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VMware vSphere 5

Virtualization - Wiki

VMware vSphere 5 (ESXi 5) is a virtualization platform used for building cloud infrastructures. vSphere 5 represents a migration from the ESX architecture to the ESXi architecture. The ESX architecture consists of the virtualization kernel, also known as the vmkernel, and a management partition known as the console operating system (COS or service console). The COS allowed management interface into the ESX host. On the other hand, the ESXi architecture removes the Console OS so all the VMware agents run directly on the vmkernel. Infrastructure services are provided natively through modules included with the vmkernel. Authorized 3rd party modules such as hardware drivers and hardware monitoring components can run in vmkernel as well. Only modules with VMware's digital signature are allowed to run on the system.

For the latest Dell | VMware documentation, please see the Reference section below.

Below: ESX Capability Chart with ESX 4.1, ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0.

ESX 4.1
ESXi 4.1
ESXi 5.0
Service Console
Yes No No
Admin/config CLIs
SC/COS + vCLI PowerCLI + vCLI PowerCLI + vCLI
Advanced Troubleshooting
COS/SC Tech Support Mode ESXi Shell
Scripted Installation
Supported Supported Supported
Boot from SAN
Supported Supported Supported
Supported Supported - limited Supported
Active Directory
Integrated Integrated Integrated
HW Monitoring
3rd party agents in COS/SC CIM Providers CIM Providers
Serial Port Connectivity
Supported Not Supported Not Supported
Jumbo Frames
Supported Supported Supported
Rapid deploy & central management of hosts via Auto Deploy
Not Supported Not Supported Supported
Custom image creation and management
Not Supported Not Supported Supported
Secure syslog
Not Supported Not Supported Supported
Management interface firewall
Supported Not Supported Supported

For VMware's detailed comparison, please see KB article 1023990.

VMware vSphere 5 Layers & Services

VMware vSphere 5 includes three major layers: Virtualization, Management and Interface. The Virtualization layer includes infrastructure and application services. The Management layer is central for configuring, provisioning and managing virtualized environments. The Interface layer includes the vSphere client and the vSphere web client.

VMware vSphere 5 and its services enumerate out as:

1. Infrastructure Services:
  • Compute,
  • Storage and
  • Network components;
2. Application Services:
  • Availability,
  • Security and
  • Scalability;
3. Management Services:
  • the vSphere web client and
  • the VMware vCenter Server Appliance.

VMware vSphere Component Layer Diagram
VMware vSphere Diagram

Virtualization Infrastructure Layer

The virtualization layer consists of the ESXi hypervisor and incorporates the application services. VMwarevSpherevirtualizes the IT infrastructure consisting of servers, storage, and networks.These resources are aggregated and can be presented as a uniform set of elements in the virtual environment.

Management Layer

VMwarevCenter Serverprovides centralized management for datacenters. VMware vCenter Server provides a 1:Many view into the physical resources from multipleESXihosts and presents a central collection of flexible resources for the system administrator to provision to virtual machines in the virtual environment. VMware vCenter Servercomponents are user access control, core services, distributed services, plug-ins, and various interfaces.

Interface Layer

Users can access a VMwarevSpheredatacenter through the vSphere Client, through a Web browser withvSphere Web Client, through a command line interface, or terminal services.

VMware vSphere 5 Reference Links

VMware vSphere ESXi and vCenter Server 5.0 Documentation Dell | VMware vSphere 5.0 Hardware Compatibility Matrix - Dell PowerEdge Servers and Dell Storage
Dell | VMware vSphere 5.0 Documentation <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>
Dell | VMware vSphere 5.0 vMotion Compatibility Matrix
Dell | VMware vSphere 5.0 Deployment Guide

Dell | VMware vSphere 5.0 Release Notes

Dell Upgrading to ESXi 5.0 using Dell Customized VMware ESXi Images

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