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What is the major difference or new features between the latest version of VMware 4.. and previous versions?

Jerry Seinfield
Please indicate major differences and features between VMware latest version(ESX 4.1) and older versions?

Please consider all aspects such as ESX server, vsphere client, VMotion, HA, DRS, support, etc

Thanks in advance
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Expert of the Year 2017

The latest version is VMware ESXi 5.0

What's New in v5

   1. Storage DRS
   2. Storage I/O Control for NFS
   3. VMFS-5
   4. ESXi Firewall
   5. VMFS Scalability and Performance enhancements
   6. 2TB+ pass-through RDM support
   7. vCenter inventory extensibility
   8. Storage APIs -- VAAI T10 Compliancy
   9. Storage APIs -- VAAI Offloads for NAS
  10. Storage APIs -- VAAI Thin Provisioning
  11. Storage APIs -- Storage Awareness/Discovery
  12. Storage APIs -- Data Protection compatible with MN
  13. APD, Permanent APD Survivability Enablement
  14. Snapshot enhancements
  15. Storage vMotion scalability improvements
  16. iSCSI Enablement: iSCSI UI Support
  17. iSCSI Enablement: Stateless Support
  18. Multi-queue Storage IO adapters
  19. Increase NFSv3 Max Share Count to 256
  20. SATA 3.0
  21. Software FCoE initiator support
  22. Enhanced logging support
  23. Enhanced Storage metrics
  24. Profile-Driven Storage
  25. Storage vMotion support for snapshots
  26. vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)
  27. SSD Detection and Enablement
  28. vSphere Replication
  29. vSphere Data Recovery 2.0
  30. VADP enhancements
  31. vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) Enhancements
  32. vCO -- Library extension and consolidation
  33. vCO -- Scalability
  34. Network I/O Control (NIOC) Phase 2
  35. NIOC -- User Defined Resource Pools
  36. NIOC -- HBR traffic type
  37. NIOC -- 802.1p tagging
  38. Network Traffic Stats for iOPS
  39. Improvement to UDP and Multicast traffic types
  40. New networking drivers for server enablement
  41. vDS support for Port mirror, LLDP and NetFlow V5
  42. vDS Manage Port Group UI enhancement
  43. Hot-Insert/Remove of Filters
  44. Enhanced vMotion Compatibility
  45. Storage vMotion support for Linked Clones
  46. vMotion scalability (dual-NIC & longer latency support)
  47. vNetwork API enhancements
  48. vNetwork Opaque Channel
  49. Support for 8 10GbE Physical NIC ports per host
  50. Add Host Resources MIB to SNMP offering
  51. Metro vMotion
  52. Host Profile for DRS to support Stateless ESX
  53. HA interop with agent VMs
  54. DRS/DPM interop with agent VMs
  55. DRS enhancements for Maintenance Mode
  56. Enhanced processor support for FT
  57. vSphere 5.0 HA aka "FDM / Fault Domain Manager"
  58. vSphere HA - Heartbeat Datastores
  59. vSphere HA - Support for partitions of management network
  60. vSphere HA - Default isolation response changed
  61. vSphere HA - New Status information in UI
  62. vSphere HA - IPv6 support
  63. vSphere HA - Application Awareness API publicly available
  64. Extensions to create special icons for VMs
  65. ESX Agent Management
  66. Solution Management Plugin
  67. Next-Gen vSphere Client
  68. Host Profiles Enhancements
  69. vCenter enhancements for stateless ESXi
  70. vCenter Server Appliance
  71. vCenter: Support for FileManager and VirtualDiskManager APIs
  72. Virtual Hardware - Smartcard support for vSphere
  73. Virtual Hardware Version 8
  74. Virtual HW v8 -- 1TB VM RAM
  75. Virtual HW v8 -- 32-way Virtual SMP
  76. Virtual Hw v8 -- Client-Connected USB Devices
  77. Virtual HW v8 -- EFI Virtual BIOS
  78. Virtual HW v8 -- HD Audio
  79. Virtual Hw v8 -- Multi-core Virtual CPU Support UI
  80. Virtual HW v8 -- New virtual E1000 NIC
  81. Virtual HW v8 -- UI and other support
  82. Virtual HW v8 -- USB 3.0 device support
  83. Virtual HW v8 -- VMCI device enhancements
  84. Virtual HW v8 -- xHCI
  85. Support SMP for Mac OS X guest OS
  86. Universal Passthrough (VMdirect path with vMotion support)
  87. Guest Management Operations (VIX API)
  88. Guest OS Support -- Mac OS X Server
  89. VM Serial Port to Host Serial Port Redirection (Serial Port Pass-Through)
  90. Passthrough/SR-IOV
  91. VMware Tools Portability
  92. VMRC Concurrent Connections enhancements
  93. Scalability: 512 VMs per host
  94. ESXCLI enhancements
  95. Support SAN and hw-iSCSI boot
  96. Hardware -- Interlagos Processor Enablement
  97. Hardware -- SandyBridge-DT Processor Enablement
  98. Hardware -- SandyBridge-EN Processor Enablement
  99. Hardware -- SandyBridge-EP Processor Enablement
 100. Hardware -- Valencia Processor Enablement
 101. Hardware -- Westmere-EX Processor Enablement
 102. Platform -- CIM Enhancements
 103. Platform -- ESX i18n support
 104. Host Power Management Enhancements
 105. Improved CPU scheduler
 106. Improved scalability of CPU (NUMA) scheduler
 107. Memory scheduler improvements to support 32-way VCPU's
 108. Swap to host cache
 109. API enhancements to configure VM boot order
 110. VMX swap
 111. Support for ESXi On Apple XServe
 112. Redirect DCUI to host serial port for remote monitoring and management
 113. UEFI BIOS Boot for ESXi hosts
 114. Scalability -- 160 CPU Threads (logical PCPUs) per host
 115. Scalability -- 2 TB RAM per host
 116. Scalability -- 2048 VCPUs per host
 117. Scalability -- 2048 virtual disks per host
 118. Scalability -- 2048 VMs per VMFS volume
 119. Scalability -- 512 VMs per host
 120. Stateless -- Host Profile Engine and Host Profile Completeness
 121. Stateless -- Image Builder
 122. Stateless -- Auto Deploy
 123. Stateless -- Networking Host Profile Plugin
 124. Stateless -- VIB Packaging Enhancement
 125. Stateless -- VMkernel network core dump
 126. Host profiles enhancements for storage configuration
 127. Enhanced driver support for ESXi
 128. Intel TXT Support
 129. Memsched policy enhancements w.r.t. Java balloon
 130. Native Driver Autoload support
 131. Root password entry screen in interactive installer
 132. vCenter Dump Collector
 133. vCenter Syslog Collector
 134. VMware Update Manager (VUM) enhancements
 135. VUM -- Virtual Appliance enhancements
 136. VUM -- vApp Support
 137. VUM -- Depot management enhancements
 138. vCLI enhancements
 139. PowerCLI enhancements
 140. VProbes -- ESX Platform Observability

