VMware vSphere 8 went GA on 10/11/2022. That’s big news because it means the next generation of enterprise workload platform is here and available!
First and foremost, we recommend that you DO NOT upgrade to VMware vSphere 8 right away. Wait at least until it is fully supported by ecosystem partners such as Veeam, and until the first major update release:
- Many platforms that your Organization relies on, such as Veeam Backup and Replication, have not yet certified their products for use with vSphere 8.
- GA Release of a new version of VMware vSphere typically brings with it several critical issues which were not discovered during development and Beta testing.
- The VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) for vSphere 8 is very limited, supporting the latest generation of servers. Be sure to check your hardware before upgrading.
What's new and different in VMware vSphere 8?
Although pundits would like you to believe that vSphere 8 is a whole new animal, the reality is that it is simply an incremental upgrade to previous versions of VMware vSphere. It has the same look & feel that you have become accustomed to, and does the same Compute, Network and Storage operations the same way as in previous versions. There are new and improved features in vSphere8, but as a whole it will be a seamless migration for most environments.
- There’s a whole new look to the Embedded Host Client (ESXi Client)
- There are many new acronyms describing combinations of features which previously existed
- Updates are now being managed by images as opposed to baselines
- Better support for deployment with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security
- Improved support for latency-sensitive applications such as VoIP
- DRS performance is improved through vSphere Memory Monitoring and Remediation (vMMR)
When should we roadmap vSphere 8?
As a general rule, all supporting platforms will have certified compatibility with vSphere 8 within 90 days of GA. Historically, VMware has also issued the first major updates of a new vSphere version within 90 days of GA. Since GA was 10/11/2022, if history proves correct, you could roadmap upgrading to vSphere 8 as early as Q1 2023.
If VMware is forced to issue several critical updates within the first 90 days of GA, that would be an indication that they pushed the release too soon and that the platform is not completely stable. If this proves to be the case, hold off on upgrading.
Hardware compatibility is also a factor. Previous versions of VMware vSphere (7.X and prior) have been much more forgiving of older hardware. VMware vSphere 8 has a very limited HCL which contains only the latest generation of major-vendor servers. Be sure that your servers are on the VMware HCL before attempting an upgrade: https://www/vmware.com/go/hcl
VMsources will notify you by email (directly if you are a customer) and by newsletter, when we think VMware vSphere 8 is ready for prime-time. Right now, we are roadmapping the upgrade to vSphere 8 for late Q1 or early Q2 2023 for our VMware vCloud and other internal services, pending testing and demonstrated platform stability.
Lastly, VMsources gets excellent pricing on HPE and Lenovo products. If your Organization is faced with a hardware refresh before upgrading to VMware vSphere 8, let us discuss the options to move forward.
From new servers and traditional iSCSI storage to a full Hyperconverged cluster, we’re prepared to help you upgrade and refresh. Also, because we don’t “sell” hardware except as a service to our customers, we’ll always design the system you need, rather than the one our bosses want us to push!
What do we do if we are on vSphere 6.7 or 6.7?
VMware vSphere 6.5 and 6.7 are now EOL. That means they will no longer be receiving security updates from VMware. It’s imperative that and Organizations still using VMware vSphere 6.5 or 6.7 (or even older releases!) upgrade immediately!
The good news is that VMware vSphere 7 is fully supported through 04/02/2025 – and has a much wider supported Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) than vSphere 8. The HCL for VMware vSphere 7.X includes many older generations of servers, often going back to servers purchased as early as 2016!
If your Organization is presently in the crosshairs, needing to upgrade from unsupported versions, VMware vSphere 7 may be your best choice!