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Mick Dagohoy
Mick Dagohoy

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 6.5: The Ultimate Guide to Download and Install


How to Download and Install VMware ESXi 6.5




VMware ESXi is a bare-metal hypervisor that allows you to run multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. VMware ESXi is part of the VMware vSphere suite, which provides a complete solution for virtualization, cloud computing, and management. In this article, we will show you how to download and install VMware ESXi 6.5, which is the latest version of this hypervisor.




download esxi 6.5



What is VMware ESXi 6.5?




VMware ESXi 6.5 is the sixth major release of VMware ESXi, which was first introduced in 2008 as a successor to VMware ESX. VMware ESXi 6.5 was released in November 2016 and it offers several new features and enhancements over the previous versions.


Features and benefits of VMware ESXi 6.5




Some of the main features and benefits of VMware ESXi 6.5 are:


  • Improved security: VMware ESXi 6.5 supports secure boot, which ensures that only trusted code is loaded during the boot process. It also supports encryption of virtual machines, which protects the data at rest. Additionally, it supports VM-level encryption keys, which can be managed by external key management systems.



  • Enhanced performance: VMware ESXi 6.5 supports new hardware features, such as NVMe devices, Intel Skylake processors, and NVIDIA GRID vGPU. It also supports new network protocols, such as IPv6, VXLAN, and Geneve. Furthermore, it optimizes the resource utilization and scheduling of virtual machines.



  • Simplified management: VMware ESXi 6.5 introduces a new HTML5-based web client, which replaces the old Flash-based web client. The new web client provides a faster, more responsive, and more intuitive user interface for managing the hypervisor and the virtual machines. It also supports new features, such as auto-deploy, host profiles, and content libraries.



  • Increased scalability: VMware ESXi 6.5 increases the maximum configuration limits for the hypervisor and the virtual machines. For example, it supports up to 768 GB of RAM and 128 vCPUs per virtual machine, up to 64 TB of virtual disk size per virtual machine, up to 4096 virtual machines per host, and up to 8000 virtual machines per cluster.



Requirements and compatibility of VMware ESXi 6.5




Before you download and install VMware ESXi 6.5, you need to make sure that your hardware and software meet the minimum requirements and are compatible with this version of the hypervisor.


The minimum hardware requirements for installing VMware ESXi 6.5 are:


  • A server with a 64-bit x86 processor that supports Intel VT-x or AMD-V virtualization extensions



  • At least 4 GB of RAM (8 GB or more recommended)



  • At least one Gigabit Ethernet network adapter (10 Gigabit or faster recommended)



  • At least one local or remote storage device (SATA, SAS, USB, iSCSI, NFS, etc.) with at least 1 GB of free space (5.2 GB or more recommended)



The minimum software requirements for installing VMware ESXi 6.5 are:


  • A compatible operating system for the installation media, such as Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X



  • A compatible web browser for accessing the web client, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge



  • A compatible management tool for managing the hypervisor and the virtual machines, such as VMware vCenter Server, VMware vSphere Client, or VMware PowerCLI



To check the compatibility of your hardware and software with VMware ESXi 6.5, you can use the following resources:


  • The VMware Compatibility Guide, which lists the supported servers, storage devices, network adapters, and guest operating systems for VMware ESXi 6.5



  • The VMware Product Interoperability Matrix, which shows the compatibility of VMware ESXi 6.5 with other VMware products and versions



  • The VMware Hardware Compatibility List, which provides detailed information about the hardware components and drivers that are certified for VMware ESXi 6.5



How to download VMware ESXi 6.5?




Once you have verified that your hardware and software are compatible with VMware ESXi 6.5, you can proceed to download the installation files from the official VMware website or other sources.


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Download options and sources for VMware ESXi 6.5




There are two main download options for VMware ESXi 6.5:


  • The ISO image file, which contains the full installation package for VMware ESXi 6.5. You can use this option to create a bootable CD/DVD or USB drive for installing the hypervisor on a physical server.



  • The offline bundle file, which contains the update package for VMware ESXi 6.5. You can use this option to upgrade an existing installation of VMware ESXi to version 6.5.



There are also different sources for downloading VMware ESXi 6.5:


  • The VMware Download Center, which requires a valid VMware account and a license key to access the download links



  • The My VMware portal, which allows you to manage your licenses and downloads for all your VMware products



  • The VMware Evaluation Center, which offers a free 60-day trial of VMware ESXi 6.5 and other VMware products



  • The alternative download sites, such as TechSpot, Softpedia, or FileHorse, which provide direct download links without requiring a registration or a license key



How to verify the integrity of the downloaded files




After you have downloaded the installation files for VMware ESXi 6.5, you should verify their integrity by checking their checksum values. A checksum is a unique string that is generated from a file using a mathematical algorithm. By comparing the checksum of a downloaded file with the checksum provided by the source, you can ensure that the file is not corrupted or tampered with.


To verify the checksum of a downloaded file, you can use one of the following methods:


  • The built-in tools in your operating system, such as md5sum or sha1sum in Linux, certutil in Windows, or shasum in Mac OS X



  • The third-party tools that are available online or offline, such as MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility, HashTab, or WinMD5Free



How to install VMware ESXi 6.5?




After you have verified the integrity of the downloaded files, you can proceed to install VMware ESXi 6.5 on your physical server. The installation process is relatively simple and straightforward, but it requires some preparation and configuration steps.


How to prepare the installation media and the target server




The first step is to prepare the installation media and the target server for installing VMware ESXi 6.5. Depending on the download option that you chose, you need to do one of the following:


  • If you downloaded the ISO image file, you need to burn it to a CD/DVD or write it to a USB drive using a tool such as Rufus, Etcher, or UNetbootin. You also need to make sure that your server supports booting from the CD/DVD or USB drive.



  • If you downloaded the offline bundle file, you need to copy it to a local or remote storage device that is accessible by your server. You also need to make sure that your server is running a compatible version of VMware ESXi that can be upgraded to version 6.5.



In addition, you need to prepare your server for installing VMware ESXi 6.5 by doing the following:


  • Back up any important data and settings on your server, as the installation will erase all existing data on the selected storage device



  • Disable any security features or applications that may interfere with the installation, such as antivirus software, firewall software, or BIOS settings



  • Connect your server to a reliable power source and a stable network connection



  • Gather the information that you will need during the installation, such as the license key, the IP address, the hostname, the root password, and the storage device name



How to boot from the installation media and start the installation wizard




The next step is to boot your serv


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