What's new in vSphere 6?

Here is an overview of the main new VMware vSphere 6 (over 650 new features and innovations) improvements announced today:


  • vSphere Clusters: Up to 64 nodes and 6000 VMs
  • Hosts: 480 physical CPUs, 12 TB RAM, 64 TB datastores, 1000 VMs  and 32 serial ports. vGPU Nvidia support
  • VMs: Up to 128 vCPUs and 4 TB vRAM


vCenter Server

  • Platform Services Controller (PSC). The Platform Services Controller (PSC) contains common Infrastructure Services such as:
    • Single Sign-On
    • Licensing
    • Certificate Authority
    • Certificate Store
    • Service (Product) Registration
    • Other future services
    • PSC is a central part that is used for example by vCoud Suite parts such as vCenter, vRealize Operations, etc.). For most environments (8 or less vCenter Servers) a vCenter Server with 1 embedded PSC is sufficient.
  • Enhanced Link Mode (ELM). Enhanced Link Mode (ELM) will support Windows and vCSA deployments and require a Platform Services Controller (PSC).
  • Microsoft Clustering support for vCenter Server. vCenter Server 6.0 will support the clustering of the vCenter Server in addition to the backend database.
  • vCenter Server Appiance (vCSA):
    • ISO file that contains a guided installer
    • Embedded vPostgres database. As external database Oracle is supported.
    • Enhanced Linked mode support
    • VDP support for backup and recovery of the vCSA
    • More information can be found in this blog post, link


  • Storage I/O Control (SIOC).  Per VM storage reservation
  • NFS 4.1 with Kerberos support. NFS client support for NFS 4.1
  • Virtual Volumes (VVols) and Storage Policy-Based Management. Enables VM-aware storage. VVOl is offered by storage vendors such as NetApp, Dell, PureStorage, EMC, Nimblestorage, IBM and Tintri
  • Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6 contains the following improvements:
    • Scalability improvements such as:
    • vsan
    • New On-Disk format for higher performance, efficient and scalable high performance snapshots and clones.
    • All flash support
    • Usability improvements in Web Client such as:
      • Storage consumption information
      • Resync status information
    • Failure Domains. Allow grouping of hosts into different logical failure zones. This ensures replicas from a VM are not provisioned onto the same logical failure zone. Failure Domains are no metro/stretched clusters! Failure Domains is also known as rack awareness.
    • Disks serviceability. Map the location of a magnetic or flash device from the Web Client on failures, SSD, local etc.
    • VSAN is sold as separate product and not included in the license!


  • 64 node cluster support and 6000 VMs
  • VMware VM Component Protection (VMCP)
  • vMotion Across vCenter Servers.
  • vMotion across virtual (distributed) switches
    • No need of shared vMotion is needed
  • Long-Distance vMotion up to 100ms RTTs
    • Benefits: Permanent migrations between data centers
    • Disaster avoidance (DA)
    • SRM/DA testing
    • Multi-site load balancing
  • Fault Tolerance (FT) increase support for 1, 2 and 4 vCPU VMs
  • Integration with vCloud Air (replication and backup)
  • vSphere Replication. 5 mins increments (5.5 was 15 minutes) and 2000k replicated VMs per vCenter
  • App HA. Support for more business critical applications


  • Network I/O Control (NIOC). Per VM and Distributed Switch bandwidth reservation


  • vSphere Web Client enhancements such as better performance and tagging improvements. The Web Client still uses flash!


  • The vSphere Client C# is still available in this release. No new features are in this release. Hardware versions 9 to 11 features are read-only or unavailable in the vSphere Client C#.
  • Multi-Site Content Library. Stores and sync VMs, Templates, OVFs, ISOs and scripts from one central location and sync the content across other vCenter Servers (sites)
  • vSphere 6 has support for Hardware Version 11. Main improvements of Hardware Version 11 are:
    • Maximum video memory up to 2 GB (512 MB in Hardware Version  10)
    • PCI passtrough 16 devices (6 in Hardware Version  10)
    • 32 serial ports (4 in in Hardware Version  10)
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