The Good and the Bad of the new Native Driver Architecture in ESXi 5.5

I recently became aware of that with vSphere 5.5 VMware introduced a new Native Driver Architecture for ESXi. William Lam has written an excellent blog post describing the motivation behind and the benefits of this new architecture. I will shortly summarize it here, but also add some concerns about the way it is introduced, because - in the future - it might severely limit the ability to run ESXi on white box and commodity hardware.

[Release] VMware Converter 5.5

Shortly after the release of vSphere 5.5 VMware has also updated its Converter product to version 5.5 to restore compatibility with the Infrastructure virtualization suite. But there are also some new and unexpected cool features in the new release.

[Release] vSphere 5.0 Update 3 and ESXi 5.1 Build 1312873

Although VMware recently released vSphere 5.5 the older versions 5.0 and 5.1 are still actively maintained (as per their Lifecycle Product Matrix). Yesterday they released vCenter 5.0 and ESXi 5.0 Update 3 and a new patch for ESXi 5.1 (Build 1312873).

HP Customized ESXi 5.5 ISO is available - What's new?

When VMware made vSphere 5.5 generally available HP also published its own customized version of the ESXi 5.5 installation ISO including HP drivers and tools. But there was one important component missing in the first version of their customized ISO: The HP CIM providers that are needed for monitoring the hardware through the vSphere Client or HP SIM.

Now HP has fixed that and published an updated version that also includes the CIM provider package ...

I will be in Barcelona next week ...

Thanks to a free blogger pass sponsored by VMware I am able to go to VMworld Europe again. I enjoyed last year's VMworld in Barcelona very much and look forward to another bunch of interesting sessions, talks with other virtualization enthusiasts and the VMworld party - all at the same place this year.

FAQ: Using SSDs with ESXi (Updated)

Most state-of-the-art enterprise storage architectures make use of SSD (Solid State Disk) storage in one or the other way, and - with the inevitably dropping prices - they have become affordable even for home use. What is their benefit? Since they are based on Flash memory SSDs offer a much higher throughput and much lower latency than traditional magnetic hard disks. I can well remember my delight when I equipped my home PC with an SSD for the first time and saw Windows booting ten times faster than before, in only a few seconds ... and I always wondered how VMware ESXi and the VMs it runs would benefit from SSD storage.

Well, a while ago I upgraded the two ESXi boxes that make up my Small Budget Hosted Virtual Lab (SBHVL) to include Intel Haswell CPUs, and one of them is also running with 2x Intel 240GB SSDs now. It's time to write about what I have learnt about ESXi and SSDs: In this blog post I will summarize how ESXi can make use of local SSDs in general, and specifically what you need to think about when using them as regular datastores.