VMware vSphere 5.1 New Features and Enhancements

Vmware announced the new release of its virtualization software, vSphere 5. Below is just brief list of new features.

VMware vSphere 5.1 Features

Setup and Install
vSphere 5.1 will introduce two installation methods:

  • vSphere Simple Install – allows you to install required vSphere vCenter server components in a single run.
  • vSphere Custom Install – allows you to install vCenter server components on different servers.
  • Authentication using Single Sign On(SSO) Server integration.

vSphere Web Client

  • Improved from 5.0, full featured browser-based web client
  • Adobe Flex framework
  • Intuit interface
  • Increased number of management objects administrators can work with and number of concurrent sessions
  • Workflow and state preservation

Tagging Inventory Objects

  • Custom Tags
  • Assign permissions based on tags

Troubleshooting Tools

  • Snapshot of the ESXi host / vcenter logs
  • Log Browser

vSphere Distributed switches (vDS)

  • Network monitoring and reporting
  • Configuration Backup and Restore
  • Configuration RollBack and Recovery
  • Port Mirroring – introduction of ERSPAN and RSPAN
  • Management Plane scalability
  • Operational improvements
  • ESXi Dump Collector improvements
  • Number of vDS per vCenter server is now 128 (was 32)
  • Number of Hosts per vDS 500 (was 350)
  • Number of Static Port Group per vCenter Server 10,000 (was 5,000)
  • Number of Distributed Ports per vCenter Server 70,000 (was 30,000)

Auto Deploy

  • Stateless Caching
  • Stateful Install – ability to install ESXi on local storage

Virtual Machines

  • Virtual Shared Grpahics Acceleration (vSGA)
  • Supports workloads using the physical GPU resources
  • Ability to virtualize physical GPU resources accross virtual desktops
  • 64 vCPUs
  • Hardware Accelerated 3D graphics
  • Reclaim storage from files deleted in the guest Operating System (OS)
  • VCPU performance counters
  • Nested HV – nested ESXi as VM and Hyper-V as a VM on vsphere
  • No rebooted required when upgrading vMware Tools on guest OS (windows vista and later)
  • Virtual Machine Hardware is now Virtual Machine Compatibility
  • Set virtual hardware version for cluster or data center
  • Multiple Virtual Machine (VM) upgrade at the same time
  • Support for Windows 8 Server and Desktop guest OS VMs
  • Hardware support for Intel (IvyBridge & SandyBridge) and AMD (Piledriver) CPUs
  • MAC Address Management


  • Flexible Space Efficient storage
  • Linked Clones scalability to 32 hosts
  • 32 concurrent host locks on a file on VMFS file system
  • 5 Node Microsoft cluster support (node majority model)
  • Boot from FCoE
  • All Paths Down (APD) enhancements
  • Storage IO Control improvements
  • Storage vMotion enhancements

vCenter Server Virtual Appliance

  • Ability to configure the Database, Single Sign On (SSO), Ports, Authentication and Services components
  • Storage usage statistics
  • Support bundle
  • Configuration file
  • Setup wizard – relaunch Setup wizard to make changes to the database, SSO and Active Directory settings
  • upload Microsoft Sysprep files

Installing / Upgrading vCenter Server

  • in-place upgrades from vCenter Server 4, and 5 to vCenter Server 5.1
  • vCenter 5.1 can manage ESX 4 / ESXi 4 and ESXi 5.0 in the same cluster with ESXi 5.1 hosts.
  • 64-bit Data Source Name (DSN) required