I'm new to VM world and I'm very interested in upgrading our h/w and licence from ESX 2.5.3 to ESX 4. I need to put together a brief document that explains why we should upgrade. I've looked around quite a bit for a document that compares ESX 2.5 with ESX 4 but I've had no luck so far.
Does such a comparison exist?
The best comparison would probably be night and day. Since ESX 2.5, VMware has adding support to a wide range of hardware and have implemented many features such as fault tolerance. What does your ESX 2.5.3 environment consist of (i.e. hosts, VMs, network, storage, etc)?
Datto's Top Ten Reasons to upgrade from ESX 2.5.3 to ESX 4.0/VSphere:
Off the top of my head here's what I can come up with in 120 seconds
1) Thin Provisioning of virtual disks with GUI management -- shrinks the size of virtual disks -- this could save you considerable SAN dollars and reduce the amount of space that a virtual disk requires
2) NFS and iSCSI shared storage capability in addition to the Fibre storage of ESX 2.5.3 -- NFS and iSCSI is less expensive for lab setups if you're using a lab and many people are using iSCSI and NFS for VM storage
3) VMware HA -- if one ESX host goes down, the other ESX hosts in the cluster get the VMs back up and on-line automatically
4) Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) -- load balances your VM activity across multiple ESX hosts by automatically VMotioning VMs to the least loaded ESX hosts--allows better thruput performance for VMs
5) VCenter Alarms -- many pre-built alarms to allow you to get automatic notice if something bad starts to happen with your virtual environment
6) Fault tolerance capabilty -- one ESX host goes down and all the VMs stay up anyhow without users noticing and without rebooting the VMs. You, the hero.
7) Significant CPU/Memory quantity increases that can be used for VMs and ESX hosts when compared to ESX 2.5.3.
😎 Support for SATA and PATA drives on some motherboards for locating VMs as well as boot drives for ESX (for a more inexpensive lab setup)
9) ESXi 4.0 -- free download, enterprise class reliability, small footprint.
10) No more MUI.
That is making a significant assumption that you are running your 2.5.3 environment on 64 bit hardware :smileygrin:
If you found this or any other answer useful please consider the use of the Helpful or correct buttons to award points
Tom Howarth VCP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Contributing author for the upcoming book "[VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment|http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9780136083214]”. Currently available on roughcuts
Our current ESX 2.5.3 environment consitst of two IBM xSeries 346 servers with 21 active VM's - all W2K3.
Storage: IBM DS400 (moving over to DS4700 soon)
For ESX 4 I'm planing to deploy it on x3650 servers.
Basically, I'm come up with a compelling list of advantages that ESX 4 has over ESX 2.5.3 to convince the top brass.
I would also add the following:
10GB Ethernet support and Jumbo Frames
VMware Storage VMotion
VMware Update Manager
VMware Distributed Power Management
VMware Guided Consolidation
Profile management of ESX servers
Cross-platform virtual networking: Virtual switches may be defined in
the entire infrastructure rather than in each switch, as was the case
until now. Networking settings can be applied to the ENTIRE virtual