By Lisa Gecko
The new virtual machine hardware version 8 included with vSphere 5 has several new features, including support for 3D graphics for Windows Aero and USB 3.0 devices; but the most beneficial might be the ability for cloud hosting companies to run larger virtual machines. With this, it is now possible to configure VMs with 1TB of RAM and 32 simultaneous CPUs. This allows for a significant expansion of cloud hosting network services. Let’s take a closer look at the new features included with VM version 8.
First off, VM version 8 supports 32-way virtual SMP. This enables ESXi 5.0 to support virtual machines with up to 32 virtual CPUs. Cloud hosts can now run much larger CPU-intensive workloads on the VMware ESXi platform. In addition, you can now assign up to 1TB of RAM to ESXi 5.0 virtual machines, up from 256 GB in previous versions. Along with this memory boost, version 8 supports non hardware accelerated 3D graphics for Windows Aero and Basic 3D applications on ESXi 5.0 virtual machines. And version 8 supports the latest USB 3.0 devices in virtual machines with Linux guest operating systems. Client computers running the vSphere Web Client or the vSphere Client can be connected to a virtual machine and USB 3.0 devices can be accessed within it. USB 3.0 devices connected directly to the ESXi host are not supported at this time. And virtual machines running on ESXi 5.0 can boot from and use the Unified Extended Firmware Interface (UEFI) virtual BIOS.
Along with all the new features, the vCPU configuration has been expanded in the new layout as well. When creating a new VM, or editing virtual machine hardware, you can now choose a virtual socket and core allocation to the VM as opposed to being limited to choosing a vCPU count in previous versions. The amount of vCPU’s you can distribute is based on the amount of physical cores available on the host. For example, if you have a single Quad Core Intel chip on each physical server, your VM can be configured with up to 4 available vCPUs in an array of different options. This can significantly reduce costs in application licensing. If you have an application that needs more resources but is licensed by the socket, virtual or physical, you can now apply multiple cores to a single socket. Cloud hosts can now move from a 12 vCPU VM in vSphere 4 with 12 licensed sockets to a single vCPU socket with 12 cores in vSphere 5.
These upgrades make an extensively larger virtual machine platform available to cloud hosting companies. Thus, the services offered by cloud hosts can be greatly expanded without expensive physical hardware or infrastructure investments, and at a relatively low cost to the host, and ultimately the consumer.
The upgrade process could not be simpler, first upgrade your VM platform the vSphere 5, and then upgrade your Virtual Hardware with version 8. To learn more about cloud computing and vSphere 5, you can visit http://infinitelyvirtual.com