ESX vs ESXi – Detailed Comparison

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,Cloud & Virtualization

The difference between ESX and ESXi has been a long-prevailing question. ESX is not available anymore but, it is always better to know the difference between the two.

Read on further to dive in deeper into the peculiarities of both and to understand the ESX vs ESXi comparison in detail.

What is ESX?

ESX Server stands abbreviated for Elastic Sky X which is a tool for virtualization at the level of an enterprise. It is a server virtualization platform developed by VMware.


ESX is managed by Service Console which is an operating system that manages the virtualization kernel (VMkernel).

This server is a ‘bare metal’ hypervisor meaning that this software can run directly on being installed in the computer. It does not require any operating system to make it function.

Related – Top VMware Interview Questions

ESX server can manage many virtual machines much efficiently than other products of VMware.

esx vs esxi

VMkernel is Linux based. This kernel tends to minimize the resources in the form of eliminating the need for an operating system to run this software.

The function of this server is to replicate the resources of the physical hardware of the computer into multiple virtual replicas and provide them to the virtual machines for usage.

The memory utilization is over-provided for by this server. Simply said, the memory limits of the virtual machines can easily surpass the actual limit of the physical hardware of the system.

The service console manages all these operations which is the management interface for this server.

The application of the ESX server is in the companies who use this server to make their server hardware more efficient. Another excellent usage is for recovery.

The operating system or applications that run on ESX server can be portable.

Another ecstatic feature is the ease of managing, maintaining, employing and installing specifications due to the uniformity of the hardware of the server.

With such amazing features, it is priced also and apart from that also requires an impressively large server to run it.

What is ESXi?

ESXi stands for Elastic Sky X integrated. It is another server by VMware for enterprises. Service console is eliminated from this virtualization platform.

All the screening and management is done on the VMkernel directly. This integrated version utilizes the Direct Console User Interface for management in place of the service console.

In ESX vs ESXi, the installation of ESXi server is faster than that of the ESX server. The architecture of this server is consistently dependable with having to patch fewer codes. So, it is a small-code based architecture.

esxi vs esx

ESXi creates a virtual layer that dissociates virtually to create multiple duplicates of physical resources of the host like memory, CPU and networking.

It simply means that the applications functioning on the virtual machines can make use of these resources with no need to directly access the actual hardware.

Related – Introduction to vSphere Standard Switch

Intel processors, AMD Opteron processors can easily host ESXi. One ESXi server can host up to 4,096 virtual machines. This is also a secure and reliable server of 144 MB.

Launched in August 2010, ESXi is the successor of ESX.  Though both the hypervisors are same in their functionalities, In ESXi vs ESX, the ESXi stands superior to ESX in terms of management, security and reliability.

ESXi is also a bare-metal hypervisor which just creates a virtual layer between the operating system and hardware.

Through ESXi, hardware use is smartened in the way that it integrates multiple servers on a few physical machines. This reduces the power and space consumption and ultimately the costs.

Comaprison Table: ESX vs ESXi

The detailed comparison on ESX vs ESXi is given below –

Continue Reading:

Xen vs VMware

vMotion Basics


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart