VMware vSphere 8 U2 Announced at Explore 2023

Published by Christian Mohn · Read in about 4 min (659 words)

At VMware Explore US 2023 in Las Vegas, VMware announces vSphere 8 U2!.


At the time of writing, no set General Availability date has been published, but look for it being available some time this fall. Some details may also change before the product hits the market.

vSphere 8 U2 — What’s new #

Like with vSAN 8 U2, there are really no new stand-out features in the vSphere 8 U2 announcement. It is an evolutionary release, with a number of welcome improvements both to hardware support and sane defaults for security and hardening, but no eyepopping new features. I do appreciate everything that makes certificate management easier though, so I’m glad to see improvements there.

Here’s a quick rundown of the improvements in vSphere 8 U2 #

vSphere+ #

  • vCenter Lifecycle Management

    • Now available with Free Trial
    • Test Upgrades for cloud-connected environments
    • Upgrade of vCenter Instances in vCenter HA mode is now supported
    • One-time configuration
    • Supports vCenter HA instances deployed using automated configuration
  • Global Subscription Usage reports

    • Overall subscription usage
    • Actual vs billable
    • Commitments, unused cores, overage and more.
  • ESXi Lifecycle as a Service (vSphere+ Early Access)

    • Create ESXi image definitions and apply to multiple clusters and across vCenters
    • Rollout upgrades to one or more clusters from a single interface
    • Monitor upgrade process using a cloud dashboard

Update vCenter with Minimal Downtime #

  • Reduced Downtime Upgrade for on-premises deployments
    • Migration-based upgrade
    • New vCenter appliance deployed
    • Downtime only during switchover (~5 minutes)

Resilient vCenter Patching #

  • Prompt to take a vCenter backup before patching
  • Automatic LVM snapshot taken during patching
  • Patching can be resumed on failure or rolled back

Non-Disruptive Certificate Management #

  • Renew or replace vCenter Server certificates without service restart
  • No need to schedule downtime
  • May require other systems to reauthenticate or re-accept

Reliable Network Configuration Recovery #

  • vSphere Distributed Switch changes pushed from cluster(s) to vCenter
  • Supports vSphere Distributed Switch using VMware NSX

vSphere Identity Federation with Entra ID/Azure AD #

  • Microsoft Entra ID/Azure AD added to direct Federation options
  • All other identity choices still available

vSphere Security Configuration & Hardening #

  • Updated product defaults mean out-of-box protections
  • Updated hardening guidance to reflect changes in the security landscape

Lifecycle Managing vSAN Clusters with enhanced vSAN Witness Support #

  • vSphere Lifecycle Manager can manage the image of vSAN witness nodes independent of the vSAN cluster
  • Supports shared vSAN witness nodes

End to End Desired State Configuration Management #

  • End to end UI workflows
  • Edit and apply configuration

Streamlined Windows Guest Customization #

  • Active Directory OU path can be specified during Windows guest customization

Descriptive Error Messages when Files are Locked #

  • Easily identify the source of locked VM files from the vSphere Client.
  • No need to run CLI commands or review busy logs
  • IP Address and MAC of the host holding the file lock is reported

Improved Placement for GPU Workloads #

  • DRS makes smarter placement decisions for vGPU enabled VMs
  • vGPU enabled VMs are automatically migrated to accommodate larger VMs

Quality of Service for GPU Workloads #

  • Estimated stun time calculated based on assigned vGPU profile
  • Administrators can define max acceptable stun time

Virtual Machine Hardware Version 21 #

  • 16 vGPU devices per VM
  • 256 Disks per VM (64 disks x 4 vNVMe adapters)
  • NVMe 1.3 support for Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022
  • Support WSFC using NVMe adapters
  • RHEL 10 / Oracle Linux 10 / Debian 13 / FreeBSD 15

Streamlining Supervisor Cluster Deployments #

  • Export Supervisor configuration
  • Import to streamline new Supervisor deployments
  • Clone Supervisor Configuration to new cluster

Expanding NSX Advanced Load Balancer Support #

  • NSX Advanced Load Balancer supported in NSX based Supervisor Clusters.
  • Greenfield Supervisor Clusters

Introducing Windows VM support for VM Service #

  • VM Service compatible with Windows based templates
  • Transport type Sysprep used for customization

Self-Service VM Image Registry #

  • DevOps users manage content library items using kubectl
  • DevOps users publish new items to the library
  • Content Libraries shared between namespaces or individual
  • Read and write permissions defined per namespace

This is a post in the VMware Explore US 2023 series. Posts in this series:

    Post last updated on January 2, 2024: Add author


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