7.0

Free ESXi 7.0 - How to Download and get License Keys

vSphere 7.0 has been released and as known from previous versions, VMware provides a free version of their Hypervisor ESXi for everyone again. The license key can be created for free at VMware's website. It has no expiration date. The binaries you will receive as "Free Hypervisor" are 100% identical to the paid version but with some software limitations.

Tech Specs and Limitations

  • No commercial support (Community support)
  • Free ESXi cannot be added to a vCenter Server
  • Some API functionality is missing (API is read-only)
  • No physical CPU limitation
  • Number of logical CPUs per host: 480
  • Maximum vCPUs per virtual machine: 8
  • The Key is restricted to 100 Physical Servers deployments.

Other limitations like the 32GB Memory or 2 CPU Socket limit are no longer in place.

Read More »Free ESXi 7.0 - How to Download and get License Keys

How to add the USB NIC Fling to ESXi 7.0 Base Image

Many people are using the USB NIC Fling by William Lam and Songtao Zheng in homelabs. To make a fresh installation or upgrade as simple as possible, I've created a new Image Profile that contains the USB NIC driver.

This article explains how to create a custom ESXi 7.0 Image including the NIC driver to either upgrade previous versions of ESXi or make a fresh  ESXi installation with USB NIC support.

Read More »How to add the USB NIC Fling to ESXi 7.0 Base Image

Homelab - Will ESXi 7.0 run on Intel NUC?

esxi-on-5th-gen-NUC5i3MYHEVMware vSphere ESXi 7.0 is here and while you might want to wait before you upgrade your production, it's time to explore the new features in your Homelab. I've received questions on whether it is safe to upgrade and some folks are already having trouble with the upgrade.

First of all, short answer:
Yes - ESXi 7.0 will run on 5th - 10th Gen NUCs.

Long answer...

Read More »Homelab - Will ESXi 7.0 run on Intel NUC?

VMware Products without vSphere 7.0 Support at GA Day

VMware vSphere 7 has been released a couple of days ago. Before you jump in and upgrade your Production or Test environment, make sure that the software you are using on top of vCenter/ESXi is supported. To check if a product version is supported, refer to VMware Interoperability Matrix.

When checking the Interop Matrix, make sure that there is both, a minimum and a maximum version that is supported. For example, ESXi 6.0 support has been dropped in vSphere 7 which means that all ESXi Hosts need to be upgraded to at least ESXi 6.5.

I'm going to monitor the progress regularly and keep an updated list on my vSphere 7.0 landing page, so make sure to bookmark the following link: vSphere 7.0 Landing PageRead More »VMware Products without vSphere 7.0 Support at GA Day

VMware vSphere 7.0 introduces Cascade Lake EVC Mode

To simplify vMotion across CPU generations VMware has introduced Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC). EVC automatically configures server CPUs with Intel FlexMigration or AMD-V Extended Migration technologies to be compatible with older servers. In vSphere 7.0 a new EVC mode has been introduced.

Intel Cascade Lake Generation
Compared to Intel Skylake EVC mode, the Cascade Lake EVC mode exposes additional CPU features:

  • AVX-512 Vector Neural Network Instructions (AVX512VNNI)
  • XGETBV with ECX=1 (XGETBV_ECX1)
  • The processor is not susceptible to Rogue Data Cache Load (RDCL_NO)
  • Enhanced Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS_ALL)
  • The Processor is not susceptible to Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS_NO)

Read More »VMware vSphere 7.0 introduces Cascade Lake EVC Mode