Jerry SeinfieldSystems Engineer


wow, can you please indicate major differences against older versions?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Expert of the Year 2017

Those are all the new features that exist in v5! None of those features existed before!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Expert of the Year 2017

Jerry SeinfieldSystems Engineer


Can you please compare scalability betwen V5 and older versions? i.e version 4
Your thoughts?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Expert of the Year 2017

v5, scales far better, due to newer features like the balancing of storage datastores through Storage DRS.
Top Expert 2010
There is 1 MAJOR difference between v5 and legacy versions you need to be aware of -> vRAM POOLS. You are limited in how much RAM you can use in your host against your vSphere 5 infrastructure. Your host may support 1TB (or more), but you can only use (be licensed for) an amt far less than that. (e.g. 96GB, per CPU socket) If you want to use more RAM on your host, you will need to add licensing (COST, COST, COST) Legacy versions of vSphere (4.1 and earlier) don't have this limiitation. They do limit CPUs and Cores though, whereas v4 does not have CPU limitation any longer. I know @hanccocka listed features that are in the 'whats new' doc...but there isn't any 'chart' that has a side-by-side comparison per sè by VMware. There are some 'cool' new features in v5, but not anything too cool for me to lose out on memory resources.

Top Expert 2010

I had a typo above - I meant to say that v4 DOES "limit CPUs and Cores, whereas VERSION 5 (v5) does NOT have CPU limitation any longer".
Jerry SeinfieldSystems Engineer


Thank you everyone for all the support

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