vSphere ESXi

VMware vSphere 5.0 has finally arrived and includes several new unique features - such as Storage DRS and Autodeploy - that deliver unprecedented value to VMware customers. Unlike prior versions, vSphere 5 supports only the ESXi hypervisor architecture, the only thin purpose-built hypervisor that does not depend on a general purpose operating system. In order to benefit from the unique capabilities and features of vSphere 5 and ESXi 5, VMware recommends that customers:

  • upgrade deployments of vSphere 4.x or older to vSphere 5
  • migrate existing ESX deployments to ESXi 5


Deliver IT Resources as Needed with Enterprise Cloud Computing

Transform your IT infrastructure into a private cloud, then bridge on-demand to public clouds, delivering IT infrastructure as an easily accessible service. VMware vSphere delivers uncompromised control over all IT resources with the highest efficiency and choice in the industry. With over 350,000 customers worldwide and the support of over 2500 applications from more than 1400 ISV partners, VMware vSphere is the trusted platform for Microsoft Exchange, Oracle and SAP.

  • Reduce Costs and Maximize IT Efficiency: Reduce capital and operational expenses and minimize potential lost revenue due to downtime, outages and failures.
  • Increase Application Availability and Control: Automate the enforcement of service-level agreements to ensure availability, security and scalability of Microsoft Exchange, Oracle and SAP.
  • Empower Your IT Department with Choice: Deliver applications and business services on-demand with the freedom to choose your hardware, application architecture, operating system, and private or public cloud infrastructure.

VMware vSphere is comprised of a number of features that transform industry standard hardware into a shared, mainframe-like resilient environment with built-in service level controls for all applications.

  • Infrastructure services : Comprehensively virtualize server, storage and network resources, and aggregate and allocate them precisely on demand to applications based on business priority.
  • Application services : Provide built-in service level controls for availability, security and scalability to all applications running on the vSphere platform, regardless of application type or operating system.
  • VMware is the undisputed leader delivering greater value at lower TCO for running customer’s business critical applications. Get the facts (Not the Microsoft marketing fluff)

Key New Features of VMware vSphere 5


Infrastructure Services

  • Compute
  • Storage
  • Network

Application Services

  • Availability
  • Security
  • Scalabil

Infrastructure Services: Virtualize and Aggregate Hardware Resources

Virtualize server hardware resources so they can be shared by many machines, even aggregating resources across clusters. Utilize storage more efficiently and avoid over-provisioning with automated load balancing and access defined by business rules. Simplify network management across both physical and virtual assets.


Compute services efficiently, virtualize server resources and aggregate them into logical pools that can be precisely allocated to applications.

vSphere ESXi

vSphere ESXi provides a robust, production-proven, high performance virtualization layer that abstract server hardware resources and allow their sharing by multiple virtual machines. Unique memory management including memory compression and advanced scheduling capabilities of the vSphere host allow for the highest consolidation ratios and the best application performance, in many cases, even better than physical servers.

vSphere DRS

vSphere DRS aggregates compute resources across many clusters and dynamically allocates them to virtual machines based on business priorities, reducing management complexity through automation. vSphere DPM, included with vSphere DRS, automates energy efficiency in DRS clusters by continuously optimizing the power consumed in a DRS cluster.


Storage services abstract away from the complexity of back-end storage systems and enable the most efficient utilization of storage in virtual environments.

vSphere Storage DRS

 vSphere Storage DRS leverages automated load balancing based on storage characteristics to determine the best place for virtual machine data to live.

vSphere Profile-Driven Storage

vSphere Profile-Driven Storage streamlines storage resource selection by grouping storage according to a user-defined policy.

vSphere Storage I/O Control

vSphere Storage I/O Control defines priority access to storage resources according to established business rules. This enables a pre-programmed response to occur when access to a storage resource becomes contentious.

vSphere Storage VMFS

vSphere Storage VMFS is a high performance cluster file system which abstracts away the complexity of storage hardware from applications. VMFS allows efficient sharing and controls concurrent access to storage by virtualized servers.

vSphere Storage Thin Provisioning

vSphere Storage Thin Provisioning allows storage purchases to be deferred until they are really required by eliminating the need to dedicate full storage capacity upfront. Reduce storage spending by up to 50% while still providing administrators the capacity they need for future growth. Simplify storage capacity management with a single, unified tool for storage management.

vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness

vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness offers a new API structure for enabling deeper interaction between vSphere and 3rd party disk arrays. This API will enable vSphere to further understand the capabilities of any supported disk array. Capabilities such as snapshot, deduplication, replication, and others can now be communicated to vSphere in order to better associate a required SLAs with the type of storage a given virtual machine should utilize when it is created.

vSphere Auto Deploy

vSphere Auto Deploy allows you to deploy more vSphere hosts running the ESXi hypervisor architecture “on the fly”. Once running, completely eliminate patching by pushing out updated images rather than scheduling patch windows.

vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI)

vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) offer a new API structure for supported 3rd party disk arrays to improve performance for common vSphere activities such as provisioning a VM.


Network services enable optimal administration and management of networking in virtual environments.

vSphere Network I/O Control

vSphere Network I/O Control - Definite priority access to network resources according to established business rules. This enables a pre-programmed response to occur when access to a network resource becomes contentious.

vSphere Distributed Switch

vSphere Distributed Switch simplifies and enhances the provisioning, administration and control of virtual machine networking in VMware vSphere environments.

Application Services: Built-in Service Level Controls for Applications

Application services can be enabled simply and uniformly for any application running inside VMware virtual machines; providing IT with simple built-in controls over application service levels.


Increase availability of all aspects of your infrastructure, including applications, storage resources, infrastructure and management.

Planned Downtime

vSphere vMotion eliminates the need to schedule application downtime due to planned server maintenance through live migration of virtual machines across servers with no disruption to users or loss of service.

Sphere Storage vMotion eliminates the need to schedule application downtime due to planned storage maintenance or during storage migrations by enabling live migration of virtual machine disks with no disruption to users or loss of service.

Unplanned Downtime

vSphere High Availability (HA) provides cost effective, automated restart within minutes for all applications in the event of hardware or operating system failures. With Fault Domain Manager, VMware HA is more reliable in operation, more easily scalable in its ability to protect virtual machines, and can provide better uptime than before.

vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT) provides continuous availability, without any data loss or downtime, to any application.


Get basic firewalling of traffic between virtual machines with vShield Zones. Enhance security and compliance with solutions from our VMware VMsafe partners

vShield Zones simplifies application security by enforcing corporate security policies at the application level in a shared environment, while still maintaining trust and network segmentation of users and sensitive data.

VMware VMsafe enables the use of security products that work in conjunction with the virtualization layer to provide higher levels of security to virtual machines than even physical servers.


Add or remove CPU, memory, virtual storage and network devices from virtual machines as needed.

  • vSphere DRS dynamically load balances server resources to deliver the right resource to the right application based on business priority; allowing applications to shrink and grow as needed.
  • Hot add enables CPU and memory to be added to virtual machines when needed without disruption or downtime.
  • Hot plug enables virtual storage and network devices to be added to or removed from virtual machines without disruption or downtime.
  • Hot extend of virtual disks allows virtual storage to be added to running virtual machines without disruption or downtime

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