VMware vSphere 7 is here. Its release marks the most significant enhancements to vSphere in over a decade, bringing network administrators and developers alike a unified cloud platform that is optimized to build, run, and manage modern applications.
For an overview of the best new features, as well as tips for a successful upgrade or implementation, we turned to New Horizons Virtualization Instructor, Shawn Bolan. Shawn recently hosted a webinar covering the details of the vSphere 7 release.
In your opinion, what is the most significant/impactful addition or upgrade in the vSphere 7 release?
Bolan: vSphere with Kubernetes is certainly the feature that is getting the most attention. With this addition, VMware is positioning the vSphere platform to be the modern application platform of the future for corporate data centers. I feel that this move will be extremely significant for both VMware as a company as well as their customers. By leveraging the vSphere platform—that customers have used for years—to be a native application/container platform alongside the existing VM platform, VMware is distinguishing the vSphere product from every other product on the market.
If you are a veteran VMware user, what is the benefit of upgrading to this newest version? If you are planning on implementing for the first time, what do you need to think about before you begin?
Bolan: If you are a long-standing vSphere customer, the upgrade or migration to vSphere 7 is close to an automatic yes decision; the only question will be how soon to upgrade. Even if existing users are not looking to modernize their application platform with containers and Kubernetes, the new features of a consolidated vSphere platform, a unified and completed vSphere client, and the big changes for update management make vSphere 7 a very powerful platform.
For a company that is new to virtualization or vSphere, starting with vSphere 7 is a fantastic option. Typically, the biggest decision for a new vSphere customer is what version of the product to choose. In this regard, VMware has reduced the number of potential versions to choose from, thus making the decision for the new customer a little bit easier.
During your vSphere 7 webinar, everyone wanted to hear more about Lifecycle Manager. Why is this new feature so popular?
Bolan: The fact that vSphere 7 beta program participants as well as my webinar participants identified Lifecycle Manager as a very interesting component reveals some of the biggest challenges that customers face. Nearly every technology vendor has struggled over time to create both a robust but yet simple updating mechanism for customers. With Lifecycle Manger, VMware has created a platform for how the update, patch, and maintenance process will happen for vSphere both today and into the future. Lifecycle Manager creates a path for vSphere customers to move from simply applying vSphere Updates to a more holistic process for managing the entire update, maintenance and upgrade process.
While predicting the future in the IT world is a dangerous business, I am confident that Lifecycle Manager may turn out to be one of the most impactful features of vSphere 7.
Any tips for a successful upgrade or first-time implementation?
Bolan: Any technology implementation or upgrade must start with knowledge of the system. Once you have an understanding of how the product works, you can determine the best way to implement the product for your business.