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What’s New in vSphere 5.1 part 1 September 11, 2012

Posted by vbry21 in VMware blogs.
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What’s New VMware vSphere 5.1 (part 1)

With the release of VMware vSphere 5.1 VMware now have a new virtual machine format, VM Virtual Hardware version 9.

This new format supports:

Even larger virtual machines, which can support even heavier workloads and applications.

Virtual machines can now have up to 64 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) compared to the max of 32 vCPUs in earlier vSphere 5.0 version.

VMs can have up to 1TB of virtual RAM. This means that you can run even the largest applications in vSphere, including very large databases, mail servers and virtualize more even more resource intensive applications.

VMs that need to service graphic intensive workload such as CAD and Medical imaging. With virtual shared graphics acceleration designed for enhanced performance will now ensure that you can run high performance 3D graphics apps in the VMs of your virtual datacentre.

3D graphics support is disabled and you need to manually enable it if your workloads need 3D graphics. This feature is supported only with VMware View desktop environments.

Reclamation of storage from files deleted in the guest OS. When you create a VM, initially it consumes a small space. Over the time when the VMs inflate, administrators delete files to reclaim disk space within the VM operating system of their VMs. However this stranded space generated by VM cleaning remained unused. vSphere 5.1 reduces cost per VDI desktop and ensures greater storage efficiency by reclaiming this stranded memory. This feature is supported only with VMware View desktop environments.

vSphere 5.1 adds support for the latest Guest Operating system and hardware platforms.  Specifically, Windows 8 and Windows 2012.

As with earlier versions of vSphere, this new version requires upgrading your VM tools. In earlier versions of vSphere when you upgraded VMTools you needed a reboot of the VM and this resulted in downtime.

vSphere 5.1 eliminates guest reboots for common VM configurations when upgrading beyond VMware Tools 5.1. This feature is supported for Windows guest operating systems and only for Vista and later guest operating systems.

Also vSphere 5.1 provides guidance to upgrade virtual hardware only when this upgrade is beneficial to the VM.

Also product help has been improved so that it shows what features are available with each virtual hardware version.

Within vSphere 5.1 virtual hardware version management has been simplified. You can schedule virtual hardware upgrades with other planned down times and select multiple VMs and upgrade them together. You can set default virtual hardware version for cluster or data center.

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