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Free VMware Offering Needs Boost

One of the strongest enabling elements of virtualization is that there are plenty of offerings in the free space. This frequently allows organizations to build their business case and get comfortable with virtualization technologies. Recently at TechMentor, one of my sessions focused on when the free offerings are not enough. This was targeted toward small organizations that are at the decision point of introducing revenue solutions. Somewhat surprising is that VMware's free offering in the Type 1 hypervisor space and accompanying management is comparatively dull. Since the unmanaged ESXi was introduced, the only new enhancement available to ESXi on version 4 is thin provisioning of the virtual hard disks.

This is further complicated by VMware's action to request Veeam software to remove functionality for free ESXi installations utilizing Veeam Backup. ESXi also has a read-only interface through the remote command line interface (RCLI) for an unmanaged ESXi installation.

I had hoped that vSphere would give some hope for an enhanced offering for the free hypervisor, but this was not the case. The hypervisor market is a very fluid space right now, so anything can happen. The free ESXi still has use cases in many environments; it is just a tougher sell when planning a solution that has a lesser offering than the competition. Let me know how the free offering from VMware fits or clashes with your use of virtualization.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 07/06/2009 at 12:47 PM


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