Tag Archives: vSphere

Which vSphere 6.0 Features are available in Editions?

VMware vSphere 6 has been released to the market 4 weeks ago. There are many new features and enhancements, but as you know there are different pricing and licensing models. It is available as a la carte licensing priced on a per CPU basis or in packs of 25 VMs and for small deployments as Kits. This post takes a look on the availability of new vSphere features in different vSphere editions.

  • VMware vSphere Standard (A la carte licensing on a per CPU basis)
  • VMware vSphere Enterprise (A la carte licensing on a per CPU basis)
  • VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus (A la carte licensing on a per CPU basis)
  • VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Standard (Priced in packs of 25 VMs)
  • VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Advanced (Priced in packs of 25 VMs)
  • VMware vSphere Essentials Kit (All-in-one solutions for up to three physical servers)
  • VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit (All-in-one solutions for up to three physical servers)

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VMware vSphere 6.0 Download Available

Today VMware has made the bits available for everyone to download.

Updated: ESXi Release and Build Number History
Updated: VMware Product Latest Version

VMware vSphere 6.0 Download

Longest releace cycle since vSphere 4.0
With 536 days, the ever shortening product release cycles have been interrupted. vSphere 6.0 had a long closed and open beta phase to hunt for bugs. Let’s hope for smooth upgrades in the next couple of weeks.


ESX Release Date Days since
prior release
6.0 2015-03-12 536
5.5 2013-09-22 376
5.1 2012-09-11 384
5.0 2011-08-24 407
4.1 2010-07-13 418
4.0 2009-05-21 456
3.5 2008-02-20 615
3.0 2006-06-15 563
2.5 2004-11-29 244
2.1 2004-03-30 253
2.0 2003-07-21 434
1.5 2002-05-13 416
1.0 2001-03-23


VMware ESX History Diagramvmware-esxi-build-history-2015

VMware vSphere 6.0 Configuration Maximums

VMware vSphere 6.0 offers increased scalability. You can see a comparision against previous verisons at my ESX and vCenter Configuration Maximums. Changes in VMware vSphere 6.0 are:

  • Hosts per cluster: 64
  • Virtual machines per cluster: 8000
  • Virtual CPUs per virtual machine: 128
  • RAM per virtual machine: 4TB
  • Logical CPUs per host: 480
  • RAM per host: 12TB
  • Virtual machines per host: 2048
  • Fault Tolerance Virtual CPUs per virtual machine: 4


vSphere ROBO vs. per CPU Licensing

At VMworld 2014, VMware has announced vSphere Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO). This new package, available as Standard and Advanced edition, offers a per virtual machine licensing model. These 25 VM packs can be distributed across multiple remote sites.

vSphere ROBO is expected to be available in Q3 2014.

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What’s new in vSphere 6? – VMworld 2014 News

The next version of vSphere is currently in public beta state. While the beta is still under NDA, VMware has announced some features at their VMworld 2014 conference:

  • Multi-CPU Fault Tolerance
  • vMotion Enhancements (Cross vCenter, long distance, NSX)
  • Virtual Datacenters
  • Virtual Volumes

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AMD CPU EVC Matrix (VMware Enhanced vMotion Compatibility)

Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) simplifies vMotion compatibility across CPU generations. EVC automatically configures server CPUs with AMD-V Extended Migration technologies to be compatible with older servers. I’ve created a table with a quick overview about EVC Modes with their appropriate CPU Series and Codenames used by AMD to denote their CPUs.

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vSphere 5 Homelab – ESXi on HP Microserver Gen8

Hewlett Packard has updated its widely distributed Microserver Series to Gen8. This extremely affordable server which was initially made for SMB and home servers has become very popular in the virtualization scene. Due to its low price and power consumption you can find this system in many virtualization home labs. The Generation 8 Microserver (Gen8 or G8) comes with more power, upgraded ports and an integrated iLO.


