For the first time, VMware's DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) has been extended to include storage. Implementing Storage DRS was a straightforward process of defining policies for my VMs. Over time, Storage DRS made decisions about the best host for particular VMs and also balanced VM access to storage resources according to service levels I specified in my policies. For the first time, the vCenter Server is available as a virtual appliance. This first vCenter Server, the management hub for any vSphere domain, is provided as a virtual machine running on SUSE. I used the new vCenter Server virtual appliance throughout my tests. While it shows first-version flaws-for example, networking details such as DNS are actually defined using the command line, not in the Web-based console-the appliance worked well.
vSphere 5.0 is the first version to provide only the ESXi host hypervisor. For some time, VMware has been urging users to adopt the small-footprint ESXi over ESX, with good reason. ESXi takes up only about 100MB on the physical host. It is easy enough to manage the physical host systems from vCenter. ESXi does have a basic network configuration interface. For the most part, however, IT managers will be using the newly enhanced CLI, batch files and vCenter to interact with physical hosts.