Comparing vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.0

VMware vSphere 5.0

VMware vSphere 5.1

VMware vSphere 5.5

VMware vSphere 6.0

ESXi

  • Compatibility 5.0 (aka Virtual Hardware 8)
    • 32 vCPUs / 1TB RAM
    • Software based 3D graphics
    • USB 3.0 and EFI BIOS Support
  • Swap to SSD
  • Unified CLI (ESXCLI)
  • ESXi Shell and ESXi Firewall
  • vSphere Auto Deploy
  • Image Builder CLI
  • Compatibility 5.1 (Virtual Hardware 9)
    • 64 vCPUs / 1TB RAM
    • Hardware based 3D graphics
    • Hardware Assisted Virtualization
    • Virtualized CPU Performance Counters
  • Assign Full Admin Privileges to Named Users
  • Auto Deploy Stateless Caching and Stateful Installs
  • Compatibility 5.5 (Virtual Hardware 10)
    • Improved 3D graphics Support
    • AHCI Controller Support
  • Host Configuration Maximums Doubled for CPU, Memory, NUMA Nodes, and vCPU
  • Support for Hot-Pluggable PCI-e SSD
  • Support for CPU C-States
  • Reliable Memory Technology
  • Compatibility 6.0 (Virtual Hardware 11)
    • 128 vCPUs / 4TB vRAM
    • WDDM 1.1 GDI graphics acceleration
    • Ability to remove all serial and parallel ports
    • Hot-add RAM now vNUMA aware
  • Support for 480 CPUs and 12TB RAM
  • Support for 2048 virtual machines per host
  • vMotion support for MSFT Clusters

vCenter Server

  • Web Client Technology
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)
  • vCenter Heartbeat Enhancements
  • vCenter Single Sign-On
  • Inventory Service Tagging
  • New vSphere Web Client
  • Ability to vMotion without Shared Storage
  • Database Performance Improvements
  • Single Sign-On
    • Improved Architecture
    • Native Active Directory Support
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)
    • 300 hosts/1000 VM with embedded DB
  • vSphere App HA
  • 64 host clusters, 6000 virtual machines per cluster
  • vMotion Enhancements
    • vMotion across vCenters
    • vMotion across Virtual Switches
    • Long Distance vMotion
  • Platform Services Controller
    • Common Services for vCloud Suite, includes SSO, certificate and licensing
    • Enables Enhanced Linked Mode
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)
    • Same Scale as Windows Installable vCenter Server (1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machiens)
  • Content Library

Storage

  • VMFS 5
  • Storage DRS
  • Profile Driven Storage
  • vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA)
  • Enhanced VAAI Primitives:
    • Enhanced T10 Compliancy
    • Thin provisioned storage arrays
    • Hardware acceleration on NAS
  • Storage I/O Control (SIOC) compatibility with NFS
  • Storage vMotion support for snapshots and linked clones
  • Support for Software FCoE Driver
  • vSphere Replication (SRM only)
  • VMFS 5 File Share Limit increased to 32
  • Space Efficient Sparse Virtual Disks (SE Sparse)
  • All Paths Down (APD) and Permanent Device Loss (PDL) handling
  • Boot from software FCoE
  • Support for iSCSI Jumbo Frames
  • VAAI NAS Linked Clone Support
  • SIOC “Stats Only” Mode
  • Storage DRS Linked Clone support and Datastore Correlation
  • Up to 4 Parallel Storage vMotion Operations
  • SSD Monitoring with Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting (SMART)
  • vSphere Replication
  • 62TB VMDK
  • 16Gbps End-to-End FC Support
  • PDL Auto Remove
  • Improved VAAI UNMAP (now with ESXCLI)
  • VMFS Heap Improvements
  • vFlash Read Cache (VFRC)
  • MSFT Clustering support for FCoE and iSCSI
  • Rename VM files on Storage vMotion
  • vSphere Replication, Storage vMotion and Storage DRS interoperability
  • Compatible with Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  • vSphere Replication
    • Multi-site topology
    • Storage vMotion Support
    • Multiple Point-In-Time (MTIP) snapshots
  • Virtual SAN 6.0
  • Virtual Volumes (VVOL)
  • NFS 4.1 client
  • NFS and iSCSI IPV6 support
  • Storage Based Policy Management (SPBM) now available in all vSphere editions
  • SIOC IOPS Reservations
  • vSphere Replication
    • Support for 2000 virtual machines per vCenter Server

Network

  • Netflow
  • PortMirror
  • Network I/O Control (NIOC) Enhancements:
    • User Defined Network Resource Pools
    • vSphere Replication Traffic Type
    • Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) support
    • IEEE 802.1p Tagging
  • Virtual Distributed Switch (VDS) Network Health check, Config
    Backup and Restore and
    Management Network Rollback
    and Recovery
  • Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) Support
  • New Bridge Protocol Data Unit (BPDU) Filter
  • Port Mirroring (RSPAN / ERSPAN)
  • NetFlow version 10
    • Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV)
  • Improved LACP Support
    • Up to 64 LAGs
    • 32 Hashing Algorithms
    • Improved Workflows
  • Traffic Filtering (Port Group Level)
    • Filter on MAC, Type, or Protocol
    • Filter both Ingress and Egress
  • Differentiated Service code Point (DSCP) Tagging
  • SR-IOV
    • Communicate Port Group Properties
  • Host-Level Packet Capture Tool (tcpdump)
    • 40Gb NIC Support

 Source: Vmware.com

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