Community Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
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How does VMware ESXi compare to alternative virtualization solutions?

What are some of the main factors to consider when choosing a solution? What are some of the key points we should be considering when evaluating the various competitors?

PeerSpot user
20 Answers
it_user139482 - PeerSpot reviewer
User with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Aug 5, 2014

VMware hands-down. It takes a lot to build a reputation and sustain it.

Search for a product comparison in Server Virtualization Software
it_user71133 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Manager of Network at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Jun 20, 2014

Can Raj10101 actually qualify what he's saying first? Please show me some empirical evidence which says Citrix XenServer and Hypervisor technologies are the most developed around the world?

Citrix XenServer doesn't have the most development around the world at all. I would suggest going no where near XenServer because like many things Citrix does, its tried having a go but realised its got into the game far too late and others are doing it way better than they can. So they've sensibly opted to letting it go gradually by not developing it further and letting everyone have it for free. Probably in part in my opinion to save face in the market and to not look like they've made some seriously bad decisions a few years ago, by wanting to get into the virtualisation markets, and lost some revenue which they've not been able to recover from (because their product didn't take off like Microsoft's Hypervisor did).


I would steer clear of XenServer. Don't get me wrong I've implemented it myself dozens of times and its an ok product. However it doesn't come anywhere near VMWare for features and stability and Microsoft are doing a good job of closing up on VMWare. So for what its worth and without wishing to sound like I'm being disparaging to Raj10101. Avoid Citrix XenServer

Also for reviewer 107682 to say that VMWare doesn't scale massively to the cloud I think is a vast mistruth. VMWare have one of the biggest global public/private/hybrid cloud solutions out there.

Also I think this questions needs rewording to something like How does ESXi compare to other Hypervisors as that's exactly what it is. ESXi IS NOT A VIRTUALISATION SOLUTION. It is a component of a Virtualisation Solution.

it_user131655 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Manager - IT at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Jun 19, 2014

I would say Citrix, because Citrix has the most development around the world.

it_user125163 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a non-tech company
Jun 13, 2014

We didn’t research which virtualization solution to choose. Since we mainly use Polycom software, we went with VMWare since it is mentioned in their documentation.

Even if we installed VMWare on our servers, this solution is still very new for us.

it_user71133 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Manager of Network at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Jun 13, 2014

Without wishing to sound combative, I think you're asking the wrong question. You can easily google for matrices on the above named products and get an idea on cost/features/shortfalls etc. The real question is "What is your organisation trying to achieve?" followed closely by "why do you think virtualisation is the answer?". Many many companies I have worked for believe incorrectly that virtualisation is some sort of a panacea to controlling their network and servers and reducing hardware costs etc, however they soon realise that just buying some servers and installing a hyper visor on doesn't necessarily give them everything they thought they were going to get. So many times I hear "Our Exchange/SQL/SharePoint/ environment or high I/O application is now really slow...........now that its been virtualised. We were told it would run exactly the same as before?".

So be pragmatic, ask lots of seemingly stupidly obvious questions because I bet you someone is making assumptions. Don't be suckered into decisions by your vendors either, ask for demos and empirical evidence from them first. If they can't do that because they deem its too much hassle then ask yourself, would you buy a car when the sales guy just kept saying "Trust me its the best one there is" but wouldn't let you take it for a test drive.

Good luck with your decision making.

it_user107682 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Jun 13, 2014

Hi ,
There are two category of virtualization environment. Open source type or
Open source e.g. KVM and Proprietory e.g. VMWare.
Assuming you are running windows or linux OSes only ; both is equally
VMWare : Main Advantages - feature rich easy to use, runs only on X86
Disadvantage - Expensive licenses, Vendor lock in, Difficulty
in scaling out massively to cloud.
KVM : Main Advantages - Open soruce (free license with optional
subscription and support) , runs on almost any hardware supporting linux ,
rapid development by opensource community. Light weight. Massively
scaleable to cloud, no single vendor lockin and conforming to open
standards for virtualization and cloud.
Disadvantage - needs Linux skill set.

