Today I upgraded my first VirtualCenter or vCenter installation to the new vSphere vCenter 4. The upgrade was very smooth and went almost without any hiccups. The vCenter client upgrades itself the next time you login. One of the first things I noticed are the thresholds for the alerts. The data store alarm thresholds needed some readjustments as the default values are very … well, let’s say it conservative. Anyway – the adjustments are easy to make.
All 3.5 ESX hosts report in properly and all VMs show up, too. So, backwards compatibility is working good. I started browsing around in the new interface and I am impressed by the performance. The new vCenter 4 client is significantly faster than the 2.5 U4 version. One of my new favorite tabs is the new “Storage Views” tab. Easy access to storage information about all my VMs. This view is not perfect yet, but I think it is a good step in the right direction. If VMWare can add percentages and other related information, this will be one of the most useful tools inside vCenter.
The new and improved Update Manager is another great improvement. My existing baselines are still in place and there are 2 new buttons – one for “Stage” and one for “Remediate”. I tested the remediate functionality on one of my stand-alone hosts and it worked flawlessly. I still have to check what the “Stage” button functionality really provides though.
If you are using VMWare for your web hosting environment, you are probably looking forward to this upgrade – especially the vSphere Upgrade. VMWare has provided some information about performance improvements for vSphere and no matter if you run VMs that provide shared web hosting or VPSs or virtual dedicated servers – better performance out of your existing hardware can also mean more money in your pocket. In my environment I am partially able to run some hosts with a 35:1 ratio (Dell 2950 with dual Quad Core CPUs and 32 GB Ram).
I will bring up a vSphere Cluster within the next 3-4 weeks (waiting for new hardware to arrive) and after that work on upgrading all the other ESX hosts in my environment to vSphere 4.
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