Along with the major additions to vSphere 5.5 such as vSAN, Read Cache, etc there are many more minor enhancements. A number of these fall in to the networking side. The first changes are around performance and include:
- Enhanced LACP – Ability to have multiple LAGs and over 20 hashing algorithms
- Enhanced SR-IOV – Better performance as SR-IOV enabled devices bypass the software stack now
- 40 Gb NIC Support – More is better!
Two very nice additions focused on packet classification and security are:
- Traffic Filtering using stateless ACLs
- DSCP Marking for QoS
The ACLs is a great addition as now you can do simple firewall-type rules at a port-group or vNIC level. Again, they are stateless but often that’s all you need. The last new feature worth noting is around troubleshooting. You can do host level packet capture with tcpdump. This lets you gather data, dump it to a tcpdump file, and analyze it later. You can pull data off an uplink, specific VM, address, etc. Very useful.
Here is a video that shows several of these new features. See if you can tell where my Siamese cat meows part of the way through…