Compare vSphere Features and Capabilities across Releases

If you’re not on the latest version of vSphere, see which features have changed with each version.

Comparison between editions

Comparing vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.0

The following table highlights the new features/capabilities provided with each release.

  VMware vSphere 5.5 VMware vSphere 6.0
  • Compatibility 5.5 (Virtual Hardware 10)
    • Improved 3D graphics Support
    • AHCI Controller Support
  • Host Configuration Maximums Doubled for CPU, Memory, NUMA Nodes, and vCPU
  • Support for Hot-Pluggable PCI-e SSD
  • Support for CPU C-States
  • Reliable Memory Technology


  • Compatibility 6.0 (Virtual Hardware 11)
    • 128 vCPUs / 4TB vRAM
    • WDDM 1.1 GDI graphics acceleration
    • Ability to remove all serial and parallel ports
    • Hot-add RAM now vNUMA aware
  • Support for 480 CPUs and 12TB RAM
  • Support for 1024 virtual machines per host
  • vMotion support for MSFT Clusters


Management (vCenter Server, vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight)

  • Single Sign-On
    • Improved Architecture
    • Native Active Directory Support
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)
    • 300 hosts/1000 VM with embedded DB
  • vSphere App HA


  • 64 host clusters, 8000 virtual machines per cluster
  • vMotion Enhancements
    • vMotion across vCenters
    • vMotion across Virtual Switches
    • Long Distance vMotion
  • Platform Services Controller
    • Common Services for vCloud Suite, includes SSO, certificate and licensing
    • Enables Enhanced Linked Mode
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)
    • Same Scale as Windows Installable vCenter Server (1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machiens)
  • Content Library
  • vRealize Operations Standard (available with vSphere with Operations Management)
  • vRealize Log Insight (lite version for vCenter Server only)



  • 62TB VMDK
  • 16Gbps End-to-End FC Support
  • PDL Auto Remove
  • Improved VAAI UNMAP (now with ESXCLI)
  • VMFS Heap Improvements
  • vFlash Read Cache (VFRC)
  • MSFT Clustering support for FCoE and iSCSI
  • Rename VM files on Storage vMotion
  • vSphere Replication, Storage vMotion and Storage DRS interoperability
  • Compatible with Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  • vSphere Replication
    • Multi-site topology
    • Storage vMotion Support
    • Multiple Point-In-Time (MTIP) snapshots


  • Virtual Volumes (VVOL)
  • API for IO Filtering (VAIO)
  • NFS 4.1 client
  • NFS and iSCSI IPV6 support
  • Storage Based Policy Management (SPBM) now available in all vSphere editions
  • SIOC IOPS Reservations
  • vSphere Replication
    • Support for 2000 virtual machines per vCenter Server



  • Improved LACP Support
    • Up to 64 LAGs
    • 32 Hashing Algorithms
    • Improved Workflows
  • Traffic Filtering (Port Group Level)
    • Filter on MAC, Type, or Protocol
    • Filter both Ingress and Egress
  • Differentiated Service code Point (DSCP) Tagging
  • SR-IOV
    • Communicate Port Group Properties
  • Host-Level Packet Capture Tool (tcpdump)
    • 40Gb NIC Support
  • Network I/O Control (NIOC) Version 3
    • Ability to reserve bandwidth at a VMNIC
    • Ability to reserve bandwidth at a vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) Portgroup
  • SR-IOV support for 1024 Virtual Functions