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Locating information about VMware products ESXi, ESX, and vCenter Server

Products

VMware ESX
VMware ESXi
VMware vCenter Server
VMware vCenter Server Appliance

Summary

This article helps you quickly find information about ESX, ESXi, and vCenter Server.

What is ESX/ESXi?

VMware ESX and VMware ESXi provide the foundation for building a reliable and dynamic IT infrastructure. These market leading, production-proven hypervisors abstract processor, memory, storage and networking resources into multiple virtual machines that each can run an unmodified operating system and applications. VMware ESX and ESXi are the most widely deployed hypervisors, delivering the highest levels of reliability and performance to companies of all sizes.

VMware ESXi is the latest hypervisor architecture from VMware. It has an ultra-thin architecture with no reliance on a general purpose OS, yet still offers all the same functionality and performance of VMware ESX. VMware ESXi sets a new bar for security and reliability because its smaller code base represents a smaller "attack surface" with less code to patch. This small footprint and hardware-like reliability also enable VMware ESXi to be built directly into industry standard x86 servers from leading server manufacturers such as Dell, IBM, HP, and Fujitsu-Siemens. VMware ESXi was designed with simplicity in mind. Its menu-driven startup and automatic configurations make it the easiest way to get started with VMware virtualization.

Looking for information about ESX/ESXi?

Download and Licensing:

  • Licensing ESXi 5.x and vCenter Server 5.x (2014295)
  • Downloading and licensing vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 4.x) (2014102)
  • Licensing ESX 4.x, ESXi 4.x, and vCenter Server 4.x (1010839)

Requirements:

  • Minimum system requirements for installing ESX/ESXi (1003661)
  • Upgrade paths for ESX or ESXi 2.x, 3.x, 4.x hosts (1019239)

Best Practices:

  • Methods of installing ESXi 5.1 (2032782)
  • Methods of upgrading to ESXi 5.1 (2032757)
  • Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.1 best practices (2032756)
  • Methods of upgrading to ESXi 5.0 (2004501)
  • Upgrading to ESXi 5.0 best practices (2005102)
  • Installing ESXi 5.0 best practices (2005099)
  • Installing ESXi/ESX 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1 best practices (1022101)
  • Updating ESX 4.x to a newer released update (1016209)
  • Upgrading ESX/ESXi 3.5 or 4.0 to ESX 4.1 (1022140)
  • Upgrading to ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices (1009039)
  • Installing ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices (1009080)

How To: 

  • Understanding virtual machine snapshots in VMware ESXi and ESX (1015180)
  • Creating a persistent scratch location for ESXi (1033696)
  • Installing async drivers on ESX/ESXi 4.x (1032936)
  • Sample configuration of EtherChannel / Link aggregation with ESX/ESXi and Cisco/HP switches (1004048)
  • Enabling root SSH login on an ESX host (8375637)
  • Changing the IP address, default gateway, and hostname of the Service Console in ESX (4309499)

Troubleshooting:

  • Collecting diagnostic information for VMware ESX/ESXi using the vSphere Client (653)
  • Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi Server (1003490)
  • Decoding Machine Check Exception (MCE) output after a purple screen error (1005184)
  • ESX 4.x host fails to boot after power operation with the error: fsck.ext3: Unable to resolve UUID (1017162)
  • Identifying issues with and setting up name resolution on ESX/ESXi Server (1003735)

What is VMware vCenter Server?

VMware vCenter Server provides a scalable and extensible platform that forms the foundation for virtualization management. VMware vCenter Server, formerly VMware VirtualCenter, centrally manages VMware vSphere environments allowing IT administrators dramatically improved control over the virtual environment compared to other management platforms.

VMware vCenter Server is the simplest, most efficient way to manage VMware vSphere, whether you have ten virtual machines or tens of thousands of virtual machines. It provides unified management of all the hosts and virtual machines in your datacenter from a single console with an aggregate performance monitoring of clusters, hosts and VMs. VMware vCenter Server gives administrators deep insight into the status and configuration of clusters, hosts, virtual machines, storage, the guest OS and other critical components of a virtual infrastructure, all from one place.

With VMware vCenter Server, virtualization environments are easier to manage: a single administrator can manage 100 or more workloads, more than doubling typical productivity in managing physical infrastructure. To access vCenter Server, administrators can use the vSphere Client on any Windows PC, or they can use the vSphere Web Client remotely from any Web browser.

Looking for information on vCenter Server?

Note: vCenter Server was formerly known as VirtualCenter Server. 

Download and Licensing:

  • Licensing ESXi 5.x and vCenter Server 5.x (2014295)
  • Licensing ESX 4.x, ESXi 4.x, and vCenter Server 4.x (1010839)

Requirements:

  • Minimum system requirements for installing vCenter Server (1003882)
  • vSphere 5.0 upgrade pre-installation requirements and considerations (2004265)
  • Minimum requirements for the VMware vCenter Server 5.x Appliance (2005086)
  • Required ports for vCenter Server 5.1 (2031843)
  • Required ports for vCenter Server 5.0 (2005105)
  • vCenter Server 4.1 network port requirements (1022256)

Best Practices:

  • Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1 best practices (2021193)
  • Installing vCenter Server 5.1 best practices (2021202)
  • Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.0 best practices (2003866)
  • Installing vCenter Server 5.0 best practices (2003790)
  • Upgrading to ESX 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1 best practices (1022104)
  • Installing ESXi/ESX 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1 best practices (1022101)
  • Upgrading to ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices (1009039)
  • Installing ESX 4.0 and vCenter 4.0 best practices (1009080)

How to:

  • Purging old data from the database used by vCenter Server (1025914)
  • Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support (1003212)
  • EVC and CPU Compatibility FAQ (1005764)
  • Verifying and reinstalling the correct version of the vCenter Server agents (1003714)
  • Collecting performance snapshots using vm-support (1967)
  • Investigating the health of a vCenter Server database (1003979)
  • Sysprep file locations and versions (1005593)
  • Verifying vCenter Server 4.1 jobs and stored procedures (1029824)

Troubleshooting:

  • Collecting diagnostic information for VMware vCenter Server (1011641)
  • Troubleshooting VMware High Availability (HA) (1001596)
  • Diagnosing an ESX or ESXi host that is Disconnected or Not Responding in vCenter Server (1003409)
  • Updating rollup jobs after the error: Performance data is currently not available for this entity (1004382)
  • Configuring VMware High Availability fails with the error: Cannot complete the configuration of the HA agent on the host (1019200)
  • Reducing the size of the vCenter Server database when the rollup scripts take a long time to run (1007453)
  • Performance graphs display only the realtime data after upgrading to vCenter Server 4.1 (1030819)
  • ESX or ESXi appears as Not Responding in vCenter Server due to CD/DVD-ROM drive firmware issues (1017297)
  • Diagnosing VMware vMotion failure at 10% (1003734)
Based on VMware KB 2010635

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