Mental Ward

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ESX vs. ESXi

Alessandro over at brought a valuable link to my attention: A VMware comparison of ESX, its flagship hypervisor, and ESXi, its stripped-down, embeddable cousin.

A table at the bottom of the page reveals in stark detail the big differences between the two. For instance, ESXi lacks many key ESX features like Update Manager, VMotion, Storage VMotion, high availability, and a lot of other technologies. In reality, you can't do much with ESXi except create virtual machines. If that's all you need to do, ESXi will do the job; if your requirements go beyond that, you're looking at upgrading to some version of VMware Infrastructure, which includes ESX.

One other point worth mentioning: We know that Microsoft is working hard to add functionality like Live Migration (the equivalent technology to VMotion) in the next Hyper-V release, slated for 2010. If that schedule is met, Redmond will have a free hypervisor that does more than VMware's free hypervisor. That could give it a serious edge, unless VMware trickles down more functionality from ESX to ESXi.

Posted by Keith Ward on 10/14/2008 at 12:48 PM


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