Hi folks, if you haven’t already heard the exciting news, VMWare is going to be offering their ESXi product for free starting July 28th! This is obviously being done to compete with Microsoft’s Hyper-V. This is great news in my opinion as it will really foster great competition between the two products and can only result in both companies putting out better products for the consumer in the long run. You can read more about it here in eWeek’s article.
One of the questions I’ve received is what is ESXi 3.5 and how does it differ from VMWare’s other product ESX 3.5? The major difference is that ESXi 3.5 has a small footprint of only 32MB and it doesn’t have a service console like ESX 3.5 has. This means that a lot of agents (like backup agents) that rely on the service console to run will not work with ESXi 3.5. However as the product matures we will see more and more support for it. In the meantime you can still run backups as you normally would on a physical server.
Here is a link to a knowledge base article at VMWare that also explains some of the features that are not present in ESXi 3.5.