vSphere 5.5 is generally available for download!

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The virtualization world woke up this week to exciting news: vSphere 5.5 is no longer in private beta! It can now be downloaded and tested in our own labs. Some people may even feel confident enough to deploy it in production.

Web client performance

The most prominent early feedback with 5.5 is the huge increase in the web client performance. Although VMware announced that “the traditional vSphere client will continue to operate supporting the same features set as vSphere 5.0,” a flash-based web client was introduced as its replacement and the only interface to administrate all the new 5.1 features. However, the web-client was slower to navigate and caused a lot of frustration to VMware admins.

HTML5 virtual machine console

vCenter 5.5 introduced an HTML5 virtual machine console that can run natively on Mac OS X, iPad, Android and basically any browser that supports HTML5. The web client itself is much faster, making the newer web client the most celebrated change in this release. However, things are not perfect yet, for example, “drag and drop virtual machines across hosts using the vSphere web client 5.5” has a bug that is preventing it from being very usable until the next update. It is also worth noting that the web client is still flash-based, and although the HTML5 virtual machine console is used on Mac OS X systems, the VMRC is used instead on Windows based machines.

Powerful vCSA

The vCSA (Linux based vCenter Server Appliance) can now support up to 400 hosts and 4000 virtual machines with the built-in database. This makes  it a viable alternative to the Windows-based vCenter for most environments. Moreover, the free ESXi vRAM limit of 32GB was completely lifted in this release, allowing home users and very small shops that are not yet ready to pay, to enjoy the maximum virtualization potential of their modern hardware.

Another great reason driving VMware admins to download the new vCenter 5.5 is beta testing the all-new VSAN, which has the potential to change the world of SMB storage as we know it, and will have a huge impact on the enterprise market.

The Sept. 22, 2013 release is a complete refresh of VMware infrastructure products, including:

  • VMware ESXi 5.5.0
  • VMware vCenter Server 5.5.0
  • VMware vSphere Replication 5.5
  • VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.5.1
  • VMware vCenter Orchestrator Appliance 5.5.0
  • Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Ethernet Modules for vSphere 5.5.0
  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager Foundation 5.7.2
  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise 5.7.2
  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager Standalone 5.7.2
  • VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 5.7.0
  • VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions 1.0
  • VMware vSphere App HA 1.0.0
  • vSphere Storage Appliance 5.5
  • VMware vCloud Director 5.5.0
  • VMware vCloud Networking and Security 5.5.0
  • VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.5
  • VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.6
  • VMware vFabric Application Director 5.2.0

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Ashraf Al-Dabbas

Ashraf Al-Dabbas is a vExpert, VCP, 3xMCSE, MCITP, CCNP, ITIL v3 Certified and an MBA holder. He has 10+ years of diverse experience working in a large organizations in systems infrastructure support, leading corporate wide IT initiatives, organizing and conduction projects and social activities.

For Ashraf, IT is a passion not a profession. He is self-motivated, persistent and full of positive attitude. Exploring new technologies, learning new knowledge, visiting new places and meeting new people are the things that drive him forward. He likes to write, share ideas and interact with different people. As part of his upbringing in the Jubilee School for gifted students (Amman, Jordan), Ashraf learned to understand, accept then debate all points of view objectively and respectfully.