The VMware masterpiece is finally revamped and close the three core products update cycle started with Workstatio 4.5.1 release.
ESX Server 2.1 introduces many new features that raise product flexibility at very high levels:
– Hyper-Threading Support
Hyper-Threading support enables you to double the number of logical processors in your ESX Server, which can improve machine utilization and performance for multi-virtual machine workloads.
– New Graphical Installer
ESX Server 2.1 includes a new graphical installer for new installations and upgrades from older server versions. The new installer includes the functionality of the ESX Server 2.0.1 text-based installer, and also new functionality like serial number entry, disk partition creation, and memory sizing. Once the installation is complete, only a single server reboot is necessary before new virtual machines can be created.
– Enhanced Support for Scripted Installations
Through the management interface, the scripted installation feature allows you to set up an installation script to deploy or provision more ESX Server systems, where the ESX Server CD-ROM is in the CD-ROM drive of the original ESX Server system or the installation files are hosted on a separate server.
– Support for Virtual Local Area Networks
Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) support enables you to configure multiple virtual networks within your ESX server, which communicate securely among themselves as if connected to a common isolated physical network. Virtual networks with VLAN support are able to manage traffic by switching VLAN traffic to and from virtual machines, including traffic external to the ESX Server. Virtual machine VLANs are configured through the management interface.
– Redesigned Network Connections Management Through the Management Interface
Through the management interface, you can review current external, VLAN, and internal network connections, create new networks and edit existing network configurations, and review network adapter status and edit existing adapter configurations.
– ESX Server and Virtual Machine Memory Resources
Through the management interface, you can view the memory utilization page, which shows how much memory is being used by the ESX Server and how memory resources are allocated to virtual machines.
– Virtual Machine Startup and Shutdown Options through the VMware Management Interface
Through the management interface, new configuration options for starting and shutting down virtual machines are available. You can determine which virtual machines start and stop with the system, set the delay time between starting and stopping one virtual machine and starting and stopping the next, and determine the global order in which virtual machines start and stop. Virtual machine configuration options can be set for each individual virtual machine or can be set system-wide.
– Support for Preboot Execution Environment (PXE)
Virtual machines created with VMware ESX Server 2.1 have built-in support for Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), using either the vlance or vmxnet virtual network devices. PXE allows a computer without an operating system installed to power on and download an operating system image from a PXE server on the network.
– Expanded Support for SAN Storage Arrays
ESX Server 2.1 RC includes failover support for EMC CLARiiON CX Series storage systems, including multipathing with HBA failover and multipathing with storage port failover.
– ESX Server Compatibility with VMware VirtualCenter
Use the VMware VirtualCenter system management application to deploy, monitor, and manage virtual machines that are distributed across multiple hosts running ESX Server. For more information about VirtualCenter, see http://www.vmware.com/support/vc.
Now we have a full VM compatibility with all three products. This means you can, for example, install and develop an important VM in Workstation 4.5.1, at SysAdmin notebook, then deploy it in a GSX 3.0.0 testing environment, and finally move it in a ESX 2.1.0 production environment.
P.S.: As you can see an incoming VirtualCenter update is planned (1.0.1) and for sure will permit ESX 2.1.0 and GSX 3.0.0 management
P.P.S.: Notice that VMware is increasing EMC storage products support, as expected after acquisition. In a very near future I could imagine we’ll see ESX appliances with DELL/EMC brand on it.