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it_user10347 - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Analyst at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Jun 13, 2014



Capability ESX ESXi 5.x
Service Console Present Removed
Admin/config CLIs COS + vCLI PowerCLI + vCLI (enhanced)
Advanced Troubleshooting COS ESXi Shell
Scripted Installation Supported Supported
Boot from SAN Supported Supported
SNMP Supported Supported
Active Directory Integrated Integrated
HW Monitoring Third-party agents in COS CIM providers
Serial Port Connectivity Supported Supported
Jumbo Frames Supported Supported
Rapid deployment and central management of hosts via Auto Deploy Not Supported Supported
Custom image creation and management Not Supported Supported
Secure syslog Not Supported Supported
Management interface firewall Supported Supported

it_user125676 - PeerSpot reviewer
User at Virtual Instruments
Jun 12, 2014

Required features for HA, portability of VMs, DR
Ease of Management
Skills availability in the market place
Cost is last

it_user70752 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Administrator at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Jun 12, 2014

I've used Xen/OVM and ESXi, mostly OVM. The one project that I used ESXi for, was a turning point as by then I was converted. ESXi was easier to manage and very quick to install on the physical hardware. The management in creating, starting and stopping VMs was done from another/client machine whereas on OVM/Xen, the administration of creating, starting and shutting down VMs was done robustly from the command line and occasionally ok from a rudimentary GUI. I hope that has now improved. I don't know the cost implications or support between the two but given Xen experience, ESXi was easy to get going. It would have much harder the other way round.

it_user116742 - PeerSpot reviewer
Oracle Web Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jun 12, 2014

VMware does tend to be pricier than competitors

it_user7410 - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner with 51-200 employees
Jun 12, 2014

There is no doubt that VMware ESXi is a top notch product in terms of leading edge features, functions and performance. Its large installed base and popularity also means that it has an established ecosystem in terms of third party applications, documentation and technical service and support, which is extremely helpful if and when problems arise. And in the IT world nothing ever runs smoothly 100% of the time! VMware does tend to be pricier than competitors but if you are a regular customer and love their products, that may not matter to you. It will depend on your environment and your priorities. I would suggest making a list and stack ranking them, e.g.: Cost (including Total cost of acquisition AND Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over the lifetime of the product), performance, reliability, leading edge features, ongoing technical service and support, ease of use/ease of management, deployment and provisioning, vendor responsiveness etc.

Overall, I think VMware ESXi is a very good choice. And I don't think you'll go wrong with it.

However, I would also note that product decisions are about more than just the product. They are also about your overarching relationship and history with the vendor. Before making any purchasing decision, it's alwasy advisable to go back to your administrators and ask them to provide you with a Report card of your interactions with various vendors over the past 12 to 24 months as well as how their products performed in your environment during that time period. Were there any inherent reliability issues or performance problems; were there any security issues and if so, what actions did the vendor take to help you resolve them in a timely manner? Did you have occasion to call the vendor account rep for any reason and if so, were they responsive? It's NOT just about a particular product but also about the vendor. The product may be outstanding but if VMware or ANY vendor is not giving you favorable licensing terms/conditions or does not respond quickly when there are support issues, or you have extended wait times for replacement parts or documentation is poor, you may want to rethink continuing the relationship. At the very least, you should note any issues good or bad that you have with ALL of your vendors and provide them with feedback. And it's good to do as an internal exercise as well. Make note of this and disseminate it to the appropriate parties in IT.

I hope you find this useful.

Jun 12, 2014

Look for hidden costs. VMware is a great product, but peel back the onion. If you are not a BIG Microsoft shop then be prepared to start. The overall costs of VMware was 3x what we expected. It may not be as bad if you have existing infrastructure and have already purchased the other licenses, but for a fresh start, this is not the case. Also, use Open Source as much as possible for your prototyping and testing.

it_user107157 - PeerSpot reviewer
Alliances Manager at Research In Motion
Jun 12, 2014

I have used pretty much every virtualization platform at one time or another in solutions. As Mohamed explains, budget, resources and Application support are important. For instance, if you are developing internal applications and want lots of control and low cost then KVM would be one way to go. However if you require support for 3rd party applications, ease if use/administration and costs are lower down in the requirements, then VMware is the way to go.

it_user70125 - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of IT at a tech vendor
Jun 12, 2014

My experience is also with VMware (Since 3.5 I think...) I agree with most of what has been said above. I would also comment that VMware's support is top notch and they work to get things fixed if you do have issues.

it_user116742 - PeerSpot reviewer
Oracle Web Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Jun 12, 2014

I would always recommend to go with VMware virtualization

it_user110655 - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager of System Security at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Jun 12, 2014

In addition to all of the above answers for performance and features it's based on your requirement, budget, available trained resources, Application vendor support over the Virtualized platform.

it_user125343 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Manager of Network at a financial services firm
Jun 12, 2014

The main factor when you choosing a virtualization solution is "Performance".. I would always recommend to go with VMware virtualization because of the above mentioned factor. When compare to Microsoft's Hyper-V or Linux KVM or Parallells, VMware is more capable to handle all virtualization facts including resource utilization, scalability and availability.

