Mental Ward

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ESX 3i, We Hardly Knew Ye

VMware, apparently deciding that shorter is better, has truncated the names of its two hypervisors. The hypervisors formerly known as "ESX Server" and "ESX 3i" have been re-christened simply "ESX" and "ESXi".

No formal announcements of the name changes were made. An entry on the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) blog by VMware employee John Troyer contained the only company reference to the changes.

ESX is VMware's flagship hypervisor, while ESXi is the lightweight, embedded hypervisor that is available from major OEMs like Dell, HP, IBM and Fujistu.

It seems a little odd that VMware didn't make any public pronouncement about the name changes; it just kind of quietly did away with the names. No explanation was given.

Is this a good idea? I would have to say no at this point. The names are so close together now that there could be some serious product confusion. Although the idea behind both is similar, i.e. they're both hypervisors, their usage scenarios are very dissimilar. ESXi is much more limited than ESX in capabilities, and the codebase is substantially different, although future editions of ESX will be based on the code from ESXi. It will be very, very easy to mix up the two versions when ordering them, for example, or searching for them on the Internet or VMware's Website.

What do you think? I'd love hear from you.

Posted by Keith Ward on 04/07/2008 at 12:48 PM


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