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Introducing VMware vSphere Hypervisor 4.1 – the free edition of VMware vSphere 4.1

In addition to the general
availability
of VMware vSphere 4.1, today we also announced a new name for its
free edition: VMware vSphere Hypervisor. VMware vSphere Hypervisor isn’t something
new, but simply the new name of our freely downloadable product formerly known
as VMware ESXi Single Server or “free ESXi” (often abbreviated to simply
“VMware ESXi”). Just like its predecessor, VMware vSphere Hypervisor is free
and provides basic server portioning for server consolidation.

Why the name change?
As the volume of downloads indicates, since its initial availability “Free
ESXi” (I should say VMware vSphere Hypervisor) has been an extremely popular way
for companies to get started with virtualization. Unfortunately, though, its
name – especially in its more commonly used abbreviated versions, “VMware ESXi”
or “free ESXi” – has become source of confusion and misinterpretations of
actual capabilities. In an effort to improve the situation, we decided to
introduce the new name, VMware vSphere Hypervisor, which we believe better
describes the nature of the product and how it relates to the other vSphere
editions.

Where can you learn
more about VMware vSphere Hypervisor?

To learn more details about the product, you can visit the VMware
vSphere Hypervisor
webpage or join the new VMware
vSphere Hypervisor community
. From the webpage you will also be able to access
the download portal and find an answer to commonly asked questions.

What is the difference
between VMware vSphere Hypervisor and other editions of VMware vSphere?

There are three main differences:

1.       VMware
vSphere Hypervisor is the only free edition of VMware vSphere

2.       VMware
vSphere Hypervisor provides only the hypervisor capabilities of VMware vSphere,
enabling customers to run multiple virtual machines on a single vSphere host and
to experience the benefits of server consolidation at no cost

3.       VMware
vSphere Hypervisor is only based on the ESXi hypervisor architecture. On the
other hand, customers who purchase any of the VMware vSphere paid edition can
still choose to deploy vSphere with either the ESX or ESXi hypervisor
architecture.

What are VMware ESX
and ESXi and how are they different from vSphere?

VMware ESX and ESXi are two alternative architectures that customers can
choose when deploying the paid editions of VMware vSphere. VMware ESX and
VMware ESXi are both bare-metal hypervisors hypervisor architectures that
install directly on the server hardware. Both provide industry-leading performance
and scalability; the difference between the two resides in the architecture
components and the operational management. The functionality and performance of
VMware ESXi and ESX hypervisors are the same; the difference between the two
hypervisors resides in their architecture and operational management. VMware
ESXi is the latest hypervisor architecture from VMware and as of the vSphere
4.1 release, VMware’s recommended best practice when deploying VMware vSphere. To
learn more about the benefits of the ESXi architecture and the differences with
ESX, visit the VMware
ESXi and ESX Info Center

What’s new with VMware
vSphere Hypervisor 4.1?


As mentioned previously, VMware vSphere Hypervisor is based on the VMware ESXi
hypervisor architecture and as such it inherits all the new capabilities that
VMware introduced with the 4.1 release of ESX. To learn more about them check
out the blog post “It’s
here! The latest version of ESXi”

90 thoughts on “Introducing VMware vSphere Hypervisor 4.1 – the free edition of VMware vSphere 4.1

  1. Paul the Computer Tech

    Thanks for releasing this as a free product, I’m still a little bit lost as to the difference between the free and paid versions – perhaps a comparison chart should be made with all the differences.

  2. Rich Obrecht

    I had a demo of ESXi, which has expired. I would like to use the HyperVisor, but I can’t seem to find out how I “license” my running copy. Can anyone assist?

  3. John Ericsson

    As others had said, this is simply a “60 day trial”. There is no mechanism to extend this period without paying for a license.

  4. Gene Buckle

    I take it you missed the “where and how can I license this software” part? I know I have to pay for it, that goes without saying. What I want to know… well never mind. I’ll just call VMware and ask them instead of waiting for someone else with poor reading comprehension skills.

  5. Alberto Farronato

    vSphere Hypervisor is not a 60 days trial, but a fully licensed product. It shouldn’t be confused with a 60 days trial of vSphere. In fact, you can think of vSphere Hypervisor as the free version of vSphere that provides only the hypervisor capabilities of vSphere. Once installed you can use the vSphere Hypervisor with no time restrictions. To download vSphere Hypervisor you can use the “download” link at http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/
    Once you are registered (you can use an existing VMware account if you have one) I recommend you leverage VMware GO to complete the installation process. VMware GO is a web based service that will guide you through the installation and automatically execute hardware compatibility checks. Makes it really simple and also provide other useful management features.

