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blitzy
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VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:25 am

Hey guys, just looking for some feedback on whether I would regret rolling back to ESXi 5.5 on a new server we are just about to deploy. Basically it's a Dell R630 which comes with ESXi 6.5 installed out of the box, the main systems admin for the company has advised that we should roll it back to version 5.5 due to a compatibility issue with vCenter, the rest of the company are using 5.5 because of that (they didn't elaborate exactly on what the compatibility issue is, but it's something to do with vCenter not being able to manage the 6.5 version...)

I'm far from a VMWare expert but thought someone here may be able to chime in. This server is for a specific department, and doesn't need to be externally managed. So the compatibility concern is not really valid (we don't need other vCenter instances in the company to manage this server). So really I would like to know if there are any important pros / cons of 6.5 compared to 5.5. I'm leaning to just go with 5.5 if there is no reason that 6.5 would be an advantage, just wondering if there is any good reason to consider sticking with the newer 6.5 ESXi version.

I have read that the 6.5 version only has the web client, whereas 5.5 has a thick client. That may be something to do with the limitation they've mentioned.

Bonus question, on a current 5.5 ESXi server I've worked with, I have noticed Windows 10 performance is not always great. There also aren't templates for newer operating systems, e.g. Server 2012 and Win 8 are the highest the templates refer to when making a new VM, and specifying the OS. Just wondering if that may be related, or what impact that even has on the performance of the VM. It may just be a template that specifys the default amount of disk / mem etc, rather than impacting compatibility / performance.
 
techguy
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:50 am

Your sysadmin needs to upgrade vCenter to support ESXi 6.5. Sounds like he doesn't want to. Unless of course he communicated the following to you, and you have not relayed that information:

vCenter upgrades technically won't disrupt any production workloads and could be done at almost any time. That being said, I don't know what the maintenance policy/schedule is for your company's I.T. department, they may have specific change windows in which to enact systems/network changes. If that's the case, then it would take some time to work out a specific plan to perform the upgrade, in which case the best immediate solution would be to downgrade your R630 to ESXi 5.5, as your sysadmin suggests.
 
blitzy
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:08 pm

Strange, is vCenter 6.5 not compatible with ESXi 5.5 or something like that? If so I can see why they wouldn't want to update their existing vCenter instance. But this particular department with the new server is in a different office and country, with very little reason to need to be externally managed by the existing vCenter. I can't see why the new server shouldn't be managed discretely by itself, and be up to date on the newest version.

Will have to check in on Monday to find out more about why it needs to be 5.5. Seems more like "because everything else is" than an actual good reason. Would love to have had clearer communication, but that's life in IT usually :)
 
just brew it!
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:26 pm

blitzy wrote:
Will have to check in on Monday to find out more about why it needs to be 5.5. Seems more like "because everything else is" than an actual good reason. Would love to have had clearer communication, but that's life in IT usually :)

Yup. IT wants everything to be the same, because it means support staff can follow a script for a lot of stuff. There's something to be said for that, but if it becomes an impediment there also needs to be an "out". I.e., "you can do that as long as it doesn't compromise network security, but if something doesn't work right, you're on your own".
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
techguy
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:36 pm

blitzy wrote:
Strange, is vCenter 6.5 not compatible with ESXi 5.5 or something like that? If so I can see why they wouldn't want to update their existing vCenter instance. But this particular department with the new server is in a different office and country, with very little reason to need to be externally managed by the existing vCenter. I can't see why the new server shouldn't be managed discretely by itself, and be up to date on the newest version.

Will have to check in on Monday to find out more about why it needs to be 5.5. Seems more like "because everything else is" than an actual good reason. Would love to have had clearer communication, but that's life in IT usually :)


It's not that newer versions of vCenter don't support older versions of ESXi, it's the other way around. Your organization is probably running an older version of vCenter so when you introduce a newer host running ESXi 6.5, the older vCenter instance won't know what to make of it when you try to add it to the inventory.
 
Village
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:53 pm

blitzy wrote:
Strange, is vCenter 6.5 not compatible with ESXi 5.5 or something like that? If so I can see why they wouldn't want to update their existing vCenter instance. But this particular department with the new server is in a different office and country, with very little reason to need to be externally managed by the existing vCenter. I can't see why the new server shouldn't be managed discretely by itself, and be up to date on the newest version.

Will have to check in on Monday to find out more about why it needs to be 5.5. Seems more like "because everything else is" than an actual good reason. Would love to have had clearer communication, but that's life in IT usually :)


You have an IT department, are they supporting it? If at any point you call them for support, to manage it, and they want 5.5 then go with 5.5 unless you have a need to keep it at 6.5. You might not care about centralized management, but if it's coming back for them to support then they may. Also, larger organization often have officially support apps, change processes to follow, possible licensing concerns or in place vendor support contracts.

The everything else is 5.5 is a good reason believe it or not when it comes to managing an enterprise unless you have a reason/need to deviate.
 
blitzy
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:56 pm

Strange, updating their vCenter to 6.5 shouldn't be hard, not sure why they haven't already done it. 6.5 has been out for quite a while.
 
just brew it!
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:16 pm

blitzy wrote:
Strange, updating their vCenter to 6.5 shouldn't be hard, not sure why they haven't already done it. 6.5 has been out for quite a while.

You haven't worked for a big corporation, have you? :lol:
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Captain Ned
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Re: VMWare ESXi 6.5 VS 5.5

Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:25 pm

just brew it! wrote:
You haven't worked for a big corporation, have you? :lol:

Obviously not, says one whose brace of work laptops is stuck on Win 7 due to the lack of mission-critical app/OS certifications (i.e., nothing beyond 7).
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.

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