Detailed comparison of VMware ESX and VMware ESXi


This article provides a detailed comparison of VMware ESX and VMware ESXi.

The article is separated in to capabilities or features and compared at that level.

 

 

 

ESXi – Free License

(ESX not available without VI)

VI Foundation

(with ESX or ESXi)

VI Standard

(with ESX or ESXi)

VI Enterprise

(with ESX or ESXi)

Core hypervisor functionality

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual SMP

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VMFS

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VirtualCenter Agent

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Update Manager

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Consolidated Backup

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

High Availability

 

 

Yes

Yes

VMotion

 

 

 

Yes

Storage VMotion

 

 

 

Yes

DRS

 

 

 

Yes

DPM

 

 

 

Yes

         

 

 

The benefit of choosing ESXi in an organization that had already deployed VMware are:  

1.    Consolidated skill sets within the organization.

2.    Easy upgrade path to ESX when management and enterprise features become necessities and costs can be justified.

3.    The realization that the differences between ESX and ESXi will grow narrower over time.

 

But there are also good reasons to NOT choose ESXi in a datacenter class infrastructure:

1.    Very limited remote manageability, some sort of CIM providers thought (only HP offers it…), no SNMP in the free version for instance.

2.    No Service Console but a RO virtual appliance that interacts with VMware ESXi hosts for the free version (for RW you need to license it).

3.    In most enterprise settings, VMware ESXi is deployed as an embedded hypervisor directly on the server, which means another type of hardware to deal with.

4.    Due to several management limitations it can be much expensive to deal with many free ESXi hosts than the same number of licensed ESX hosts.

 

Anyone running ESXi and having some recommendations about it ?

 

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About PiroNet

Didier Pironet is an independent blogger and freelancer with +15 years of IT industry experience. Didier is also a former VMware inc. employee where he specialised in Datacenter and Cloud Infrastructure products as well as Infrastructure, Operations and IT Business Management products. Didier is passionate about technologies and he is found to be a creative and a visionary thinker, expressing with passion and excitement, hopefully inspiring and enrolling people to innovation and change.
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