What is the difference between Vmware Esxi Free 4 and 5?

Posted on 2011-10-04
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a PowerEdge R710 server with 96gig of memory and 2 processors. I want to run Vmware 4 or 5 free version but not sure if it will be able to use all the resources or not. Does anyone know the differences in the two?

Question by:aando
    LVL 40

    Assisted Solution

    With v5, you'd be over by quite a bit (max 32GB), but v4.1 you'd be ok.

    Here's more on vSphere 5:

    LVL 40

    Accepted Solution

    VMware doesn't have a comparison sheet between the 2 versions really. Honestly, unless you plan on using more advanced features, which only come with purchased version of vSphere, stick with 4.1 is my recommendation.
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    What’s New in vSphere 5.0

    What’s New in vSphere 5.0
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    These are the 140 New features in vSphere 5.0

    Here we go:

        Storage DRS
        Storage I/O Control for NFS
        ESXi Firewall
        VMFS Scalability and Performance enhancements
        2TB+ pass-through RDM support
        vCenter inventory extensibility
        Storage APIs -- VAAI T10 Compliancy
        Storage APIs -- VAAI Offloads for NAS
        Storage APIs -- VAAI Thin Provisioning
        Storage APIs -- Storage Awareness/Discovery
        Storage APIs -- Data Protection compatible with MN
        APD, Permanent APD Survivability Enablement
        Snapshot enhancements
        Storage vMotion scalability improvements
        iSCSI Enablement: iSCSI UI Support
        iSCSI Enablement: Stateless Support
        Multi-queue Storage IO adapters
        Increase NFSv3 Max Share Count to 256
        SATA 3.0
        Software FCoE initiator support
        Enhanced logging support
        Enhanced Storage metrics
        Profile-Driven Storage
        Storage vMotion support for snapshots
        vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)
        SSD Detection and Enablement
        vSphere Replication
        vSphere Data Recovery 2.0
        VADP enhancements
        vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) Enhancements
        vCO -- Library extension and consolidation
        vCO -- Scalability
        Network I/O Control (NIOC) Phase 2
        NIOC -- User Defined Resource Pools
        NIOC -- HBR traffic type
        NIOC -- 802.1p tagging
        Network Traffic Stats for iOPS
        Improvement to UDP and Multicast traffic types
        New networking drivers for server enablement
        vDS support for Port mirror, LLDP and NetFlow V5
        vDS Manage Port Group UI enhancement
        Hot-Insert/Remove of Filters
        Enhanced vMotion Compatibility
        Storage vMotion support for Linked Clones
        vMotion scalability (dual-NIC & longer latency support)
        vNetwork API enhancements
        vNetwork Opaque Channel
        Support for 8 10GbE Physical NIC ports per host
        Add Host Resources MIB to SNMP offering
        Metro vMotion
        Host Profile for DRS to support Stateless ESX
        HA interop with agent VMs
        DRS/DPM interop with agent VMs
        DRS enhancements for Maintenance Mode
        Enhanced processor support for FT
        vSphere 5.0 HA aka "FDM / Fault Domain Manager"
        vSphere HA - Heartbeat Datastores
        vSphere HA - Support for partitions of management network
        vSphere HA - Default isolation response changed
        vSphere HA - New Status information in UI
        vSphere HA - IPv6 support
        vSphere HA - Application Awareness API publicly available
        Extensions to create special icons for VMs
        ESX Agent Management
        Solution Management Plugin
        Next-Gen vSphere Client
        Host Profiles Enhancements
        vCenter enhancements for stateless ESXi
        vCenter Server Appliance
        vCenter: Support for FileManager and VirtualDiskManager APIs
        Virtual Hardware - Smartcard support for vSphere
        Virtual Hardware Version 8
        Virtual HW v8 -- 1TB VM RAM
        Virtual HW v8 -- 32-way Virtual SMP
        Virtual Hw v8 -- Client-Connected USB Devices
        Virtual HW v8 -- EFI Virtual BIOS
        Virtual HW v8 -- HD Audio
        Virtual Hw v8 -- Multi-core Virtual CPU Support UI
        Virtual HW v8 -- New virtual E1000 NIC
        Virtual HW v8 -- UI and other support
        Virtual HW v8 -- USB 3.0 device support
        Virtual HW v8 -- VMCI device enhancements
        Virtual HW v8 -- xHCI
        Support SMP for Mac OS X guest OS
        Universal Passthrough (VMdirect path with vMotion support)
        Guest Management Operations (VIX API)
        Guest OS Support -- Mac OS X Server
        VM Serial Port to Host Serial Port Redirection (Serial Port Pass-Through)
        VMware Tools Portability
        VMRC Concurrent Connections enhancements
        Scalability: 512 VMs per host
        ESXCLI enhancements
        Support SAN and hw-iSCSI boot
        Hardware -- Interlagos Processor Enablement
        Hardware -- SandyBridge-DT Processor Enablement
        Hardware -- SandyBridge-EN Processor Enablement
        Hardware -- SandyBridge-EP Processor Enablement
        Hardware -- Valencia Processor Enablement
        Hardware -- Westmere-EX Processor Enablement
        Platform -- CIM Enhancements
        Platform -- ESX i18n support
        Host Power Management Enhancements
        Improved CPU scheduler
        Improved scalability of CPU (NUMA) scheduler
        Memory scheduler improvements to support 32-way VCPU's
        Swap to host cache
        API enhancements to configure VM boot order
        VMX swap
        Support for ESXi On Apple XServe
        Redirect DCUI to host serial port for remote monitoring and management
        UEFI BIOS Boot for ESXi hosts
        Scalability -- 160 CPU Threads (logical PCPUs) per host
        Scalability -- 2 TB RAM per host
        Scalability -- 2048 VCPUs per host
        Scalability -- 2048 virtual disks per host
        Scalability -- 2048 VMs per VMFS volume
        Scalability -- 512 VMs per host
        Stateless -- Host Profile Engine and Host Profile Completeness
        Stateless -- Image Builder
        Stateless -- Auto Deploy
        Stateless -- Networking Host Profile Plugin
        Stateless -- VIB Packaging Enhancement
        Stateless -- VMkernel network core dump
        Host profiles enhancements for storage configuration
        Enhanced driver support for ESXi
        Intel TXT Support
        Memsched policy enhancements w.r.t. Java balloon
        Native Driver Autoload support
        Root password entry screen in interactive installer
        vCenter Dump Collector
        vCenter Syslog Collector
        VMware Update Manager (VUM) enhancements
        VUM -- Virtual Appliance enhancements
        VUM -- vApp Support
        VUM -- Depot management enhancements
        vCLI enhancements
        PowerCLI enhancements
        VProbes -- ESX Platform Observability
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    If you are not going to purchase a license, you are better off with the no vRAM TAX of ESXi 4.1 U1.

