VMware vSphere Hypervisor is a nifty product that provides a straightforward way to dive with virtualization at no cost.
vSphere Hypervisor offers only basic virtualization capabilities, allowing clients to virtualize servers and run applications on virtual machines in just minutes. vSphere Hypervisor cannot relate to the vCenter Server and therefore cannot be managed centrally.
Users can remotely manage individual vSphere Hypervisor hosts using the vSphere client.
Also, there are no limitations on the number of cores per physical processor, physical processors per host, and RAM per server/host. The maximum vCPU per virtual machine is eight.
ESXi is the world's leading bare metal supervisor, created and provided by VMware. A hypervisor is an operating system that enables you to run multiple servers, known as virtual machines, on a single physical server.
We use bare metal because ESXi is installed directly on physical hardware rather than an application on an existing operating system.
VMware ESXi is a component of many in the VMware vSphere package, which contains other software, such as vCenter Server, for managing multiple ESXi servers.
VMware ESXi is also known as vSphere Hypervisor, emphasizing that it is part of the vSphere product suite.
Looking at the chart above, two key features that limit its use in a production environment are missing: support and central management.
Support Support is the most significant difference between the free and paid versions. What is not shown in this table are the support levels, and VMware provides different levels of service-level contracts, from budget-conscious to luxury.
Central management. The free version of ESXi is perfect for developing and testing small groups of applications for development purposes. However, this does not allow central control.
This service is called vCenter Server within the paid version – it facilitates daily administration, monitoring, and patching.
Due to the free version's limitations from a support and management perspective, it is not recommended in production environments. But there are some excellent uses for the free ESXi, including testing, disaster recovery, and personal development.
Test drive products with VMware
The free VMware ESXi is perfect for testing VMware products such as vSAN, NSX, and vRealize bundles. They have permission to evaluate ESXi for this very reason. If you own the proper hardware, you can install ESXi on top of ESXi as a virtual machine to examine diverse ESXi versions in your lab environment before using them in production.
Professional development with VMware
Another great case of the VMware free version is for professional development and training. Use the free version to learn how to install and configure ESXi and manage your virtual machines. You may want to try the latest Windows Server or Windows version – and you can do all this for free with ESXi.
Disaster recovery on ESXi free hosts
Finally, you can run virtual disaster recovery machines from ESXi-free hosts. Remember that the free level has no support or central management, however. If you run a small business with a small budget, it is better to make a backup than not have a secure network.