As an efficient and secure platform, VMware vSphere® provides a powerful and flexible foundation for business that accelerates the transformation to hybrid cloud. With vSphere you can support new workloads and use cases while keeping pace with the growing needs and complexity of the SDDC infrastructure.
One of the announcements that coincided with this years VMworld 2018 event in Las Vegas was VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 1 and a new variant of VMware vSphere – Platinum Edition. In this blog I look at the main highlights of this new release and the related new edition.
Platinum Edition sits above VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus, inheriting its feature set but adds the following:
VMware AppDefense is an integrated component in Platinum Edition. It provides a powerful, yet interesting approach to security. Rather than taking the approach of actively monitoring for expected threat vectors (such as monitoring TCP/UDP ports, looking for malware etc), AppDefense uses machine learning to establish knowledge of the ‘known good’ state of a VM – it is aware of what traffic comes from, or travels to, the VM and so picks up how the VM behaves in normal operation.
If the VM strays from this normal operation, AppDefense raises the alarm. Taking this approach is more resource efficient than active solutions seeking known vectors, while also providing greater coverage for new attack vectors by watching for changes in behaviour from ‘known good’ rather than trying to look for ‘known bad’.
Credits for VMWare Cloud on AWS
For those purchasing 5 vCPUs or more, VMware will include $10,000 worth of AWS credits as part of a promotion once Platinum Edition is released as General Availability.
vSphere 6.7 Update 1
In parallel to the release of Platinum edition, VMware vSphere reaches 6.7 Update 1. This builds upon the previous 6.7 release by adding the following:
- VM Encryption meeting US Government FIPS 140-2 Validation requirements as well as encryption of cross-vCenter vMotion traffic.
- Support for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0:
- At the hardware level, providing security for the ESXi installation itself.
- At the VM level as a virtual TPM to allow features such as Microsoft Virtualization Based Security to be enabled fully.
- Improvements in Security Access Logging for audit purposes.
- Fully featured HTML5 vSphere Client covering all vSphere capabilities.
- Enhanced Content Library
VMware vSphere, by VMware’s own admission, is now a mature product, however, it continues to evolve providing enhancements to manageability, performance and security. It probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but as the underpinning of most of VMware’s solutions, vSphere is as important as ever to VMware.
In light of the imminent end of support for VMware vSphere 5.5, the release of 6.7 Update 1 emphasises the importance of maintaining currency with the latest release, not merely for shiny new features, but to maintain and enhance security in an ever-dangerous world.
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If you need assistance in getting the best from VMware vSphere, please contact us, and we’d be happy to use our wealth of knowledge and experience to assist you.