VMware vSphere 4 Update 1 hits

As anticipated, VMware released updates to both vSphere 4 and vCenter Server Friday, fulfilling predictions by users and partners last month that the updates would ship before the end of November.

According to the release notes, the updates to vSphere and vCenter Server fix one of products' most egregious shortcomings: They add support for Windows 7 as a guest operating system, and as a host for the vSphere Client, a management console that VMware administrators use extensively. VSphere also now officially supports Windows Server 2008 R2 as a guest OS.

Other than Windows 7 support, vSphere 4.0 Update 1 lists several other important features:

  • Support for VMware View 4.0, the company's virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution.
  • Support for Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) for Windows 2000 and 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering with VMware High Availability (HA) and Dynamic Resource Scheduler (DRS) clusters;
  • Support for boot disk devices attached to a paravirtualized SCSI (PVSCSI) adapter on Windows 2003 and 2008 guests;
  • Support for Intel Xeon 3400 series processors.
  • Improved vNetwork Distributed Switch performance; and
  • An increase in the number of virtual CPUs (vCPUs) per processing core from 20 to 25.

Other features of the vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1 listed in the release notes include the following:

  • An increase in the number of supported guests in an eight-node or smaller High Availability HA cluster to 160.
  • Support for the IBM DB2 9.5 as the back-end database.
  • A pre-upgrade checker that examines configuration, networking, disk space or other issues that could prevent ESX hosts from being managed by vCenter Server after a successful vCenter Server upgrade.

VMware also released an update to PowerCLI, a command-line and scripting tool built on Windows PowerShell to help manage and automate vSphere, and VMware Data Recovery 1.1.

VSphere 4.0 Update 1 and the associated releases are available for download from the VMware Web site.