    ESXi 5.0 free version is 32GB, and even if you had licencsed Essentials at $500, you are then only entitled to 32GB per CPU.
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    Also, keep in mind that altho @hanccocka listed all those neat features, they are not usable in vSphere Hypervisor (free) edition, beit in v4 or v5. They are part of the architecture...the features are there, but are only enabled by the license you install. VMware took away the 'comparison' matrix they had between vSphere Hypervisor and their low-end edition hypervisors (Essentials/Essentials Plus), that showed the resource differences between the editions...really like that chart/matrix too! :( That move, my guess, is to force you into a purchase.

    These are the best actual 'comparison' info links I could find: (2 far right columns). I guess the main thing to know is resource limitations -> with 4.1, if I recall, the limitation on RAM is at 256GB & a single socket, 6-core CPU; v.5 has a total vRAM of 32GB for the whole server (not per socket CPU like other Editions), but you can have numerous processors.

    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    Got to keep our Sales Revenue Up! and sing the praises of VMware vSphere 5.0!
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    @hanccocka - By all means! ;) Hope things are indeed going well...
    LVL 41

    Expert Comment

    Or you can install Hyper-V Server for free, use all of your RAM and CPUs for free, add a second server and do clustering for free, take advantage of backup APIs for free, upgrade to future versions for free, etc., etc. ;)

    Or use Citrix Xen Server, which also does all that for free, but generally seems to be missing from the SMB and Enterprise market.

    Author Closing Comment

    Not what I wanted to hear but was the answer I was looking for.

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Maximize Your Threat Intelligence Reporting

    Reporting is one of the most important and least talked about aspects of a world-class threat intelligence program. Here’s how to do it right.

    Suggested Solutions

    First I will try to share a design of a Veeam Backup Infrastructure without Direct NFS Access backup.  ( Note: Direct NFS Access backup …
    Teach the user how to configure vSphere Replication and how to protect and recover VMs Open vSphere Web Client: Verify vsphere Replication is enabled: Enable vSphere Replication for a virtual machine: Verify replicated VM is created: Recover replica…
    Teach the user how to install and configure the vCenter Orchestrator virtual appliance Open vSphere Web Client: Deploy vCenter Orchestrator virtual appliance OVA file: Verify vCenter Orchestrator virtual appliance boots successfully: Connect to the …

    761 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    8 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now