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TitaniumWorm
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi Production Environment Question

Hi All,

Soon I will be replacing our old SQL, File Server and Exchange server on to new hardware. Altough I would love to be able to buy a nice shared storage device but Im working to quite a tight budget and just dont have the funds available to purchase this.

I plan to buy a couple of well spec'd HP DL380 servers, install the free version of ESXi on to the hadrware and run the above services as virtual machines on the local hardware. The machines will not have a high workload and only servicing around 100 users.

I've only ever run the free version of ESXi for test machines and never in a live production environment. Is the free ESXi version suitable for a production environment?

Sorry if this is a little vague, just wanted to get the opinion from the community wether people tend to stick with this version just for test environments. Hopefully this will then give us more flexibilty that installing a Windows OS onto dedicated hardware but also help should we ever upgrade to shared storage in the future.

Many Thanks

Chris

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JorgeNCP
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hey Chris.

The ESXi is stable and good for a production environment.

The only down-side is that you won't be using a lot of key functions that make VMware what it is (vCenter, HA, vMotion, etc.)

I encourage you to check out the VMware vSphere Essential products for small enterprises at http://www.vmware.com/vmwarestore/vsphere_smbpurchaseoptions.html

My regards,

Jorge G.

AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Welcome to the community.

Note that ESXi is the hypervisor layer and is good enough.

There are a free version (free hypervisor) and some "commercial" editions with more features.

But the "engine" is the same.

Andrew | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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TitaniumWorm
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks very much guys. Would you install the ESXi footprint onto a certified SD card rather than to the local disks to provide extra space?

I have checked the HP DL380 G7 server is certified for ESXi 5.

Also would you recommend actually purchasing a copy of ESXi even though we do not have shared storage and will be running everything locally. Are there benefits to this?

Thanks for your help

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

During the installation you can specify a SD or USB flash memory.

I suggest at least a 1 GB flash.

More than 2 GB is not necessary.

Andrew | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro