August 26

VMworld 2013: What’s New in ESX 5.5

So I guess your beginning to detect a theme in my recent posts. Please bear with me, normal service will be resumed shortly.

You may not be surprised to hear that the configuration maximums in ESX have gone up even further. So you can now have upto:

  • 320 Logical CPUs
  • 4TB of RAM
  • 16 NUMA
  • 4086 vCPUs

Per ESX hosts. That’s more or less a doubling of capacity on ESX 5.0/5.1. Now I doubt many folks will actually configure such as system, mainly because to fill a physical box with that much memory is cost prohibitive most people. But we have seen the “standard” for how much memory an ESX host has grow as physical boxes get beefier, and memory prices go down. So I remember when 32GB/64GB was the sweet spot. I guess now its more the 96-128GB range. So there’s a bit of future proofing here, but also making sure that if any other virtualization vendor wants to get into a pissing contest we can more than deal with that scenario. 🙂

There’s also new ESX host features such as support for hot-plug of SSD drives – and the ability to leverage the new physical memory that supports “reliable memory” information. It means the ESX host can pick up information from the RAM chips about portions of the memory that marked as being “reliable”. It will then make resident parts of ESX that critical to its uptime such as the VMkernel itself, user worlds, init threads, hostd and watchdog processes. It should mean the chances of a PSOD due to bad blocks of memory are minimized. I guess the days of burning in your RAM with memtest tools are increasingly unfeasible due the quantity of memory we now have, and the time it takes to do a couple of passes.


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Posted August 26, 2013 by Michelle Laverick in category "VMworld", "vSphere