The Truth about vSphere 5 support

Quest vRanger was one of the first products to receive VMware Ready certification with vSphere 5. What it means for our customers is that, after thoroughly testing vRanger with vSphere 5, VMware recognizes the product to be ready for production deployments.

vRanger engineering has done a fabulous job of testing the product with VMware vSphere 5. We released v 5.2 in mid-Q2, which received this certification.

When a major platform like VMware releases a new version of their product, all the eco-system technologies need time to catch up. Before vSphere was made available to customers, VMware and its partners worked closely together to test and re-test their solutions and made sure that they work as designed.

One of the best things about this is that, partners get an advanced understanding of the new technology that is being released. This in turn helps in supporting customers as they upgrade to the new platform.

Not all partners take this opportunity to validate their technology. While some may be doing this testing in the background, others may be delaying this testing altogether. Some make a reasonable (at least to them) decision to not support this platform right away. But for Quest, the decision was easy. Supporting vSphere 5 since its GA and achieving VMware Ready™ status was a top priority. This is great news for more than 10,000 vRanger customers who have upgraded to v 5.2.

vRanger testing included all configurations with all the supported VMware vSphere versions – including mix-clusters, various storage combinations, all types of VMs with supported guest OS, VSS, Exchange/SQL deployments and numerous others.

During the long vSphere 5 beta testing, vRanger team found a few limitations. These were later confirmed with VMware and are well documented in the vddk (vADP) v. 1.2.1and vddk 5.0 release notes on VMware site.

In vSphere 5, VMware changed the way SAN volumes are accessed as well as the way some snapshot operations can be handled on ESXi hosts connected to the virtual center. These changes caused incompatibility between vddk 1.2.1 and vSphere 5 volumes. Thus the following two functions are not supported using vddk 1.2.1:

• Differential replication pass fails even though the first full-pass is successful

• SAN backup and restore does not work with ESXi5 and VMFS5 volumes.

Both these scenarios will be supported in the next release of vRanger, which is nearing beta. This version will use VMware’s latest API, vADP v5.

It’s very important to always look for certifications and support readiness of technology vendors. But equally importantly, all new platforms and technologies should also be tested internally before deploying into production.

With Quest vRanger getting the VMware ready certification, customers can be confident in knowing that they have full support from Quest and VMware when it comes to deploying vRanger to protect VMs running on vSphere 5.