VI 3.5 vs vSphere 4.0

VI 3.5 vs vSphere 4.0

VI 3.5 and vSphere 4.0

What’s New with VMware vSphere 4 -

What's New in VMware vSphere 4.0 -

VMware vSphere Editions Comparison -

Comparison of product offerings for vSphere 4.0 and VMware Infrastructure 3.X -


Pro and cons

VI 3.5 pro

  • Does not require a "new" x64 CPU

  • Support old hardware - See HCL (

  • 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 -

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

  • 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 (, these seems not possible or more difficult with vSphere.

vSphere pro

  • Faster on CPU, Mem, I/O - See also

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

  • VMware VMDirectPath I/O - See also

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

  • 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

  • New virtual storage adapter - See also

  • Host profiles (only with Enterprise Plus)

  • vDistributed Network Switches and Cisco Nexus 1000v integration (only with Enterprise Plus) - See also

  • 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 -


Performance differences


Compatibility between products

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

See also: - 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, ...


Downgrade to VI 3.5

New customers will have only the vSphere licenses.

To downgrade them to the VI 3.5 version see: - 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:

Version history
Revision #:
1 of 1
Last update:
‎11-04-2009 09:44 PM
Updated by: