Differences between VMware ESX and ESXi

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This article highlights the differences between VMware ESX and ESXi for vSphere 4 and Virtual Infrastructure 3.

Note: VMware vSphere 4.1 with the following Patch-Releases is the last relase that includes ESX. Future major releases will only include ESXi architecture. [1]

VMware vSphere 5

VMware vSphere 5 includes only ESXi.

VMware vSphere 4

VMware vSphere 4 can be installed in the following ways:

Product includes Linux
Service Console
Installation Method usable with the following
editions (licenses)
VMware ESX yes Installation-CD-ROM (install on Hard Disk/RAID)
  • all editions with costs (Essentials, Essentials Plus, Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, Enterprise Plus)
VMware ESXi Embedded no mostly integrated in a flash storage
  • free ESXi single server license
  • all editions with costs (Essentials, Essentials Plus, Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, Enterprise Plus)
VMware ESXi Installable no Installation-CD-ROM (install on Hard Disk/RAID or install on USB flash drive)
  • free ESXi single server license
  • all editions with costs (Essentials, Essentials Plus, Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, Enterprise Plus)

Note: the term ESXi is not exclusively used for the products (=installation method) ESXi Embedded and ESXi Installabale. It is moreover used as name for the smallest (and free) VMware Infrastructure Edition with the name ESXi Single Server - see VMware vSphere 4 Editionen Funktionsunterschiede.

VMware Infrastructure 3

VMware Infrastructure 3 can be installed and used in the following ways:

Product includes Linux
Service Console
Installation Method usable with the following
editions (licenses)
VMware ESX yes Installation-CD-ROM (install on Hard Disk/RAID)
  • VI Foundation
  • VI Standard
  • VI Enterprise
VMware ESXi Embedded no mostly integrated in a flash storage
  • free ESXi license
  • VI Foundation
  • VI Standard
  • VI Enterprise
VMware ESXi Installable no Installation-CD-ROM (install on Hard Disk/RAID)
  • free ESXi license
  • VI Foundation
  • VI Standard
  • VI Enterprise

Note: the term ESXi is not exclusively used for the products (=installation method) ESXi Embedded and ESXi Installabale. It is moreover used as name for the smallest (and free) VMware Infrastructure Edition with the name ESXi Single Server - see VMware Infrastructure 3 Editionen Funktionsunterschiede.

Details to the differences between ESX and ESXi can be found in the following VMware Knowledge Base articles:

References

  1. http://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere4/doc/vsp_esxi41_vc41_rel_notes.html#featureplatformnotice


Foto Werner Fischer.jpg

Author: Werner Fischer

Werner Fischer, working in the Web Operations & Knowledge Transfer team at Thomas-Krenn, completed his studies of Computer and Media Security at FH Hagenberg in Austria. He is a regular speaker at many conferences like LinuxTag, OSMC, OSDC, LinuxCon, and author for various IT magazines. In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano and training for a good result at the annual Linz marathon relay.


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