Release: VMware ESX Server 2.5 released!

Finally long-awaited flagship product is set for download on VMware official site.
Here what’s new:

Boot From SAN
ESX Server can now run on diskless servers by booting off of a disk on the SAN. This greatly enhances support for common blade and rack mount configurations.

Improved support for raw LUNs as virtual disks using Raw Device Mappings (RDMs) in Physical and Virtual compatibility modes.
ESX Server version 2.5 includes new features for using RDMs:

– Allows raw disks to be managed as easily as virtual disk files
– VMotion can now be used to migrate virtual machines using raw LUNs
– Improves VirtualCenter support of clustered virtual machines
– Physical compatibility RDMs enable SAN replication software to run inside of virtual machines
– Virtual compatibility RDMs enable backup offloading solutions so that ESX Servers can be backed up faster without any load placed on the virtual machines or the on Service Console
– Allows REDO logs to be added to raw disks
– Enhanced support for scripted installations
– Allows third-party systems management products to remotely install and configure ESX systems.

Improved Support for Clustered Virtual Machines
MSCS clustering of virtual machines using shared disk access is now more reliable.

Additional Support for Disaster-Recovery Backups or Virtual Disks
Virtual disk snapshot scripts added to the Service Console to enable crash consistent backups of entire virtual machines.

Revised Compatibility Guides
This release includes updated compatibility guides listing the new hardware supported by ESX Server 2.5

Support for Additional Guest Operating Systems
ESX Server version 2.5 now supports these operating systems in virtual machines.

FreeBSD 4.9 (Uniprocessor mode only)
SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
Windows 2003 Small Business Server

Improved SSH Security
ESX Server version 2.5 now uses SSH Protocol Version 2 as the default secure login client.