Review: VMware vSphere gets much-needed facelift

vSphere 6.5 is easy to install, sports a new VM management console and takes a stab at Docker integration.

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VMware’s vSphere 6.5 virtualization platform fixes many issues we had with vSphere 6.0 and delivers significant improvements in management, security and high availability. There are also first steps toward vSphere-Docker integration.

Upgrading and in some cases installing vSphere 6.0 used to be arduous; the good news is that is no longer the case. Our Lenovo server upgraded with ease. Our HPE Gen8 and Gen9 servers required a different ISO, but installed without drama. An ancient Dell 1950 appears not to be able to upgrade past 6.0, so be sure to so check moldy hardware for compatibility.

The biggest news for day-to-day administrators is the new vCenter Server appliance, and it’s breathtakingly more evolved than prior versions. It’s worth the price of the upgrade for the sheer functional and aesthetic value.

The vCenter app, formerly run under or as an appliance VM, is the administrative heart of vSphere. The spot on the wall marked vSphere 6.0, where we beat our heads against it, will be painted over.

Project Photon, which brings the first big step in vSphere-Docker integration, shows the world a production-ready way for Docker and presumably other containers to live in the VMware world.

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