VI 3.5 vs vSphere 4.0

Version 8

    VI 3.5 and vSphere 4.0

    What’s New with VMware vSphere 4 - http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/upgrade-center/

    What's New in VMware vSphere 4.0 - http://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere4/doc/vsp_40_new_feat.html

    VMware vSphere Editions Comparison - http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/editions_comparison.html

    Comparison of product offerings for vSphere 4.0 and VMware Infrastructure 3.X - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010579

     

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    Pro and cons

     

    VI 3.5 pro

    • Does not require a "new" x64 CPU

    • Support old hardware - See HCL (http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility)

    • Less resources for ESX (1 GB vs 2 GB requirement)

    • Less resources for vCenter Server (3 GB vs 3 GB requirement)

    • Free ESXi can be managed by vCenter Server

    • VI 3.5 has the disk hot add feature also in free version (on vSphere you need at least the Advanced version)

    • Lab Manager 3 is supported only on VI 3.5 (but now there is also LM 4)

    • SRM 1 is supported only on VI 3.5 (but now there is also SRM 4)

    • View 3 is supported only on VI 3.5 (but now there is also View 4)

    • 3th part tools may work only on VI 3.5 (but most of them now works also on vSphere)

    • It can use a 2 TB disk (without the 512B limitation)... ok it's bug... it's not a feature - Re: Disks bigger than 2TB - 512B are not supported.

    • Some people have (with ESX 3.x) working RDM LUNs with more than 2 TB, but is not a supported configuration (see: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/3371739)

    • The SCSI-Passthrough  works fine both with SCSI and SAS controllers/devices (the same configuration on vSphere may not work)

    • With the CLI is possible to have a RDM disk of a local storage (http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/vmware-esx-storage-how-to-get-local-storage-to-act-as-a-raw-disk-for-vms/), these seems not possible or more difficult with vSphere.

     

    vSphere pro

    • Faster on CPU, Mem, I/O - See also http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-vSphere-Performance-WP-EN.pdf

    • VMware Fault Tolerance (only with Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus) - See also VMware FT

    • VMware VMDirectPath I/O - See also VMware VMDirectPath I/O

    • Thin provisioning with GUI (in ESX 3.5 was possible only with CLI) - See also VMDK virtual disk type

    • GUI Storage VMotion (but there was also 3th part GUI for VI 3.5)

    • Each VM can now have up to 8 vCPU (only with Enterprise Plus, for other edition the max is 4 vCPU)

    • More scalability for CPU and RAM - Double resources support (ram, memory, etc.)

    • Lot of network enhanced and a new vmxnet3 vNIC - See also Virtual NIC type

    • New virtual storage adapter - See also Virtual SCSI Adapter type

    • Host profiles (only with Enterprise Plus)

    • vDistributed Network Switches and Cisco Nexus 1000v integration (only with Enterprise Plus) - See also Virtual Switch (vSwitch) vs Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS)

    • vShield Zone  (only with Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus)

    • VMware Data Recovery (only with Essential Plus, Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus)

    • Hot pluggable: add/remove devices (disk and network adapter) while VM's online, also hot add for CPU and memery for some supported OS (feature available only with Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus)

    • Support cloud solution & x64 bit architecture & seperate SC VM (vmdk)

    • Some USB virtualization support (officially only the controller virtualization, unofficially maybe more - http://vm-help.com/esx40i/VMDirectPath/USB_Setup.php)

     

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    Performance differences

    http://www.vmware.com/products/vmmark/results.html

    http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_performance_wp.pdf

    http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2009/05/19/vsphere-performance/

     

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    Compatibility between products

    You need last version of vSphere Client and vCenter Server to manage old and new products.

    See also:

    http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_compatibility_matrix.pdf - VMware Infrastructure Compatibility Matrixes

    Other products are now (december 2009) compatible with vSphere and there is a new release of most of them, for example for VMware product: View 4, SRM 4, LM 4, ...

     

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    Downgrade to VI 3.5

    New customers will have only the vSphere licenses.

    To downgrade them to the VI 3.5 version see:

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010533 - Downgrading a vSphere 4.0 license to a ESX 3.5 license

     

    Some months ago was possible to evaluate VI 3.5 try to evaluate View 3, you will have also VI 3.5 evaluation licenses. Now I haven't found a simple way to obtain old VI 3.5 trial key, so to download this product you must have valide keys in your account.

     

    Note that VI 3.0 and 3.5 will follow a Life Cycle Policy and will go out of support in the next years:

    http://www.vmware.com/support/policies/lifecycle/vi/eos.html