Contributor
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planning a esx enviroment

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Hello,

I have a dell 2950 dual proc with 8 GB of ram. I am planning to deploy this server with ESX 3.0.2 or 3.5. How should I proceed with this and do I need a Virtual Center Server? We purchase infrastructure 3 standard. Any comment or advice would be grateful.

Thanks...

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You can manage ESX without VirtualCenter. You'll basically install ESX onto the host and assign an IP address to it. Then from a client PC (Windows required) you'll go to the IP address with a web browser and you'll be able download the Virtual Infrastructure client. Once you have that installed, you'll be able to connect back to the host with the VI client (using the root password you set during the install) to further configure your host.

If you only plan to have one host for now, then ESX on it's own will be fine. If you plan for 2 or 3 hosts, then VMware has some software bundles that includes 3 host and VirtualCenter.

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You can manage ESX without VirtualCenter. You'll basically install ESX onto the host and assign an IP address to it. Then from a client PC (Windows required) you'll go to the IP address with a web browser and you'll be able download the Virtual Infrastructure client. Once you have that installed, you'll be able to connect back to the host with the VI client (using the root password you set during the install) to further configure your host.

If you only plan to have one host for now, then ESX on it's own will be fine. If you plan for 2 or 3 hosts, then VMware has some software bundles that includes 3 host and VirtualCenter.

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

You do not need to get VC, although I will admit i greatly prefer to connect via VC rather than the web interface. For a single ESX server, however, I doubt you need to pay to use VC. I think that with your current config, and only 8GB of RAM, unless your VM's are relatively small that will be your most limiting factor.

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Contributor
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what is the risk running on one esx host and not using Virtual Center?

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

No real risk. If you plan on having more than one ESX server in the near future, then you will want to go with VC. The database stores all of the settings, and such, for not just a single ESX server, but the entire cluster, as well as HA and DRS options. For a single ESX server, it would just mainly give you am easier to use interface.

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VC makes management easier (you can for example integrate permission with AD) and it is required for features like Vmotion, DRS and High Availability. These 3 features also require shared storage and more than one host. Regardless of whether you run VC or not you'll still need to figure out how you'll do backup and recovery. Starting out that'll be more important than the ease of management that VC provides.