Dedicated ESXi: Server or something else?

Date August 28, 2008

Christopher Hoff, over at Rational Security discussed an interesting idea last week about VMWare's ESXi. One of his readers theorized that maybe ESXi-based servers shouldn't be considered as servers in some cases, but more like quasi-blade-chassis, since they essentially provide the same functionality.

They're exploiting the idea for auditing, but since I'm really too small for that sort of thing right now, I don't have to worry about that, much. I also don't worry about ESXi much, since even though it's free, the Virtual Infrastructure to really use it costs thousands of dollars.

I just figured I'd throw this out there to see what you all thought of it.

[Update] Fixed broken link. Thanks DDressler!

  • DDressler

    This is what I get when i follow your link.

    < response>
    < error>1< / error>
    < message>Trackback pings must use HTTP POST< / message>
    < response>

    [Added spaces to get past the "no html" rule.]

  • Matt

    Whoops!

    Thanks a lot! I fixed the link. Sorry about that!

  • JeffHengesbach

    I'm not subject to PCI, but from a general security standpoint, ESXi offers points of entry to potentially many systems. I agree audits aren't any fun, but compliance is a must these days. I don't agree using semantics is a wise path to avoid dealing with/avoiding audit issues. Someone 'bigger' than you will likely end up winning a semantics battle in the event of a breach.

    In regards to ESXi - a major infrastructure is not a requirement. I can vouch for the capabilities of even the free VMWare Server product reliably running handfulls of vm's on a single system. I think the push for the 'enterprise' products and features leaves smaller shops missing out big time. Jeff Hengesbach: Virtualization in Small Companies

    The availability of ESXi for free is a great marketing move. Adopters will quickly discover they'll want paid add-ons to more conveniently manage the environment. There are some good threads in the VMWare forums discussing the use of ESXi free or VMWare Server.

    Jeff

  • Matt

    @Jeff

    That's a very good blog entry, and a lot of the topics you hit on were discussed by myself and my manager when I first proposed virtualizing some of our infrastructure.

    We're lucky to have a (meager) SAN, and as such can leverage it a bit in terms of redundant access to
    VMs.

    I'm really looking forward to getting a chance to try ESXi. I'm sure that you're right in that after messing with it initially, I'll want the addition power behind VMWare Infrastructure.

    Thanks for visiting and for the comment, not to mention the link to another blog to read :)