ericg
Contributor
Contributor

Why use anything but ESXi

Alright, I see the advantages of what VMware is now calling ESXi (beyond it being Free). My question is, why would I want to use the full version of ESX 3x with a Service Console for my fully licensed Hosts managed wiht VirtualCenter?

I mainly manage ESX 3.0.2 with shared storage and Enterprise Licensing. Plus some stand alone ESX 3.0.2 hosts.

Currently, we run the Dell OpenManage in the SC and I dump VM's to local VMFS using VMBK and pick them up with a Veritas Netbackup client in the SC. Other than that, the SC gives our Security team something to whine about without understanding what it is and why their CVE's don't apply - making it impossible to be compliant.

So, what are people doing? Are others looking to migrate away from the SC's on Hosts, provided you can monitor Hardware and get VM's backed up other ways? Any caveates I am not considering? I am preparing to upgrade my production environment from 3.0.2 to 3.5 u2 using new installations. ESXi appears to greatly simplify the Host environment.

I appreciate your feedback!

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12 Replies
nick_couchman
Immortal
Immortal

I like the full version of ESX over ESXi mainly because of the service console. It allows me to install my own backup software, monitoring software, etc., into the VMware environment and keep an eye on my ESX hosts. Although I do use ESXi, I lose a lot of that ability with ESXi due to the severely crippled service console (not to mention the fact that it's "unSupported"). Also, we do most of our monitoring via SNMP, and ESXi does not support SNMP monitoring, so that defeats our ability to monitor health and performance of hosts that run ESXi

Other than those things, ESXi is very nice - I like being able to boot via a USB key, and a free license is always good. The free license comes with the price, though - and VMware would love for that price tag to be the purchase of a VirtualCenter server :-).

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lmonaco
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Monitoring is the biggest roadblock for us not moving to i. Not only do we monitor hardware, but other system events like disk usage.

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amirs
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

See kb.vmware.com/kb/1006543 for differences between ESX and ESXi in some detail.

As stated above, the Service Console does provide certain benefits, but at a cost (aside from price). Because it is a standard Linux environment, it requires frequent patching and has the volnurabilities of a general purpose OS.

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thor918
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

does it support USB connected devices?

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Neither ESX or ESXi support USB devices. If you need a USB device in your VM, then you can add a USB over IP device and give your VM access to the USB device that way.

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thor918
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hmm that was a drawback.

do you think it will be supported in the future?

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lmonaco
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Maybe in a situation where VMotion is not used. VMware's recommendation is to use AnywhereUSB.

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx_anywhereusb2.pdf

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thor918
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

perhaps it not such a bad idea..

a hardware solution would probably move some unnessesary load on the server.

atleast some of the load, as you would require some software on the vmware guest.

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lmonaco
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Yep. I think its more important (for most cases) to maintain that flexibility and compatibility with VMotion, DRS and HA.

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nick_couchman
Immortal
Immortal

Probably not - it defeats the portability of VMs by binding them to a specific host. We use the already mentioned AnywhereUSB product. The downsides to this device are: 1) it is USB 1.1 only, and 2) you cannot connect multiple machines to the AnywhereUSB device concurrently, which means you have to have 1 device per VM that requires a concurrent USB connection.

If anyone else has other suggestion for USB-over-IP devices that support USB 2.0 and that allow you to connect multiple computers to the same device and assign a USB port per connected computer, I'd much appreciate the information!

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mih
Contributor
Contributor

We use a Lantronix Ubx4100. It has 4 ports, and if you connect a usb hub to a port, you can assign each port on the hub to a (different) host. thus you get 16 ports. Im unsure about USB 2.0, we are mainly using it for license dongles. The manual does say USB 2.0. It also seems to be MS Windows only.

PS. Sorry for continuing the derail of the topic Smiley Wink

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balacs
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

See kb.vmware.com/kb/1006543 for differences between ESX and ESXi in some detail.

Here is a document (see appendix) which talks about what you can manage with ESX + OpenManage and ESX: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/software/eslvmwre/EN/VES_3i/Systems%20Management%20Document/PD...

Bala

Dell Inc

Bala Dell Inc
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