I guess there’s going to be a bit of “mea culpa” to had around vCenter and SSO. I guess we were little caught out on this feature. Hopefully that’s been addressed with updates and plenty (some too many) KB articles. It’s hoped that SSO in vSphere 5.5 goes along way to repairing that trust relationship we have with customers that VMware technologies just work. For my own part I had a rather pleasant vSphere 5.1 roll-out. I started with a blank slate. Deployed the vCSA where SSO. The new version of SSO should support multi-domain, multi-forest configurations with ease.

vCenter also offers improvements on the connections to the DB backend. Firstly, support for clustered DB backends with Oracle and MS-SQL has been re-introduced. And for Microsoft-SQL there’s now support for Secure connectivity to MS-SQL together with Windows Authentication.

With the vCenter Server Appliance the internal Postgres database now offers vastly improved scalability for up to 100 hosts and 3,000 VMs. It’s hoped this improved scalability will entice more customers to consider a move away from the Ye Old Windows vCenter. With that said, the vCSA still only supports Oracle as an external database which I know will be a concern for customers. But its felt that the new scalability of the Postgres database means the demand for an external database may decline. I remember back in my instructor days people moaning on about needing Microsoft SQL and licenses…

The web-client get a bit of an overhaul. I know some folks are still using the Ye Old vSphere Client, and admittedly I’ve noticed in vSphere5.1 those “gears” did take sometime to turn before a refresh or a menu opened. In my experience of the beta I found the web-client performance vastly improved with the wait time for opening menus or tabs so quick, I had to take a video to capture the gears for a recent blogpost! As Mac user I’m pleased to hear the web-client fully supports OSX. Previously the plug-in to the web-client was Windows only – and that mean I need to run a Window instance in VMware Fusion on my Mac. With the new web-client I won’t need to do that – and the lost functionality (VM Console, Deploy OVF Templates and Client Devices) is now fully available.

Finally, there are improvements to the UI including the ability to do drag & drop, see a list of recently used items to speed up navigation – and filters to clear views down to just the items you want to see.