This week, our NetApp engineering team released the latest version of the Virtual Storage Console unified software to connect users of NetApp® ONTAP® to their VMware environments, including vSphere 6.5. The release of vSphere 6.5 includes some new storage features that should be very useful for ONTAP customers around the storage relationship with vSphere. Some new capabilities of VSC 7.2 will bring the vSphere 6.5 features and storage management directly to the virtual machine (VM) administrator.
For starters, welcome support for NFS 4.1. With vSphere 6.5 support for NFS 4.1, we’ve updated VSC to allow VM admins to select either VMFS 6 or NFS 4.1 as the default file system for the datastore.
The VMware introduction of VMFS 6 over VMFS 5 includes a few features that could make the move interesting to VM admins. For customers who spin up and spin down lots of VMs, the automatic space reclamation feature will help with the utilization challenges that come with a more manual unmap process. vSphere 6.5 allows you to automate the process by tracking the deleted VMFS blocks and reclaiming this space from the storage array in the background every 12 hours.
Another key storage feature in VMFS 6 is support for 4K native drives in 512e mode. With the increasing demand for larger capacities, the latest drives have introduced new advanced formats that use 4KB (4,096-byte) physical sectors. The new VMFS 6 format allows 4KB sectors instead of the common 512 bytes per sector.
Our VASA provider has also been enhanced to support features such as MetroCluster™, with additional enhancements to the supporting VMware Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM). When using SPBM to define the storage characteristics of the available policies, we now include NetApp Volume Encryption and FabricPool support. And for VMware Site Recovery Manager users, our latest Storage Replication Adaptor (SRA) 7.2 plug-in has extended support for ONTAP 9.3 and 9.4 and Site Recovery Manager versions 6.0, 6.1, 6.5, and 6.5.1.
NetApp continues to build new features into Virtual Storage Console to improve the experience for our VMware customers. VSC 7.2 is available to download now.
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