VMware Releases ESX(i) 3.5 Update 5; Critical Updates

December 5th, 2009 by jason Leave a reply »

VMware apparently released ESX(i) 3.5 Update 5 dated 12/3/09, however it became available on Update Manager late this afternoon.  VMware is extremely poor at communicating anything but major releases, so to get the fastest notification possible about security patches and updates, I configure my VMware Update Manager servers to check for updates every 6 hours and provide me with email notification of anything it finds.  VMware doesn’t listen to me much when it comes to feature requests so I’ll shelve the ranting.

So what’s new in ESX 3.5 Update 5?  The major highlights are guest VM support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (reminder, 64-bit only), as well as Ubuntu 9.04, and added hardware support for processors and NICs.  Before you get too excited about Windows 7, remember that it is not a supported guest operating system in VMware View.  Even in the new View 4 release, Windows 7 has “Technology Preview” support status only.

If you track the updates from VMware Update Manager, the 12/3 releases amount to 20 updates including Update 5, 16 updates of which are rated critical.  If you’re still a ways out on vSphere deployment, you’ll probably want to take a look at the critical updates for your 3.x environment.

Enablement of Intel Xeon Processor 3400 Series – Support for the Intel Xeon processor 3400 series has been added. Support includes Enhanced VMotion capabilities. For additional information on previous processor families supported by Enhanced VMotion, see Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support (KB 1003212).

Driver Update for Broadcom bnx2 Network Controller – The driver for bnx2 controllers has been upgraded to version 1.6.9. This driver supports bootcode upgrade on bnx2 chipsets and requires bmapilnx and lnxfwnx2 tools upgrade from Broadcom. This driver also adds support for Network Controller – Sideband Interface (NC-SI) for SOL (serial over LAN) applicable to Broadcom NetXtreme 5709 and 5716 chipsets.

Driver Update for LSI SCSI and SAS Controllers – The driver for LSI SCSI and SAS controllers is updated to version 2.06.74. This version of the driver is required to provide a better support for shared SAS environments.

Newly Supported Guest Operating Systems – Support for the following guest operating systems has been added specifically for this release:

For more complete information about supported guests included in this release, see the VMware Compatibility Guide: http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=software.

•Windows 7 Enterprise (32-bit and 64-bit)
•Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit)
•Windows 7 Professional (32-bit and 64-bit)
•Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit and 64-bit)
•Windows 2008 R2 Standard Edition (64-bit)
•Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition (64-bit)
•Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition (64-bit)
•Windows 2008 R2 Web Server (64-bit)
•Ubuntu Desktop 9.04 (32-bit and 64-bit)
•Ubuntu Server 9.04 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Newly Supported Management Agents – See VMware ESX Server Supported Hardware Lifecycle Management Agents for current information on supported management agents.

Newly Supported Network Cards – This release of ESX Server supports HP NC375T (NetXen) PCI Express Quad Port Gigabit Server Adapter.

Newly Supported SATA Controllers – This release of ESX Server supports the Intel Ibex Peak SATA AHCI controller.


•Some limitations apply in terms of support for SATA controllers. For more information, see SATA Controller Support in ESX 3.5. (KB 1008673)

•Storing VMFS datastores on native SATA drives is not supported.