ESX vs. ESXi Which is Better? Revisited.

Caution: Articles written for technical not grammatical accuracy, If poor grammar offends you proceed with caution ;-)

For over a year now, I have started off telling customers in Plan and Design engagements that they would be using ESXi unless we uncovered a compelling reason to NOT use it. The “which do I use” argument is still going strong. Our blog post “ESX vs. ESXi which is better?“  was posted in April and is still the most popular. It seems to be a struggle for many people to let go of the service console. VMware is trying to go in the direction of the thinner ESXi hypervisor. They are working to provide alternatives to using the service console.

VMware has provided a comparison of ESX vs. ESXi for version 3.5 for a while. Well, VMware posted a comparison for ESX vs. ESXi for version 4 last night. It’s a great reference.

5 Replies to “ESX vs. ESXi Which is Better? Revisited.”

  1. Like many others I’m also trying to decide on which platform to standardize on. I think the combination of the vMA and PowerCLI make managing ESXi nearly identical to ESX, though I recognize there are still some limitations (like killing the hung process as pointed out in the comments in your previous post).

    The one that people seem to harp on is the USB stick or SD card being a single point of failure. How is this any different from a switch or firewall that uses flash memory to store the config and load it into memory upon bootup? We don’t avoid Cisco switches because of this so why avoid ESXi Embedded for the same reason?

    I still have reservations though. I really want to love ESXi but I’ve been using ESX since version 1.5 so it’s hard to give up the Service Console and 7+ years of experience. I’m sure many other folks are in the same boat.

  2. Dave,

    For Fujitsu-Siemens server the ESXi Server cannot be monitored with Serverview monitoring software. Only ESX 4 classic with the Redhat console is supported.

    As I work for a company which principal activity is to sell Fujitsu servers, there is no choice at the moment but to deploy ESX


  3. Vladan –
    That would be a “compelling reason to NOT use it.” I am guessing that the reason for the requirement of having the full Console OS is that there is an agent installed on the Console OS. Sometimes (not always) you can install this agent on the vMA. Most hardware vendors are providing plain CIM providers to allow communication with their monitoring consoles. I would think that eventually they will supply the CIM providers.

    Thanks for the comment!

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