In addition to the general
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

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

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”