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ESX V5.1 or V5.5

Hi,

  I am setting up VMWare box with 32GB RAM and several 600GB SAS 15K HDs in my DELL PowerEdge T320 Server.  For now I am going to setup two VMs (and possiblity three VMs down the road) :
  one SBS2011, one Windows 7 Pro 32bit, (possibility Windows 2008 Server as Terminal Server down the road, but not sure if it will ever happen). I like to connect USB 3.0 External Backup Hard Drive thru PCI-e USB 3.0 card . I heard that USB 3.0 Card is not supported by VMWare yet, but I am going to try anyway.

  That said, I like to know if there are absolute benefits for installing V5.5 over V5.1.
  When I last installed 5.5 on VMWare host, I had to upgrade existing ESXi VSphere Client from V5 to V5.5 and it was a nightmare.
  It came with a bunch of stuff that I did not need for my simply operation.
  So I am asking Experts for their opinions.
  If I don't see overwhelming reasons, I like to stay with a smaller footprint V5.1.
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sglee
Asked:
sglee
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6 Solutions
 
ktaczalaCommented:
5.5 supports USB 3.0  as long as it's on it's HCL
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
5.5 supports larger vmdk sizes and is more stable.  If you ever install vcenter the SSO is much more stable.  The 5.1 to 5.5 client hasn't been an issue with over 3 dozen installs that we have completed.


Are you running vcenter? If not then you may want to look at essentials as it allows you to configure smtp/snmp monitoring for your VMs.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
select the latest version 5.5.

HOW TO: What's New in VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.5 (ESXi 5.5)

If 5.1 has all the features you need stick with 5.1.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Need VCenter?
I do not know what the purpose is, but all I need a VMWare host and a computer that I need to install vSphere client.
I like to get use Free version of ESXi. When I purchased paid version of Essentials for $600, I learned that there are not much benefits of having paid version for me other than 3rd party app interface like backup software, but then I found NAKIVO backup software that works with Free Version of ESXi 5.1 - 5.5.
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ktaczalaCommented:
If you go with 5.5 When you create a new VM it will create it at virtual hardware level 10, VM's at level 10 cannot be managed (Edit Settings) with VShpere you must use The VShpere web Client, but to do that you need VCenter, yah I know STUPID.  However there is a workaround to convert the level back to 9 which will then allow you to use VSphere to edit settings.  You shutdown the VM copy the .vmx file to desktop, edit with notepad and change This setting
virtualHW.version = "10" to
virtualHW.version = "9"
save it back to the datastore and power up your VM
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you just want to use FREE, also remember that the RAM restrictions have been removed in ESXi 5,5, so you can use more than 32GB.

If you are happy with 32GB and 5,1, then I would advise you stick with it.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
One of the difference, as indicated above, is  VShpere web Client.
What is the advantage of that?
Does this mean that I can connect to VSphere Client using the browser over the Internet?
In other words, I can manage the host without having to physically be in front of the computer running VSphere client because I can manage the host directly using the browser no matter where I am in the world?
Does this require, then, port forwarding to the computer running  VShpere web Client?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
vSphere Web Client is ONLY available through the use of vCenter Server! (for Windows or Linux).

The Web Client as it suggests, its management via a Web Browser,

If you have access to a Web Browser, you can manage via a browser.

Access to Console (via Web Browser) is done via a Management Plugin, which you would still need to configure firewalls or port forward.

Again as a reminder, You need VMware vSphere vCenter Server, and therefore, is only available with a basic Essentials License.

Also the vSphere Client is End of Life, no more additions of functionality is being included, so more and more management has to be done using Web Client, e.g. Management of version 10 VMs, SDRS, VDP etc - this is what we are told by VMware!

Some users of VMware Workstation 10, have discovered that version 10 vitual machines can be managed and edited by VMware Workstation 10! (but this is at additional $199 cost!)
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Andy,
 
 I just installed ESXi V5.5 (Free version) on DELL Server and need to create virtual machines now. With that I have a question.
(1) Can I install VSphere Client like I used to use and install it on Windows 7 32bit OS?
If not, what do I need to download and what type of OS do I have to have?
I only need to run a couple of VMs - SBS2011 and Win7 Pro (a backup workstation).
There are only 7 users on the network.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Andy,
 
 I just installed vSphere Client V5.5 on Windows 7 64bit PC with 4GB RAM. However can I install it on Windows 7 32bit PC with less than 4GB RAM?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
(1) Can I install VSphere Client like I used to use and install it on Windows 7 32bit OS?

Yes.

Just like you used to, there is no change.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I have installed FREE version of ESXi V5.5 and vShpere Client V5.5. They worked well.
V5.5 seemed to be taking longer time to load compared to V5. But for added benefits, it is worthwhile. Also vSphere Client V5.5 was also just as fast as V5.

Thanks for your help.
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