With the release of 4.1 Update 1, we probably have all seen the last release of ESX. That said, and with VMware being very clear, a lot of us have yet to begin the migration, myself included. While the idea behind ESXi is a great one, most of us have grown fond to the service console, and the familiarity of ESX. I can relate, and understand, why so many people have held off on making the switch. Change is hard, but it must be done.
Implementing ESXi doesn’t mean the end of CLI management, just the way we go about leveraging it. This is accomplished via RCLI, or Remote Command Line Interface. There is the vMA, or the Virtual Machine Assistant, that allows you to centrally manage your ESXi host via a CLI. Though personally, with the addition of Esx-Cli included in the latest build of PowerCLI, I really see limited use for it. Powershell and PowerCLI have come a lot way and really make management task quite simple and with a quick search on the net, you can find a script for almost any task. ESXi also allows for a faster installation, and can be scripted. It also boots much quicker than ESX. It also creates a much smaller surface area for a malicious attack.
Its obvious VMware thinks ESXi is ready for primetime in an enterprise environment, and I have to agree. I have already migrated my home lab to ESXi 4.1 and am working to familiarize myself with the nuances and differences of the new hypervisor. The question is, how much longer will, and can, you wait to make the switch yourself.
Many of you noticed your VUM alerting you to the fact that VMware released Update 1 for vSphere 4.1. The amount of new items is pretty short and routine. They include the following updates to ESX/ESXi:
- Support for up to 160 Logical Processors
- Additional Drivers Support
- Enablement of Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) for ESXi Only
- Additional Guest OS Support
vCenter also received some new items and they include:
- Additional Guest OS Customization Support
- Additional vCenter Server Database Support
The interesting thing here isn’t the fact that there is any amazing new features. What’s crazy is that this could be potentially the last update that an ESX host ever receives. I’d suspect the next update (4.2) will be released for ESXi only, as VMware has previously announced 4.1 would be the last ESX update.
VMware has issued an ultimatum. Move to ESXi soon or be left behind. As anyone in tune with the VMware world knows, vSphere 4.1 was released yesterday. In the release notes, VMware stated:
VMware vSphere 4.1 and its subsequent update and patch releases are the last releases to include both ESX and ESXi hypervisor architectures. Future major releases of VMware vSphere will include only the VMware ESXi architecture.
This has been a long time coming and should not be a shock to anyone, although this is the first time VMware has given any sort of deadline. I guess this means the majority of us will be rebuilding our company labs and truly testing migrations from ESX to ESXi.
All the info on vSphere 4.1 can be found HERE.