Today is the big day that vSphere 4.1 is finally released. This dot release is jam packed with new features that some of my clients have been testing for the past six months in beta. The ones that have been strongly received by my enterprise clients include:
- Increased vSphere scalability (2-3x increase in vCenter scale, see config maximums pdf for details)
- Storage IO Control (SIOC)
- Additional Storage Statistics in vCenter
- NFS Performance Enhancements
- Network IO Control (NIOC)
- VMware HA Healthcheck and Operational Status
- Host Affinity Rules
- vMotion Enhancements (5x better vMotion performance, note that small v… 🙂 )
- Memory Compression
- USB Device Passthrough from an ESX/ESXi Host to a Virtual Machine (a peer of mine said he was amazed at how every USB device he could think to throw at it just work, though I’m sure someone will find exceptions to this.)
There was also some changes in the vSphere licensing. Specifically formalization of vSphere Kits and Editions:
- Kits are pre-packaged for specific use case needs.
- Editions are the different tiers of of increasing product capability to cover the spectrum from small businesses to global enterprises. There were some feature changes between Editions as well.
Update: Here is Steve Herrod’s blog post on this release as well as Bogomil Balkansky’s blog post. I also forgot to mention that free ESXi is now being referred to as vSphere Hypervisor, the first tier in the above diagram.
Additional product releases coinciding with vSphere 4.1:
- vCenter Site Recover Manager (SRM) 4.1 was released today as well. This version of SRM is compatible with vSphere 4.1 and contains a number of new features, see release notes.
- VMware Studio 2.1 was released today as well. This version is compatible with vSphere 4.1 and adds support for new Linux GOS and OVF versions as well as a slew of other features, see release notes.
- vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3 was release today as well. This version is compatible with VC 4.1 as well as additional features, see release notes.