oldmetalguy
Contributor
Contributor

new installs, ESX or ESXi, 4.1?

I am right at the point of doing some new ESX installs.

I've read pages and pages of opinions on whether to go with ESX or ESXi 4 and am just plain confused.

What I don't want to do is have to do this again soon (1 or 2 years).

In that same vein, should I wait for 4.1, since it's "Real Soon Now"? This project needs to be done in the next couple of weeks.

What I won't be able to do is suffle vm's around to upgrade them again anytime soon (I have 2 servers, neither have enough horsepower to run all of vm's I have at once.. budget problems)

Tags (2)
0 Kudos
10 Replies
ScottBentley
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

The decision with regard to ESX or ESXi,

ESX can give you the ability to install additional management agents and gives you access to a direct command line interface, however you have a higher attack surface and more maintenence when it comes to patching etc.

ESXi provides all of the features of ESX but without the service console, therefore there is less to patch / manage, you can manage the hosts in a similar way to using the direct console by using vMA and other remote tools.

I think the general consensus is if you currently have a requirement or existing ESX hosts and are familiar with that management method then that may be the correct way to go, otherwise in a greenfield install it may be preferable to go with ESXi

There has been no official announcement as far as I am aware for the availability of 4.1

I hope this helps
RParker
Immortal
Immortal

In addition to what Scott said, ESXi will be the standard in the near future, and there will be no option.

Both are pretty much identical, some programs are limited in functionality with ESXi, but that's a vendor issue not a VM Ware issue. Even though some programs may need to be installed in the console for ESX, it doesn't mean those same vendors won't have options for ESXi to manage that machine.

Adding agents to an ESX host probably is not a great idea, even when those agents are compatible, so either can give you what you need.

vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

Hello.

I am right at the point of doing some new ESX installs.

What are you currently using in your environment? Which hypervisor are you and/or your staff more comfortable working with? Or are you starting from a clean slate? Other things to think about are if you need any agents installed in a service console.

I've read pages and pages of opinions on whether to go with ESX or ESXi 4 and am just plain confused.

If you are just getting started, then ESXi might be the best choice. ESXi is the future of the product. It might make a lot of sense to start with where the product is ultimately heading.

In that same vein, should I wait for 4.1, since it's "Real Soon Now"? This project needs to be done in the next couple of weeks.

This might depend on if you want to be bleeding edge or not. Also, "real soon now" could be a couple of weeks out. If you go with 4.0, you don't have to worry about the timeline for the next version and get to work right away.

Good Luck!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
0 Kudos
oldmetalguy
Contributor
Contributor

I currently have ESX 3.5 U2 boxes, running a combined 19 vm's, with a HP EVA iSCSI back end. (the previous admin didn't care about patching...)

I'm trained 3.5, and have used 4 quite a bit,

Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've not ever needed the service console for any type of emergency. Going with ESXi and not having it doesn't seem that scary to me, but I will admit I've not played with vMA or PowerCLI at all.

Will the Standard and Enterprise licences I have for ESX 4 just work with ESXi as well, or will I need to get 're-licensed'? (I would rather do ANYTHING else than have to call them ever again)

0 Kudos
DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

With a licensed version of vSphere you are free to choose between ESX or ESXi. There is no licensing change.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
0 Kudos
tietzjd25
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Correct.

Go with ESXi and vMA.

Joe Tietz VCAP-DCD Solutions Architect
0 Kudos
DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

In that same vein, should I wait for 4.1, since it's "Real Soon Now"? This project needs to be done in the next couple of weeks.

The knowledgebase now lists 4.1 so real soon might be REAL SOON.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
0 Kudos
Dave_McD
Contributor
Contributor

I would go with ESXi as ESX does not have a long shelf life. If you want this to last I do not see the point of getting ESX now. IF your project needs to be done in the next 2weeks, go with ESXi 4. That way you can fully test it before you deliver the project.

However, you will not get the full functionality of VMware without sufficient redundancy. It would appear to me, without knowing anything about your system or budget, that your highest priority is to get another host so that you can afford to lose or put in maintenance mode any of your hosts.

The host doesn't have to be anything flash as long as it can run enough VMs to allow your remaining host to take the rest of your load. Do you have any servers that are out of warranty that you could use?

0 Kudos
AureusStone
Expert
Expert

With vSphere I would recommend ESXi over ESX, for all the reasons mentioned. Also without a service console your hosts will be consuming less RAM.

0 Kudos
oldmetalguy
Contributor
Contributor

an interesting 24 hours.. Standard now has vMotion (so the marketing fluff says). I have one host that's Standard, the other is Enterprise.

I can now juice the ram on both, and have 2 vmotion capable hosts. (crowd cheering noises)

It looks like it's going to be ESXi and vCenter 4.1.

Thanks everyone for your help

0 Kudos