VMFS5 provides many improvements in scalability and performance.

VMFS5 has the following Characteristics:

  • Greater than 2TB storage devices for each VMFS5 extent.

  • Support of virtual machines with large capacity virtual disks, or disks greater than 2TB.

  • Increased resource limits such as file descriptors.

  • Standard 1MB file system block size with support of 2TB virtual disks.

  • Greater than 2TB disk size for RDMs.

  • Support of small files of 1KB.

  • Ability to open any file located on a VMFS5 datastore in a shared mode by a maximum of 32 hosts.

  • Scalability improvements on storage devices that support hardware acceleration. For information, see Storage Hardware Acceleration.

  • Default use of ATS-only locking mechanisms on storage devices that support ATS. For information about ATS-only locking and how to upgrade to ATS-only locking, see VMFS Locking Mechanisms.

  • Ability to reclaim physical storage space on thin provisioned storage devices. For information, see Array Thin Provisioning and VMFS Datastores.

  • Online upgrade process that upgrades existing datastores without disrupting hosts or virtual machines that are currently running. For information, see Upgrading VMFS Datastores.

For information about block size limitations of a VMFS datastore, see the VMware knowledge base article at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003565.