ESXi 3 hits Update-3

After the U3 of vCenter (formerly VirtualCenter) and ESX3.5, here comes the U3 for ESXi. A quick list of the new features and supported I/Os:

  • Increase in vCPU per Core Limit — The limit on vCPUs per core has been raised from 8 (or 11 for VDI workloads) to 20. This change only raises the supported limit but does not include any additional performance optimizations. Raising the limit allows users more flexibility to configure systems based on specific workloads and to get the most advantage from increasingly faster processors. The achievable number of vCPUs per core depends on the workload and specifics of the hardware. It is expected that most deployments will remain within the previous range of 8-11 vCPUs per core. For more information, see VI3 Performance Best Practices and Benchmarking Guidelines.
  • HP BL495c support — This release adds support for the HP Blade Server BL495c with all Virtual Connect and I/O Options allowing 1 or 10Gb connection to the network (upstream) and 1Gb connections only to the servers (downstream).
  • Newly
    Supported NICs —  This release adds support for the following NICs:
    • Broadcom 5716 1Gb
    • Broadcom  57710 10Gb Adapters
    • Broadcom 57711 10Gb Adapters at 1Gb speed only

    Note: iSCSI/TOE hardware offloads available with these adapters are not supported with ESX Server 3.5.

  • Newly Supported SATA Controllers— This release adds support for the following SATA controllers
    • Broadcom HT1000 (supported in native SATA mode only with SATA hard drives and Solid State Disk devices)
    • Intel ICH-7 (supported in IDE/ATA mode only with SATA CD or DVD drives)

    Note: Storing VMFS datastores on drives connected to these controllers is not supported.

  • Newly Supported Guest Operating Systems — Support for the following Guest Operating Systems has been added by VMware during the ESX 3.5 Server Update 3 release cycle:
    • Ubuntu 8.04.1
    • RHEL 4.7
  • Updated: Internal SAS networked storage controllers — This release enables the Intel Modular Server MFSYS25 SAS Storage Control Modules (SCMs). The system is pending ESX Server certification. Once ESX Server certification is complete, the system will be listed on the VMware Storage HCL, and be fully supported by VMware. For known issues with this platform and workaround, see SAS Link and Port Failovers with the Intel Modular Server Running Update 3 and Later Versions of ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 (KB 1007394).
  • Interrupt Coalescing (IC) for Qlogic 4Gb FC HBAs — Introduced in this release, the feature reduces CPU utilization (and CPU cost per I/O) and improves throughput of I/O intensive workloads by generating a single interrupt for a burst of Fibre Channel frames, when received in a short period of time, rather than interrupting the CPU each time a frame is received. The feature is enabled by default.
  • Small Footprint CIM Broker —  Updated SFCB to version 1.3.0
  • IBM SAN Volume Controller — SVC is now supported with Fixed Multipathing Policy as well as MRU Multipathing Policy.
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