New features of vSphere 5.5 and differences between vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 5.1

Some of the key differences between vSphere 5.1 and vSphere 5.5

Features vSphere 5.1 vSphere 5.5
Physical RAM per host 2  TB 4 TB
Physical CPUs per host 160 320
Maximum vCPUs per host 2048 4096
VMDK Size 2TB 62 TB
Max Size of Virtual RDM 2TB 62 TB
VM Hardware Version 9 10
ESXi Free version RAM limit 32 GB  unlimited
ESXi Free version maximum vSMP 8-way virtual SMP 8-way virtual SMP
16 GB fibre channel End-to-End support Support to run these HBAs at 16Gb. However, there is no support for full, end-to-end 16Gb connectivity from host to array. Yes
vCenter Server Appliance With
Embedded Database support upto
5 Hosts and 50 Virtual
100 Hosts and 3000 Virtual
CPU C-state Enhancement Host power management leveraged only the performance state (P-state), which kept the
processor running at a lower frequency and voltage
Processor power state (C-state)
also is used, providing additional power savings
and increased Performance
Multiple point-in-time replicas vSphere Replication kept
only the most recent copy
of a virtual machine
Version 5.5 can keep up to
24 historical snapshots


Some of the features supported/available from vSphere 5.5

Features vSphere 5.1 vSphere 5.5
VMware VSAN support No Yes
40 GBps physical Adapter support No yes
vFlash Read Cache support No Yes
Expanded v-GPU and G-GPU support only NVIDIA NVIDIA, AMD and Intel GPU
Microsoft Windows 2012 Cluster Support No Yes
PDL (Permanent Device Loss) AutoRemove No Intoduced in vSphere 5.5
Graphics acceleration support for Linux
Guest OS
No Yes
Hot-pluggable SSDPCIe devices No Yes
Support for Reliable Memory Technology No Yes
 LSI SAS support for Oracle Solaris 11 OS No Yes
vSphere Big Data Extensions No Yes
SATA-based virtual device nodes via
AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) support
No Yes (Support upto 120
devices per VM)
Improved LACP Support one LACP group per
distributed switch
Supports up to 64


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