Virtualization Pro

Nov 7 2008   4:33PM GMT

VMware ESX 3.5 Update 3 released!

Eric Siebert Eric Siebert Profile: Eric Siebert

The latest version of ESX, Version 3.5 Update 3 has just been released to complement the release of VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 3 that was released a month ago. The new features and supported devices included in this release are listed below. One of the nicest new features is an experimental feature that enables you to recover VMDK files that were deleted. This feature is a new ESX Service Console command (not supported yet with ESXi) and is designed to recover VMDK files if they are deleted or if a VMFS volume is deleted or corrupted. (Almost like having a recycle bin for ESX!). Until now, if you accidentally deleted a VM and its disk file it was gone and almost impossible to recover.

According to the Compatibility Matrix, ESX 3.5 Update 3 will only work with VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 3 and Update 2. It will not work with versions prior to 2.5 Update 1, so upgrade your VirtualCenter first if necessary. You can read the full release notes for this version here and download it here.

New features and supported devices:

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 will depend 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 IO 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 by VMware with ESX 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/DVD drives)
Note: Storing VMFS data stores on drives connected to these controllers is not supported

Newly Supported Guest Operating Systems — Support for the following Guest Operating Systems have been added by VMware during the ESX 3.5 Update 3 release cycle:

Solaris 10 U5

Ubuntu 8.04.1

RHEL 4.7

Internal SAS networked storage controllers — This release adds experimental support for Intel Modular Server MFSYS25 SAS Storage Control Modules (SCMs). For known issues with this platforms 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 IO) and improves throughput of IO 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.

Experimental Support for the VMDK Recovery Tool — This release adds support for the VMDK Recovery tool, a script intended to help customers to recover VMFS/vmdk data stores from accidental deletion of VMFS/vmdk data store or physical disk corruption. For more information, see VMDK Recovery Tool (ESX 3.5 Update 3) ( KB 1007243).

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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