On October 18th, 2016, VMware announced vSphere 6.5 focusing on a simplified experience and improving security features. Today, we're seeing one year of support left for this great product that has served so many organizations well.
To me, vSphere 6.5 was a milestone release. Sure, it didn't have the appeal as other vSphere releases, but it brought VM Encryption.
VM Encryption is a security mechanism that allows certain virtual machines to run on trusted hosts only. Trusted hosts are defined through encryption keys obtained from a KMIP 1.1-compliant Key Management Server (KMS) through manually enrolled vCenter Servers. VM Encryption protects virtual Domain Controllers on vSphere, wheres the No cryptography admin role places encrypted domain controllers out of reach of all but a handful of trusted admins.
On April 17, 2018, VMware announced vSphere 6.7 focusing on simple and efficient management at scale, further improved security features, a universal application platform, and seamless hybrid cloud experience.
However, one security feature stood out to me: Virtualization-based Security (VBS). vSphere 6.7 was the first version of vSphere to support it and it brings secure boot, DMA protection, HVCI and CI policies to virtual domain controllers running Windows Server 2016, and up.
End of Support
As communicated as part of KB83223, the End of General Support for vSphere 6.5 and vSphere 6.7 is October 15, 2022. Today, this date is only 1 year away.
Technical Guidance for vSphere 6.5 is available until November 15, 2023 primarily through the self-help portal. During the Technical Guidance phase, VMware does not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes unless otherwise noted
To maintain a full level of support and subscription services, VMware recommends upgrading to vSphere 7.0.
vSphere 7.0 was introduced on March 10, 2020. vSphere 7 has reached Update 3 last week as part of its 6-month update cycle.
Building a straight-forward vSphere delegation model for running virtual Domain Controllers safely
Protecting virtual Domain Controllers on vSphere with VM Encryption
Protecting virtual Domain Controllers on vSphere with Virtualization-based Security
Two improvements in VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 2 are welcome news for Microsoft-oriented Identity-focused admins
VMware vSphere 7.0 Update 1 introduces an interface for advanced time synchronization configuration
vSphere 7’s vCenter Server Identity Provider Federation feature allows for MFA
vSphere 7’s vMotion interface notifies for time differences between vSphere hosts