Tuesday, July 29, 2008

VMware ESXi Now Free

Breaking News: VMware ESXi Hypervisor is now available for free.

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 28, 2008 – VMware, Inc., (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today announced its stand-alone ESXi hypervisor will be available at no cost to help companies of all sizes experience the benefits of virtualization. Since 2001, VMware has provided the industry’s most popular and reliable hypervisor, which is now used by more than 120,000 customers. In December 2007, VMware announced significant improvements with ESXi – its third-generation stand-alone hypervisor. With the industry’s smallest footprint and OS-independence, ESXi sets a new bar for security and reliability. ESXi 3.5 update 2, available today, meets the criteria for mass distribution: (1) ease of use and (2) maturity and stability now having been ‘battle tested’ for six months with customers. The leading server manufacturers have all embedded VMware ESXi, including Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM, and NEC. ESXi can be downloaded now from www.vmware.com/products/esxi/

Raghu Raghuram, vice president of products and solutions for VMware, said "There are no strings attached. You can just get ESXi and use it, and we don't require you to say you have to move up to Windows 2008 or introduce a new operating system in your data center to get to virtualization. Hypervisors, at the end of the day, are just enabling technologies … but customers want full solutions and they want the benefits of what they can build on top of the hypervisor. The customers who want to do those things buy our Virtual Infrastructure, which helps them build on top of the hypervisor."

So, basically, VMware ESXi is very similar to the Hyper-V Hypervisor that Microsoft now sells, however it doesn't require you to buy a license for Windows Server 2008 to be able to install it - VMware ESXi runs on bare metal whereas Hyper-V runs on Windows Server 2008 Core (or a full OS install). VMware ESXi is a lightweight, fully functional Hypervisor with a 32 MB footprint.

Also Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager (US$499, no Australian pricing available I can find, but with the "let's shaft our clients with pricing" attitude Microsoft Australia has, likely to be over AU$1200) should be able to manage the Virtual Machines running under a VMware ESXi Hypervisor - so if you have VMware ESXi and Hyper-V throughout your organization, the one tool can be used to manage all of your virtual environments.


The Outspoken Wookie

1 comment:

Peter Carter said...

What is *NOT* being said is it is free to use, if you can actually use it. I have 25 machines at my disposal, mostly HP/Compaq, and none seem to be able to find any compatible storage.

Best I can see, they could have at least supported a generic IDE so most bios SATA would work.

I gave up running VMWare beceause it was getting too much patching for linux. I thought that's what this was supposed to cure. Oh well.

I have resorted to xVM (Sun) and have been impressed with the performance. What it lacks in maturity, it gains in direct iSCSI support; I don't use local storage anymore.