vSphere 5.5 available for download… hold!

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Yesterday, on Sunday 22nd September VMware released in its website the new vSphere 5.5 suite, just like vCloud 5.5.

Many guys already started to download the new software. For sure it’s a good time to test the new versions in a test or pre-production environment, so to verify all the upgrades and all consequences on the actual environment; but if you are running a production environment and you want to keep it in good shape, I’m suggesting you to wait, for several good reasons:

– firmware: especially your storage system, but also ESXi firmwares, disk controllers and network cards. Please check before all your firmware versions and verify they are compatible with vSphere 5.5. If not, wait for the vendors to release the updates. Firmware problems are really bad and among the most subtle to identify, and can really damage your infrastructure.

– backup: with the only exception being VMware VDP (VMware Data Protection) available since yesterday tgether with the suite, no third party backup product is compatible with vSphere 5.5 right now. And if you care about your data, really wait for your backup vendor to release a new version in the next weeks or months, with the official support for vSphere 5.5. I’ve seen in the past miserable situations when users installed vSphere 5.1 and then had huge problems with their backups, and not being able to restore data

– Monitoring: exactly as backups, monitoring is a crucial component of your infrastructure. If your monitoring system is not yet supporting vSphere 5.5, you could end up having no monitoring or alarms, and it would be just like driving blindly

– VMware Horizon View: vSphere 5.5 is only compatible with Horizon View 5.2. If you update your vSphere infrastructure and you are not at the latest version of View, your Horizon platform could have some serious problems.

Finally, check the Release Notes, there are many limits and “known issues” you need to be aware of, before starting the upgrade process.

I’m sure the will to install and try the new vSphere version is high, but the goal of your production environment is to run smoothly. Each component needs to be compatible with all the others, otherwise the updates are NOT to be done.

I hope professionalism will prevail over impatience (even if I’m sure as usual there will be many huge disasters following rushed upgrades).


[This post was originally written by Luca Dell’Oca, and published on the blog www.virtualtothecore.com ]