ESX Server 3i – Scalable Virtual Machine Harware

Posted on Tuesday 15 July 2008

I really love VMware (who recently had their IPO). I've used their VMware Workstation product for quite a while (I love the snapshoting and branching features), I just started using VMware Fusion on my Mac at home, and I'm evaluating their VMware Server products for some of JKI's office servers (such as our daily build machine). That's why I was very excited to hear the announcement that they are coming out with virtual machine hardware. Now, you're probably thinking "What does that mean?". Let me explain...

VMware logo

One of the reasons that I was dragging my feet a little bit about getting started with VMware's server products is that I don't want to purchase and manage a Windows Server installation.  That was going to be yet another responsibility -- upgrading service packs, keeping it virus free, etc.  But, with the new ESX Server 3i, I won't need Windows Server (or any other operating system, for that matter).

VMware is teaming up with hardware vendors (Dell, HP, IBM, etc.) to sell computers that basically have no operating system (no MS Windows, no Linux, etc.) -- they only have a very thin VMware Server operating system (ESX Server 3i) for running virtual machines. Let me just say that this is awesome!


Virtualizing server machines makes total sense. Backups/rollbacks are easy.  Hardware is more fully utilized.  Migration to new hardware is seamless.  There are just so many reasons to do it.

Adding more computational power to ones computing systems should be like adding gasoline into one's car tank.  Right now it's like we let the tank run empty and go buy another car.  That just doesn't make any sense.  VMware's new hardware virtualization platform has the potential to bring cloud computing out of the clouds and into your on-site data centers.

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensatiuon to write this post.  I'm just a huge fan of VMware.

If you’re interested to learn more about VMware be sure to check out the article at ExpressionFlow on setting up Windows XP on VMware Server.

2 Comments for 'ESX Server 3i – Scalable Virtual Machine Harware'

    July 15, 2008 | 9:19 am

    I also tried various Virtual Machines and the one I stuck with was VirtualBox by Sun Microsystems. It is much more cross-platform compatible than VirtualPC and free for the Mac (VMWare is not free for Mac, although it is free for Windows). VirtualPC is not even available on the Mac and I ran into many problems installing Fedora or RedHat Linux into the VIrtualPC for Windows.

    Darryl Phillips
    August 12, 2008 | 1:25 am

    Parallels for Mac works pretty good too -Nice for sandboxing Windows installations to keep them from acquiring viruses from the Web.

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