msemon1
Expert
Expert

ESX vs ESXi

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The recent announcment of no further development for ESX 4 after 4.1 has thrown a wrench in our upgrade plans. We have rolled out vCenter 4.0 u 1

and upgraded half of our hosts to ESX 4.0. Wondering now if we should halt our upgrades and create a 4.1 build for ESXi 4.1. I hate to have to touch these hosts twice to rebuild since ESXi is the future. This raises other issues since vCenter needs to be upgraded to 4.1 as well. Hoping to salvage part of my automated build since I went to the trouble of creating a ks.cfg file. I don't like the way VMware handled the upgrade /update path. It has left us and others in the lurch. I know support for ESX for 4 will be around for awhile but hate to upgrade to something that is already been marked for obsolescence.

What are other's doing?

Mike

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Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

for those not used to using ESXi, such as us, it's a bit of a learning curve especially with no more COS. With that said, the functionality of the product is the same, because at the core it's the same hypervisor.

Yes, the next major release will not have an offering for classic ESX, but when that is, who knows. Plus, I don't foresee VMware stopping support for classic ESX even after the next major release.

For us, to prepare for the eventual switch over we have all our lab boxes setup with ESXi4.1. We're building new kickstarts and testing the scripted build process. Once we are comfortable, probably within the next 3 months, we'll start rolling 1 box to ESXi for our production clusters.

Also, here's a pretty good blog that talks about building your ESXi Hosts

http://technodrone.blogspot.com/2010/04/deploy-esxi-v10-my-esxi-script-0-mania.html

Hope this helps a bit. Remember you're not the only one in the transition period.

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Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

for those not used to using ESXi, such as us, it's a bit of a learning curve especially with no more COS. With that said, the functionality of the product is the same, because at the core it's the same hypervisor.

Yes, the next major release will not have an offering for classic ESX, but when that is, who knows. Plus, I don't foresee VMware stopping support for classic ESX even after the next major release.

For us, to prepare for the eventual switch over we have all our lab boxes setup with ESXi4.1. We're building new kickstarts and testing the scripted build process. Once we are comfortable, probably within the next 3 months, we'll start rolling 1 box to ESXi for our production clusters.

Also, here's a pretty good blog that talks about building your ESXi Hosts

http://technodrone.blogspot.com/2010/04/deploy-esxi-v10-my-esxi-script-0-mania.html

Hope this helps a bit. Remember you're not the only one in the transition period.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

I wouldn't rush things either. If ESXi weren't in the picture would you rush to get VC 4.1 into production? I would hazard a guess that you're more concerned with stability than running the latest version. If you plan to add new host then I would look at deploying ESXi (4.0 or 4.1) but it's better to take it easy until you're comfortable with the changes. As mentioned the feature set is the same so you can run a mixed environment to provide for a gradual migration.

ESXi 4.1 does include support for kickstart scripts but you'll likely have to make some modifications. If you make extensive configuration changes then you'll need to start to dig into TechSupport Mode for ESXi to see what is available in the console for scripting. The scripting for ESXi has a "firstboot" section which you can use for items such as vSwitch setup, adding storage, adding users, etc but you may not find everything can be done with that which you were doing for ESX. In that case you may have to rely on a post install vCLI or PowerCLI script.




Dave

VMware Communities User Moderator

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ablej
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Yeah I would take your time and ease into the transition to ESXi. I could be quite a while before you see "Classic" ESX go away. We have actually just deployed ESXi 4.0 to 200 host and there was quite a lot of planning that went into it. It's still takes a little use getting use to troublshooting and not having that COS. I also would not rush right into 4.1 just to move to ESXi even though it looks like a great release.






David Strebel

www.cloudabstraction.com

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