The release of VMware vSphere 5.5 has seen a number of enhancements to the underlying hypervisor (ESXi), and as with every major release of vSphere there is an increase in it’s capabilities around CPU, Disk and/or memory.
Probably the most significant in the VMware vSphere 5.5 release is the increase in VMDK file size that can be created and used, from 2TB (vSphere 5.1) to a massive 62TB! That is quite a jump, and will definitely come as good news to businesses dealing with large amounts of data that have a requirement to have it mounted on a single volume. Though you’d want to make sure you have an effective working backup and recovery strategy in place. 😉
The following is a quick-glance table that outlines some of the new VMware vSphere 5.5 per physical host (ie: not per virtual machine (VM)) maximum configurations.
|Per Physical ESXi Host||VMware vSphere 5.1||VMware vSphere 5.5|
|RAM (Memory)||2TB||4TB* (16TB experimental only support)|
|vSphere Hypervisor RAM (Memory) – Free Version||32GB||Unlimited|
For SMBs and vSphere home lab users who run the free vSphere Hypervisor, the release of 5.5 removes the 32GB physical memory limit which means (budget permitting) you could start looking at using a single ESXi/Hypervisor solution using a server crammed full of memory, and of course an appropriately sized CPU and disk subsystem to match. Though I personally think that if you are spending that sort of money on memory you’d likely be wanting to nest your ESXi/Hypervisor hosts and use the highly useful functionality found with having a vCenter Server install, eg: DRS, HA, vMotion, etc.