Vmotion, HA & DRS, VDP modules in VMware are very powerful and useful for enterprise firms where downtimes matter.

Jobin Johny

it_user8685 - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Expert at Cloud Counselage Inc. (www.cloudcounselage.com)
Jun 12, 2014

From the cost perspective, VMware products are relatively on a higher side. But, what you get is a more robust and more mature virtualization technology than any other in current virtualization market like Hyper-V, Citrix Xen or for that matter RedHat KVM,

With ESXi and its suite, you are almost absolved from major troubleshooting incidents, the virtual environment gets backed-up effectively, recovery becomes more robust and overall management becomes transparent and easy.

From the business perspective, SLAs are maintained efficiently, almost without any breaches.

__Tushar Topale

it_user85836 - PeerSpot reviewer
Engineer with 51-200 employees
Jun 12, 2014

My main experience with virtualisation has been VMware ESXi, v5 and above. I have played with Hyper-V but have mainly dealt with VMware. What I would say is that for us VMware is a really good solution, we get the flexibility of vmotion across our infrastructure (we use an HP C3000 blade controller with 4 hosts), we also use Veaam backup (backup to disk with offsite replication to a remote datacentre) which is ideal – no impact on the running VM’s when they are being backed up as it’s all done via snapshots. I have found that from a maintenance aspect, being able to move VM’s across hosts and then run any updates on the blades is a real bonus – we can do the majority of our work during normal hours (a help with that work/life balance). We can run a mix of Windows and Linux VM’s, adding resource is so straight forward, for example, being able to increase drive size live is very handy. We can add new hosts live and similarly as we can move our VM’s around, we can perform any hardware upgrades to our blades without downtime – though that is more down to having the capacity within our blade infrastructure to accommodate all the running production servers on 75% of our blades. So, while I can’t really compare VMware ESX with other virtualisation technologies I can say that we’ve had a very good experience with VMware and would recommend it without hesitation.

Best Regards

Pete Gibson

it_user3405 - PeerSpot reviewer
Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Jun 12, 2014

There are a number of key points, but I do think there is a website that summed up the majority for you:


They compare Redhat, VMware, Citrix and Hyper-V where you can do a comparison with one or all.


Related Questions
Fikadu Megersa - PeerSpot reviewer
Presales Engineer at ethio telecom
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Hi community, Currently, I'm researching these three products which I want to compare in the Cloud Computing category: VMware vSphere Rackspace OpenStack HPE Eucalyptus.  Can you please help me understand the main advantages and disadvantages of each? Thanks.
Content Manager at PeerSpot (formerly IT Central Station)
Dec 15, 2021
2 out of 4 answers
Snr. Infrastructure Architect (Data Centre) at DHA
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Both are VMWare products. simply v-sphere is a hypervisor Tier-1 technology stack VMWare workstation is a desktop release installed on windows or Linux OS if your requirement is limited need few VMs for testing purpose you can go for Workstation. but if you need production VMs you need a separate independent hardware server for v-sphere esxi hypervisor. 
Nov 24, 2021
VM Workstation’s setup is so easy, you can use it almost instantly, it works well with Windows and Linux. We like VM Workstation primarily to test environments to determine how well a solution will work before we put it into production. VM Workstation can also give us an idea of the issues we can anticipate and how best to address them. This solution is also great at creating labs for our team when working on certifications. VM Workstation can be a bit clunky, though. There is a lot of resource consumption and the overall performance could be a bit more effective. Visio stencil for technical documentation would be a nice improvement. This solution is relatively expensive.. VMware vSphere is very good from a recoverability point of view; everything can be stored much easier on a virtual server than a physical one. VMware vSphere is very good with memory sharing between VMs and CPU scheduling between VMs. The command-line tools integrate well with Microsoft products, so it’s easy to manipulate them. VMware vSphere is very stable and very scalable. The initial setup with VMware vSphere can be a bit complex. You need to have a good understanding of VMware. This solution does not permit hard partitioning. We found there were occasional bugs and errors and that the HTML5 is not up to par. The pricing and licensing options can get expensive. Conclusion: The two solutions are both VMware and perform amazingly. They are dependable and very reliable. VM vSphere is a hypervisor and is created for large-scale production. VM Workstation is best as a test environment, although many choose to use VM Workstation in front of VM vSphere and migrate test projects, results, and data documentation to VM vSphere.
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