Management Services and Service Console VMware ESX Vs ESXi – What is ESXi and ESX?

[Question] What is ESXi and ESX? Difference between ESX and ESXi. VMware ESX Vs ESXi. [The best Answer] Both ESX and ESXi are bare-metal hypervisors of VMware and work as industrial production-proven in small scale to large scale. The market of these leading hypervisors going down todays. This is because of their operational expenses, improve the security and intensify the work power of virtual IT operation and infrastructures. In this post we are going to brief explain VMware ESX and ESXi and the difference between ESX and ESXi. In this post you will get 12 basic and useful difference between VMware ESX and ESXi. That will help you in selection of best hypervisors for VMware Workstation.

ESX is an earlier OS independent and thin architecture hypervisors. But ESXi is latest OS independent hypervisors that is more advance with thinnest architecture. Both perform very well. It is difficult to say which one is the best. But it’s also true that they can be explain on the basis of some technical differences and needed IT infrastructure. It’s your choice which one suit you.

Difference between VMware ESX and ESXi

VMware ESX Vs ESXi

The full form of ESX is Elastic Sky X. A Linux-based service console manage the VMFS file of the ESX. Its Management Services and Service Console system provide full rights to the users. In service console they are free to run drivers, Linux codes, agents and applications. The Management Services and Service Console manage the hardware and perform as a management interface to monitor hypervisor.

VMware ESX Architecture Vs VMware ESXi Architecture 1

The full form of ESXi is Electric Sky X integrated. The ESXi does not support any such Management services and service console. ESXi can’t access by any SSH. ESXi can be only manage with the help of DCUI.

The Best Management Services for ESX and ESXi :


ESX and ESXi and be managed with the help of following services. Here is 12 basic differences between VMware ESX and ESXi.

1. CLI Management

You can use APIs to manage ESXi. With the help of vCLI (Full form = vSphere command-line interface) and Power CLI we can monitor and host management. To troubleshoot the ESXi and control fault, you can remotely operate these agent-less command lines. I’m sure the response will be positive. It’s more possible the functionality and services provided in both commands are same as shell commands do in service console. The vCLI also can manage and configure to ESX.

You’ll need at least one of the license either vSphere standard, vSphere enterprise editions or vSphere essentials to fully use the functionally of vCLI.

2. The Basic Ultra-thin Architecture

The ESXi covered very less memory 32MB only as footprint after removed comparatively 2GB memory footprint of ESX. It means ESXi can perform more faster and reduce the booting time than ESX with a lowest memory overhead. With a pack of smaller code base, ESXi makes the shield of code more safe.

vmware esx vs esxi comparison

3. Secure Serial Cable Link

Through a serial cable you can connect and communicate with ESX hosts in VMware ESX but there is no such facilities provided in VMware ESXi.

4. Special Hardware Embedded

You don’t need to install ESXi on the any storage device. Using thin-architecture technology it can be directly embedded in servers. Its compact size make it possible to be stored and installed on any types of removable drive. After complete instillation it can also booted from there. In other side ESX supports booting from SAN but ESXi doesn’t support SAN booting.

5. Easy Hardware Monitoring

After opened the hypervisor console the health status can be easily found under the configuration heading in VMware ESXi. In ESXi you can see and monitor the live status of total hardware parts inside the health status feature like processors version, memory capacity, RAID controllers, Added Power supply, etc. It helps administrators to monitor any doubtful behavior of the component. So, they can take action before preventive measure promptly. Unfortunately this feature is not available in VMware ESX.

6. Active Directory Users

With the help of service console you can install any 3rd party software which help you in authentication of windows active directory. But VMware ESXi doesn’t support the integration of active directory.

7. Fast Troubleshooting methods

There a few limited method only to diagnose and troubleshoot entire problems in VMware ESX. You can troubleshoot the VMware ESX’s problem only by the service console. But it’s opposite in VMware ESXi, here are many ways to resolve the ESXi’s problem. To diagnose the problems in the VMware ESXi you can use these two remote commands vmkfstools and VMware-cmd. Here is also a management agents restart option to repair the system through DCUI console. With the help of Tech-support mode you can carry the advanced diagnostics in VMware ESXi.

8. Easy VSphere Web Access : ESX Vs ESXi

You can easily install the VSphere client in ESXi and enjoy the management capabilities but in VMware ESX has only experimental level VSphere limited access.

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9. Software updates and Patches Deploymentv : ESX Vs ESXi

The patches and latest updates of Software are dependent, means can’t applied automatically in VMware ESX. To successfully apply the new software updates and patches in ESX console you’ll need to repeatedly reboot VMware ESX. In other side there is no need any earlier version patches in the ESXi. It has similar to firmware update option. Also there is no need of VMware ESXi base components to update any 3rd party components.

10. Super Locked-down Mode : ESX Vs ESXi

VMware ESXi has Locked-down mode vital security features. It can be used to protect and restrict the access of remote users to the Host. The Lock-down security mode is not available in VM ESX.

How to set Locked down Mode in VMware

11. Auto Deployment Time Saver

Both VMware ESX and ESXi takes much time during installation but you can make this installation more faster with launching of VMware VSphere5 with the inbuilt feature of Auto Deploy. This auto deploy feature can automate to both ESXi installation and host configuration. Unfortunately no such features are available for ESX.

12. Easy Image Customization

You can customize the already created ESXi images with the help of ESXi-Customizer. The new drivers and add-ons can also be added to ESXi image which are already created. But once more it is not possible with ESX images.

OK, you have learned a brief explanation of VMware ESX and ESXi, architectural and theoretical difference between VMware ESX and ESXi. It can help you in your job interview. And will increase your virtualization knowledge if your are a System administrator. This knowledge is also useful in selection of best hypervisor software for your company. You should try the free evaluation versions of both ESX and ESXi.

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