960s-style whole-system-emulation approach.

    And still, the independent emperor of whole-system virtualisation requires Windows clients? My leg, it is being pulled.

    It is long long past time. I can understand Hyper-V Server requiring a current version of Windows to manage it -- I mean, MS has to sell licences to live -- but a /rival/ to MICROS~1 requiring a MICROS~1 product to use the rival's? That is *insane*.

    Even Microsoft itself produce a free client for Terminal Server & give it away, for nothing, for both old versions of Windows and for Mac OS X -- and the protocol is well-enough described that there is a choice of FOSS clients for Free OSes; choose your desktop, there's a client.

    In essence, the VMware client is not massively more complicated. The logic of machine creation & management is just a few dialogue boxes. Even implementing stuff like remote mounting of disk images, or upload/download of VM images, is nothing complicated. All the hard work of the fancy inter-host clustering and migration is done by the hypervisor; the client just has to provide a UI to the raw command line or whatever it is.

    There should be a cross-platform client served up right into your browser -- any browser -- when you connect to the host, rendered in modern dynamic HTML or, at a push, in Java. And a binary client available for the leading 2 commercial OSes and enough code or docs for the FOSS people to implement one too.

    Having 3 clients for Windows, crappy as they apparently are, which don't even support all extant versions of the host, means the company is just not trying.

    This isn't awesome or epic; it's sad, a failure.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: You call this an improved client? You are having a laugh, Trev.

      Spoken like someone who hasn't had to actually use the various management tools on offer for a living.

      VMware is entirely worth the money. And then some.

      1. Liam Proven Silver badge

        Re: You call this an improved client? You are having a laugh, Trev.

        Did I say it wasn't?

        No. I said the management tools suck. I stand by that.

        But once we grow out of the era of whole-system virtualisation -- and Docker is helping -- then it will all become rather irrelevant, anyway.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: You call this an improved client? You are having a laugh, Trev.

          VMware's management tools are way - way - better than the competition. Way better.

          As for Docker taking over...

  16. Terafirma-NZ


    Am I the only one pleading for open vswitch as standard over only being included with NSX. To me it seems like they won't add it unless you buy NSX as its the only thing stopping you using other SDN products. Imagine all the possibilities by having this.

    I agree that it is an awesome release but they have had 3 years to do it. What they need to do it stop selling add-ons and start selling a solution; I mean the suite costs far ore than a high end server...

  17. batfastad


    I have been transported back to 2004, where web admin interfaces need Flash/ActiveX/Java/Silverlight to function properly. Or have some spectacularly rubbish JavaScript that will only let you in if running Internet Explorer 6.

    Cross platform my ar$€. Must do better.

  18. RonWheeler

    System Center

    "VMware have the hypervisor. What everyone else has is nice, but if we're being honest, nobody else even comes close. VMware has the management tools that don't suck. Hell, even the web client is better than System Center, not that this is hard."


    We run both and, for day to day normal work rather than feature list bragging, System Center is much more pleasant to use than VMWare's solution IMO.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like