The HP Microserver Gen8 is available in 2 versions – G1610T and G2020T. Both models are equipped with a 2 core CPU and can support up to 16GB of RAM. The system is shipped with 4 hard drive trays, which allows the installation of any SATA hard drive. It also has a CPU socket, so you can change the CPU.

  • HP Microserver Gen8 G1610T (2x 2.3 GHz)
  • HP Microserver Gen8 G2020T (2x 2.5 GHz)
  • HP Microserver Gen8 E3-1220V2 (4x 3.1 GHz)

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vSphere 5.5 Download – Public Available!

As VMware has announced it at VMworld in San Francisco, the new release of its flagship server virtualization product is now available for everyone. Grab your copy here (You need a My VMware account):

VMware vSphere 5.5 Download

New Product Version:

  • VMware vCenter Server 5.5.0 Build 1312299
  • VMware ESXi 5.5.0 Build 1331820

I have also updated my Release History Database:


vSphere 5 Homelab – ESXi on Intel NUC

When you want to build a VMware vSphere Lab at home, Intel might have a great system for you: The Intel NUC family – The Next Unit of Computing. The system was initially designed to be used as home theater or digital jukebox. Due to it’s power it is also a fully adequate replacement for a desktop computer. The Intel NUC is big on performance and surprisingly small in size and power consumption and thus makes it a great candidate for a virtualization home lab.


The Intel NUC System is available as system board only and with a chassis. Currently there are 4 models available, beginning with an Intel Celeron processor and ending with a powerful Intel Core i5 vPro processor:

  • DC53427HYE Kit / D53427RKE Board: 3rd gen. Intel Core i5-3427U (up to 2x 2.80 GHz)
  • DC3217IYE Kit / DC33217GKE Board: Intel Core i3 3217-U (2x 1.8 GHz)
  • DC3217BY Kit / DC33217CK Board: Intel Core i3 3217-U (2x 1.8 GHz)
  • DCCP847DYE Kit / DCP847SKE Board: Intel Celeron 847 (2x 1.10 GHz)

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What’s New in vSphere 5.5 – Quick Check


  • vSphere Data Protection Improvements – Backups can now be restored to an ESXi Host directly without a vCenter. It allows a more granular storage, backup and restore configuration and you can set specific start times for backup jobs.
  • vSphere App HA – Restarts application services inside a virtual machine


  • PowerCLI Improvements – Additional Cmdlets for vSphere Tags, Distributed Switches and VM Console. Support for Windows 8/Windows Server 2012
  • Big Data Extensions – Formerly known as Serengeti. Fully automatically deployment and management of Hadoop Clusters. Supports Apache Hadoop 1.2, Cloudera (CDH3 and CDH4), Greenplum HD, Hortonworks (HDP1.3) and MapR2.1.3.
  • vCenter Server Appliance Scale – Supports up to 100 hosts or 3000 virtual machines.
  • vCenter Single Sign-On – Completely rewritten with better redundancy. An external database is no longer required.
  • vSphere Web Client Improvements – Better performance an some neat features like drag and drop, filters and recent items.

vSphere Storage

  • vSAN – vSphere Virtual SAN is an more sophisticated vSphere Storage Appliance. It is more salable, has many more features and runs inside the VMkernel.
  • vSphere Flash Read Cache – It allows you to use local SSDs in your ESXi Host to offload I/O from the SAN to the local SSD.
  • PDL AutoRemove – Automatically removes a device from the host that has been detected as permanent lost (Permanent Device Loss).
  • 62TB VMDK – The maximum size of an Virtual Disk has been increased to 62.9TB
  • VAAI UNMAP Improvements – Now accessible with esxcli and the size is now specified in blocks rather than a percentage.
  • VMFS Heap Improvements – Solved any concerns when accessing more than 30TB of open files from a single ESXi host.

vSphere Networking

  • 40Gb NIC Support – Supports the Mellanox ConnectX-3 adapter cards with Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI).
  • Enhanced Host-Level Packet Capture – A Host-based packet capture tool like Wireshark or tcpdump.
  • Quality of Service Tagging – Support for Differentiated Service Code Point (DCSP) tagging.