Not great for the basics
July 19, 2019

Not great for the basics

Christian Shaheen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with VMware ESXi

ESXi is being used primarily as a GPU server and as a remote desktop server with the Horizon system. This allows the entire company to have individual desktops wherever they are in the world. It eliminates our data security concerns with traveling employees as all our company data is in the office with the virtual desktops and the user just logs into the desktop/information. The GPU passthrough is used to add extra power for some employees (engineers) with extra demands. ESXi allows for consumer Nvidia cards to be used, saving cost.
  • GPU Passthrough.
  • Remote Desktop Server.
  • Web interface.
  • File transfering.
  • Resource utilization.
  • Lower cost for GPU passthrough.
  • ESXi standalone is free.
  • Improved resource utilization (hypervisors in general).
ESXi has more of the advanced features that Hyper-V doesn't, like simple PCI passthrough and CPU ID masking. However, Hyper-V is a much better hypervisor at the fundamental level. The main reason I say this is Hyper-V's far superior dynamic RAM support. It wouldn't be crazy to say I can fit two times more general-purpose VMs on a Hyper-V install than an ESXi install of the same hardware.
VMware ESXi is well suited for any situation involving PCI passthrough and ESXi is generally my go-to then KVM as a backup. ESXi is also one of my top picks for remote desktop services (Horizon) along with Windows Server.

For any situation involving general-purpose VMs, I would recommend steering clear of ESXi. I will preface this by saying I haven't used their vSAN feature and that may have an impact. For me, the difficulty and expense to license ESXi along with the poor resource management and (to a lesser extent) the buggy web interface make it a deal-breaker. There are other better options such as Hyper-V.

VMware ESXi Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
Not Rated
Management console
Live virtual machine backup
Live virtual machine migration
Hypervisor-level security
Not Rated