VMWare ESXi - King of the Hypervisors
March 24, 2022

VMWare ESXi - King of the Hypervisors

Chris Funk | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi with vCenter Server is how my entire server rack runs. 99% of my servers are all virtual, all running on VMware ESXi. Those 20 servers are running on 3 hosts in a cluster to maximize their fault tolerance and high availability in the event of a host failure. Over the years, I have added a myriad of Linux servers on the fly. Some Linux servers are testbeds for new systems or research into different open source systems our organization could benefit from. Others are things like intranet web servers for internal communications, database servers, or instant messaging systems. It truly gives me the flexibility to add new services as needed in my environment. My servers also run better as I move to newer hosts as I can increase memory, number of processors, and storage when needed (and when physically available on the hosts.)
  • Scalability
  • Fault tolerance resilience.
  • Centralized management.
  • Host network hardware configuration.
  • Physical-to-Virtual conversion can be tricky.
  • Some of the back-end configurations are exceptionally tricky to learn.
  • Software licensing costs can be expensive across years.
  • Hardware costs are high, but less than several physical servers.
  • vMotion and fault tolerance/high availability can save you money and time if something fails with little to zero downtime.
As long as you're using Nutanix AOS on Nutanix hardware and are paying their software support fees, AOS is a valid competitor to VMware and can save money due to not needing a license and having their server management system built into the base host management system. If you aren't using Nutanix hardware, however, VMWare is in most cases the best way to go. I cannot comment on HyperV, but most IT people I know either use it because they have to (most) or they like it better (not many).

Do you think VMware ESXi delivers good value for the price?


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Did VMware ESXi live up to sales and marketing promises?


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Ubuntu Linux, WordPress, Veeam Backup & Replication
If you're looking for basic virtual servers that you can buy one larger server to run 5+ smaller servers on, the basic VMware ESXi license is free to use. Also good if you're testing how to create virtual servers or test a new environment. On the negative side, to use features like clustering and fault tolerance, you need a higher level license above their base "free" VMware ESXi license and the need for their vCenter Server to maintain it. That can carry a hefty annual software/support maintenance bill every year.

On the professional end, racks of individual servers reduced to a few physical hosts save space, power consumption, and financial resources. The hosts may need to be a bit more powerful than the individual servers, so one host will cost more, but a single host will cost less than replacing 5 single servers. Even if you plan a cluster, which will cost physical raw hard drive storage space like a RAID will, the cost over replacing 5 individual physical servers still comes out cheaper. If you can justify the lower cost for the physical hardware and plan to use the money unspent there to help pay for the upper level license costs, you are good to go.

VMware ESXi Feature Ratings

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