  6. DaveG

    Got Hypervisor up and running. Great stuff. Prefer to use a linux machine (rather than Windows) to manage it but while there’s a link on the server’s webpage to “D/L the linux installer”, the page it points to is most confusing.
    Is there a linux vSphere Client? and if so can someone please post a direct D/L link?
    Many Thanks
    DaveG

  7. MaartenC

    hi all,
    I’m using VMware server for a moment now and I want to install the vSphere Hypervisor on a new machine. As I’m a very small independent beside my work, I want to build a low cost server with the Atom processors. But I can find nowhere a good list of compatible hardware. The basic config I wanted to use is an intel Atom D525 (as it has no VT-x and VT-d technologie support, is it a good idea?), 4GB of ram and 2×2 tera of disk space (as I want to install the vSphere on an USB stick).
    I don’t need the best perfomances (as it is for test environment, one DB server, one Web hosting server and one application server and maybe one for windows) it’s why I want to build one with (very) low electric use.
    Thanks,
    Maarten

  8. James

    At the moment I have two server running on different hardware, both back up to a external Hard Drive.
    I’m looking to implement ESXi and run the two server as VM. Would I still be able to back up the data from each of the servers or would I only have the option to back up the VM Servers? Or both? Thanks

  9. Silent-PC

    How muche Cores and CPUs are supported by (VMware vSphere Hypervisor) ESXi 4.1 Update 1 free Version?
    How much RAM are supportet by (VMware vSphere Hypervisor) ESXi 4.1 Update 1 free Version?

  10. Silent-PC

    Does (VMware vSphere Hypervisor) ESXi 4.1 Update 1 free Version Support any Backup options?

  11. me

    I was told “Esxi Free edition will no allow us to make a image of your system and then bring it up on any hardware, it has to be brought back up on the same hardware” is this true?

  12. PC-Bjørn

    Nobody knows how to backup?
    Can I install as many hypervisors on as many physical machines as I want for free? The more free versions installed, the higher the chance that we might need premium features and upgrade to paid versions, you know..

  13. Rogerio Pinho

    How much Cores and CPUs are supported by (VMware vSphere Hypervisor) ESXi 4.1 Update 1 free Version?

  14. Sam

    That was very enlightening as to the differences NOT. All I got from that is that VMware vsphere hypervisor is not VMWare vsphere. As to the naming scheme- still very confusing.

  15. Cris Mooney

    I second the comments by Klaus Vordermann and Matty: Alberto Farronato did little to help here. I think neither he, nor VMWare, know the differences – maybe the company is too big and lost in its own forest.
    They insist on using the name ESXi to “[un]define”, even after saying the name is dead.
    “ESXi is the latest hypervisor architecture”. So, tack “Hypervisor” onto VMWare vSphere” and that makes it “not”. What it is “not”, except “not” the “old” ESX way, I have no idea.
    CPUs? memory? Platforms? Bells? Whistles? We may never know.
    From what I can gather “hypervisor” means get the best new stuff and “not” pay – I opt for “not”.

  16. Rad

    You guys are doing great job , but the naming is always confusing. I think you will need to think deeply of a better way of naming your products , Even when I talk with friends I found them also have the same problem with your products.
    They may be talking about ESXI while I talk about something else

  17. lukash

    hello,
    I would like to ask you if I can use VMware vSphere Hypervisorfor (free) in production environment ?

  18. ilyes

    how can i activate my esxi hypervisor 5. i can’t find where to put the licence that i get from the website.

  19. xpmt626

    For those that are struggling with the differences…
    ESX is a linux box that allows you to manage the system from a linux prompt/menu system. If you are savvy with Linux, you can actually add application to your system at the base level.
    ESXi is a hardened linux box that you cannot access or modify. The whole box is managed via a web page.
    ESXi free edition allows you to build virtual machines up to the limit of your hardware. There is no cost and it can be used in a production environment. Features are limited, such as: High Availability and Vmotion are not included.

  20. alex

    lukash, yes you can do, however as youll discover this is quite crippled, due to the max mem/cpou usage + withoiut having paid any money youll not be able to use vcentre, which is the think that enables your failovers and fancy switches and much more.

  21. Douglas

    I agree with others, please stop and think before you name (rename) a product. VMware is constantly renaming their products and it is getting very annoying.

  22. panax

    You guys are doing great job , but the naming is always confusing. I think you will need to think deeply of a better way of naming your products , Even when I talk with friends I found them also have the same problem with your products.
    They may be talking about ESXI while I talk about something else

  23. panax

    That was very enlightening as to the differences NOT. All I got from that is that VMware vsphere hypervisor is not VMWare vsphere. As to the naming scheme- still very confusing.

  24. marc

    This page could do with an edit / proof-reading, especially the section
    “What are VMware ESX and ESXi and how are they different from vSphere?” – there’s a lot of repetition in there: “the difference between the two resides…” x2

  25. marc

    …sorry, also:
    “VMware ESX and VMware ESXi are both bare-metal hypervisors hypervisor architectures”
    So which is it: hypervisors or hypervisor architectures?

  26. panax

    The more free versions installed, the higher the chance that we might need premium features and upgrade to paid versions, you know

  27. panax

    VMware GO is a web based service that will guide you through the installation and automatically execute hardware compatibility checks

  28. Christopherve7alb

    Awesome product! Awesome price! Confusing naming scheme, at least I got everything sorted out eventually.

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