My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
ESX3i for Free
VMWare ESXi (aka ESX 3i) is about to be available free, pricing kicks in 28th July and the attached doc shows an overview of the features in each edition as you step up.
Basic principal is you can start with ESX3i for free (rather than full ESX @$1k), then add licence keys to enable production features like VMotion, HA etc.
It’s useful for dev/PoC projects which could then move to production later on by adding licences but with a reduced upfront cost. It avoids having to use and migrate from the free Windows/Linux version of VMWare Server when moving into a production class system and this gives a further one-up on Microsoft’s Hyper-V release a couple of weeks ago.
You should note that ESX3i is currently a bit more limited than the normal base ESX installation as there is no service console so no ability to install host based HPSIM/backup/etc. agents. That said, it’s been speculated that the next major release of full–blown ESX (4.x) will move to this model as well.
ESX3i is available from some HW manufacturers as embedded boot from flash in specific server models or is a downloadable installer with a small disk footprint (c.32Mb).
I have to wonder if the name change is a bit OTT – VMWare ESXi said fast in an English accent is“VMWaresexy”? 🙂