VMware has unveiled a point release update to several of their products tied to the vSphere 5 virtual cloud datacenter platform plus a few new product launches.

vCenter 5.0 Update 1 – Added support for new guest operating systems such as Windows 8, Ubuntu, and SLES 11 SP2, the usual resolved issues and bug fixes, plus some updates around vRAM limits licensing. One other notable – no compatibility at this time with vSphere Data Recovery (vDR) 2.0 according to the compatibility matrix.

ESXi 5.0 Update 1 – Added support for new AMD and Intel processors, Mac OS X Server Lion, updated chipset drivers, resolved issues and bug fixes. One interesting point to be made here is that according to the compatibility matrix, vCenter 5.0 supports ESXi 5.0 Update 1. I’m going to stick with the traditional route of always upgrading vCenter before upgrading hosts as a best practices habit until something comes along to challenge that logic.

vCloud Director 1.5.1 – Added support for vSphere 5.0 Update 1 and vShield 5.0.1, plus RHEL 5 Update 7 as a supported server cell platform. Enhancements were made around firewall rules, AMQP system notifications, log collection, chargeback retention, resolved issues, and added support for AES-256 encryption on Site-to-Site VPN tunnels (unfortunately no vSphere 5.0 Update 1vCloud Connector 1.5 support). Oh yes, sometime over the past few months, VMware Marketing has quietly changed the acronym for vCloud Director from vCD to VCD. We’ll just call that a new feature for 1.5.1 going forward. IView 5.0.1

1b. vCD 1.5 –> VCD 1.5.1

1c. SRM 5.0 –> SRM 5.0.1

1d. vShield App/Edge/Endpoint 5.0 –> 5.0.1

1e. vDR 2.0 –> Go Fish

2. vSphere Client 5.0.1 (it’s really not an upgrade, installs parallel with other versions)

3. vCenter Server 5.0 –> vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1

4. Update Manager 5.0 –> Update Manager 5.0 Update 1

5. ESXi 5.0 –> ESXi 5.0 Update 1

There are a lot of versions in play here which weaves somewhat of a tangled web of compatibility touch points to identify before diving head first into upgrades. I think VMware has done a great job this time around with releasing products that are, for the most part, compatible with other currently shipping products which provides more flexibility in tactical approach and timelines. Add to that, some time ago they’ve migrated a two dimensional .PDF based compatibility matrix into an online portal offering interactive input making the set of results customized for the end user. The only significant things missing in the vSphere 5.0U1 compatibility picture IMO are vCloud Connector, vDR, and based on the results from the compatibility matrix portal – vCenter Operations (output showed no compatibility with vSphere 5.x, didn’t look right to me). I’ve taken a liberty in creating a component compatibility visual roadmap including most of the popular and currently shipping products vSphere 5.0 and above. If you’ve got a significant amount of infrastructure to upgrade, this may help you get the upgrade order sorted out quickly. One last thing – Lab Manager and ESX customers should pay attention to the Island of Misfit Toys. In early 2013 the Lab Manager ride comes coasting to a stop. Lab Manager and ESX customers should be formulating solid migration plans with an execution milestone coming soon.

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