Implementing vSphere version 5.5 or 6

Dear Experts,

I am planning jumping to the vSphere environment.
I will have about 6 VMs with SQL Server, Exchange, Additional DC etc.

Q1) Would be wise to install the 5.5 version for stability or should I jump directly to version 6 and why?
Q2) Which vCenter option do you recommend and why? (Windows version or Linux)

Awaiting your comments,
Mamelas
mamelasAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. If this is your first implementation of VMware vSphere, we would recommend implementing VMware vSphere 6.0, it's stable, it's the longest and most tested VMware vSphere solution, been in Beta TEST before release for over 18 months, and we have been using it in production for 18 months, with no issues, far less than our current 5.5 environment.

BUT, check your hardware, is on the HCL. Dell have been slow to release OEM versions of ESXi.

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists HCL here

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the detailed lists showing actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly.Devices which are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware.

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

2. There is no contest here, we would start with the vCenter appliance (Linux), no Windows license required, it now performs better than Windows, supports far more hosts and VMs, then the Windows vCenter Server, with SQL Express, it's a no brainer now.

You can read about the differences here

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/06/vcapplianceorwindows.html

http://www.viktorious.nl/2013/01/18/windows-vcenter-server-versus-vcenter-server-appliance/

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mamelasAuthor Commented:
Dear Andrew,

Once again thank you for your professionals answers!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems, good luck with your new implementation.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Don't forget to upgrade firmware on the network cards prior to installing.  Have been seeing a lot of issues with Dell/HP servers with old firmware (not drivers) causing flapping on the 1GB nics and connectivity issues on the 10GB NIC/CNAs
mamelasAuthor Commented:
Dear Paulsolov,

Thanks for the additional info. I wish I had the option to reward you! ,next time ;)
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
No problem.  On another note master vsphere 6 just came out, already have it delivered.  Good read
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