VMware vSphere 6.5 announced today, here's how to download it fast, once it becomes available in Q4 2016

Posted by Paul Braren on Oct 18 2016 (updated on Oct 19 2016) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • This article will be updated. Today we learned that the 6.5 announcements didn't mean the actual 6.5 files (ESXi 6.5, and VCSA 6.5 Appliance) are available for download. VMware's press release states "VMware vSphere 6.5 and VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes 2.0 are all expected to become available in Q4 2016."

    Consider bookmarking the Downloads section below, which will be updated with verified links just as soon as those final bits are available.


    Meanwhile, you can read about the big announcements from VMworld 2016 Europe in Barcelona, made early today:

    Don't you want to kick those downloads off? If you're already convinced you want a newly implified install, and a faster HTML5 admin experience for your lab tests, you've come to the right place, simple instructions for how to download them bits, quickly and (relatively) easily, depending upon your licensing needs.


    This article, particularly this section, is a work in progress. Depends upon when in 4Q2016 that VMware decides to release the final bits. Come back later and refresh for updates...

    Get started at the Product Evaluation Center for VMware vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management link:

    If download links for 6.5 are available for you there, great, because only versions up through 6.0U2 show there today.


    If you're instead interested in downloading 6.0 now, but show as not entitled, you can request a new trial here:

    Thoughts & Plans

    Having used the vSphere Beta sign-up form back in April, I can safely say that the promised focus on a browser-based HTML5 UI for all essential functions is quite an improvement for both installation simplicity and ongoing routine sysadmin workflows. See also my tirade about the transition pains, which I'm glad are finally (mostly) behind us.

    I am considering re-doing my popular How to build your awesome virtualization home lab with VMware vSphere 6.0 (ESXi & vCSA), especially now that I've found an insanely fast and affordable Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite (see specs) that does the forward and reverse lookup and FQDN that VCSA loves, with lovely names instead of ugly IPs for everything. This router also avoids that clumsy hosts-file-editing stuff and strange router domain name trickery that I resorted to last time around.

    See also at TinkerTry

    This post was made at around 2am eastern time on October 18th 2016, and may be one of the very first references to official VMware documentation anywhere, found with a simple Google search. These VMware URLs quietly appeared a few hours before the 6.5 announcement.

    See also

    Brian has done an amazing job of pulling together all the key features and links, enjoy!

    • vSphere 6.5 – Everything You Need To Know
      Oct 18 2016 by Brian Graf at vTagion.com

      VMware announced today the release of vSphere 6.5. With that comes a slew of features and functionality that folks have been wanting for a long time. Below I’ve tried to create a quick hierarchy of the different features. I’ll be adding blog posts about each one as time permits.

    Duncan has honed in on the VMFS upgrades that you'll want to read ALL about, below is just a tiny excerpt:

    • vSphere 6.5 what’s new – VMFS 6 / Core Storage
      Oct 18 2016 by Duncan Epping at Yellow-Bricks.com

      Automatic Space Reclamation is something that I know many of my customers have been waiting for. Note that this is based on VAAI Unmap which has been around for a while and allows you to unmap previously used blocks. In other words, storage capacity is reclaimed and released to the array so that when needed other volumes can use these blocks. In the past you needed to run a command to reclaim the blocks, now this has been integrated in the UI and can simply be turned on or off.

    In response to VMware's Introducing vSphere 6.5 blog post, there's a candid and polite discourse happening on reddit, on that largely unknown and daunting matter of 6.5 upgrade planning: