ESXi is the gold standard for business virtualization
Ashley Davis | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 17, 2020

ESXi is the gold standard for business virtualization

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with VMware ESXi

vSphere ESXi is a hypervisor similar to HyperV or Xen, essentially a platform for running many virtual servers on one hardware server or cluster. Primarily it allows you to build out one hardware server on which you virtualize your application and/or role servers. It provides a layer of abstraction between the hardware itself and the application layer that gives you the ability to allocate and reallocate hardware resources and perform actions like cold reboots without having access to a power button or cable.
  • Easy to install.
  • Very powerful.
  • Very picky about what hardware it will install on.
  • Many features locked behind advanced licenses and/or additional products (like vCenter).
  • Purchase one new piece of hardware while still allowing services to run independently.
  • Expansive support as a resource for your IT department to tap into to save time on repairs.
vSphere has been in the virtualization game for a long time. It's hard to overlook this fact as you compare ESXi to Microsoft's less robust HyperV, Proxmox's immaturity and lack of polish. VMware has made clear that virtualization is its blood and has done a lot to push innovation that has made other solutions better. Ultimately, HyperV is the most similar solution, but its licensing can be frustrating and confusing, and its management tools are less robust. Proxmox has a very similar feature set as ESXi, but can be difficult to navigate and has limited support.
There's little negative to say about VMware support. Generally speaking, no working knowledge of ESXi is required when working with a support tech, they can handle resolving almost any request from start to finish as long as you have the ability to log into the web client.

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All in all, vSphere ESXi is almost always the best solution for virtualization. Hobbyists and homelabbers will appreciate the ability to learn core features at no cost. Small businesses will benefit from consolidating hardware into one server where their domain controller, SQL server, file server, etc. can all still run independently. Medium to large businesses will find a lot of security in scalability and clustering.

VMware ESXi Feature Ratings

Virtual machine automated provisioning
Management console
Live virtual machine backup
Live virtual machine migration
Hypervisor-level security