First of all Im a noob when it comes to Vsphere so understand that... Moving on.
I have been working with VMWare workstation for some time and while it has served my purposes I was interested in trying out ESX. I loaded up Vsphere through VMware to test before installing directly on the server but have a few questions.
Using VMware Workstation I have to load up XP or Win7 then load workstation on top of it. This is in turn pulling away resources from what could be used by VM's.
So far what I have found is by installing VSphere I need to have more than 1 server dedicated to this setup. Vsphere Server has to be installed on a windows system and then ESX 4 would be on the main box.
I hope i have understood this Vsphere setup correctly.
My questions is: Is it absolutely necessary to have two machines to run VSphere?
You need a host machine to hold your Virtual machines and you need a Windows management pc to run the vSphere client. I would run through some of the free on-line training
Its recommended that you use more than one Physical Server to install and configure ESX so that you can use all the features(High Availability, DRS,FT) to improve performance and provide redundancy however its not mandatory.
You may install VMware ESX 4.x on one Physical server and then create Virtual Machines on them i.e. Guest Operating Systems. In order to manage the virtual infrastructure you would have to use a Windows P.C and install vSphere Client to connect to the ESX host with 4.x installed or if you have installed vCenter Server connect to the vCenter server.
Installing VMware ESX 4.x would provide basic functionalities, if you dont have more than two ESX server then installing the vCenter server is not required. Install vSphere client on one of the Windows PC and install VMware ESX 4.x on the physical box and you should be good to go.
Yes, it’s strongly recommended that you go through the training provided in the previous post.
Hope this information is helpful.
Moved to the VMware vSphere Install and Upgrade forum (the Help forum is for Forum Help not VMware Help).
Edward L. Haletky VMware Communities User Moderator, VMware vExpert 2009, 2010