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I agree on that these SDKs provide similar functionality. The might have some (dis-)advantages concerning usability and programming (dis-)likes.
Concerning the question according to ESX: VimSDK gives you access to both, functionality provided by ESX and provided by vCenter. It is the same SOAP based interface.
Connecting to an ESX will give you access to functionality provided by ESX, which is less functionality than found on vCenter. A single ESC does f.e. not provide Cluster or Clone functionality, but vCenter does.
You are absolutely right in saying that both vSphere SDK and vSphere Web Services SDK depend on vSphere API.
Just to clear out your confusion, both vSphere SDK and vSphere Web Services SDK are logically same, there's no difference between them.
vSphere SDK uses Web Services as the underlying technology/channel to manage the whole virtual infrastructure.This management is achieved by using vSphere APIs,formerly called VI APIs, which are exposed as web services, running on each ESX system.
For better understanding of vSphere Web Services SDK, refer to the readme html doc shipped with the SDK package.
Hope this will help to clear out your confusion!
Clone VM is possible only through vCenter by using VI sdk.
is there any other task which is supported on ESX but not throug h vCenter?
we have noticed that CreteDisk/delete disk is failing when we are running through vCenter
There is one more quesition I have about what is the difference between VI and VIX ?
Do we have any list of function where I can get what is supported and what is not?
CloneVM_Task API and CreateVirtualDisk_Task API are only available on vCenter Server.Cloning is a process which can be done via vCenter only.
You can refer to the list in vSphere Basic admin guide, where it is mentioned which all managed objects are available on ESX and which all are on both ESX and VC. Refer http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_admin_guide.pdf, appendix section.