vSphere 5 Update 1 fixes and features roundup

Since vSphere 5 became available last August, some fixes and patches have been released, but Update 1 is the first cumulative update. Rickatron highlights the important features of this release.

I’ve been slow to migrate all of my vSphere environments to vSphere 5. This has been partly due to new features not applying to the smaller environments but also just that I’ve been lazy. Well, now is the time to go ahead and get all of my environments up to vSphere 5.

vSphere 5 Update 1 was released on March 15 (See Release Notes at VMware.com). This is a big deal, as there are number of fixes for the vSphere 5 features, which may be important for larger environments that take the “Wait for the first major service pack” approach for new platforms.

There are not many new features with Update 1, but they are noteworthy.

  • Update 1 adds support for newer processor families by both AMD and Intel that have become available since August when vSphere 5 became generally available.
  • Additional guest operating system support includes Mac OS X Server Lion 10.7.2 and 10.7.3.
  • New drivers are available for a few storage products. With all of the updates and driver configuration options, it is always a good idea to reference the VMware Compatibility Guide as you plan an upgrade. There also may be products that are not necessarily on the compatibility guide as you go upward in versions.
One of the things I am looking forward to is doing more work with Windows 8 and Windows Server 8 within vSphere 5. VMware continues the lead here in being able to nest virtualization technologies with ease for testing (of course not something you want to do for production). Both Windows Server 8 and Windows 8 are listed as valid operating systems within vSphere 5 for the Update 1 release, as shown in Figure A:

Figure A

vSphere 5 update 1 guest operating system types for the Windows family.

vSphere 5 update 1 guest operating system types for the Windows family.

The recommended way to upgrade hosts is via vSphere Update Manager (included as a separate install on the vCenter download). This will take hosts with their configuration (and inventoried VMs/templates) up to the new release, generally without issue. Reinstallation is also an option for simple configurations. It is imperative that vCenter is updated first, however. You can’t have a newer host talking to an older vCenter; unless you like to fix problems.

Have you upgraded to vSphere 5 yet? Have you been waiting for vSphere 5? Share your vSphere upgrade strategies below.