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back to article VMware slashes ESXi price to zero

With rivals clambering at the gate, VMware has opted to offer its bare-bones ESXi hypervisor for free. The price change is the first major tactical play under VMware's new CEO, Paul Martiz. It's also a pretty logical one considering where the company is at. Turning ESXi into a freebie was alluded to in VMware's quarterly …

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Anonymous Coward

"Free" almost meaningless: priced increased in rest of solution

It has to be emphasized that it is only the "3i" embedded version that has been made free and that version requires both the expensive Virtual Infrastructure and VirtualCenter software to work where VMware has actually increased the pricing in much of the world. I'll bet that the average customer will end-up paying the same or more as a result of the changes, not less.

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Re: "Free" almost meaningless: priced increased in rest of solution

[Disclaimer: I'm an engineer at VMware, but opinions I express are my own and not necessarily those of my employer etc. etc.]

> It has to be emphasized that it is only the "3i"

> embedded version that has been made free

> and that version requires both the expensive

> Virtual Infrastructure and VirtualCenter software to work

This is simply not true. There are no such "requirements" for 3i, or 3.5. Out of the box, 3i ships with a simple web interface and the dedicated VI Client. If you want the advanced multi-host management features (VMotion, DRS, HA), then yeah, you have to buy VirtualCenter. This holds true whether you're talking about 3i or 3.5.

The major difference between 3.5 and 3i is the removal of the service console. It's not *crippled* in any way.

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Ummmm .. and Citrix / HP / Dell are chopped liver

In this game, Citrix XenServer is CLEARLY a larger immediate threat. Though you pay a nominal charge for the "hypervisor" the management is free, and HP's version is KILLER !!!.. especially for branch offices where VMware is anything BUT cost effective. Throw Xenserver on some blades in a "shorty" enclosure, plug it into a 110 socket and manage it remotely from HQ.. HP finally has a "data center in a box" it can drop anywhere (and it is virtualization that makes this more than a marketing buzz phrase.

Even if you blow 5K on Virtual Center you will need to cluster it to be safe ... and light up another SQL server...

MSFT may take the marbles long term, but you can see VMware behaving like the desperate organization they've become, and in the near-term it looks like Citrix is making whopping strides every quarter to play catch-up with ESX, and nipping at their heels faster then VMware likes to admit.

This is tacit proof that the hypervisor IS a commodity, and VMware has put too high a premium on its collection of goodies to withstand competitors who offer value without burden.

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Boffin

@Ramesh Dharan

You're out to lunch, Mr. Engineer. The VMware sales guys are playing fast and loose with their pricing this year, which is very annoying.

And your department completely whorked the VMware Server 2.0 product, which is causing people to look at alternatives like XenServer.

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Silver badge

@Ummmm .. and Citrix / HP / Dell are chopped liver

Thanks for the Intel, Jack. Very Tasty IT is too.

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Stop

@ AmanfromMars

Times up, we've all had enough.

Are you writing in some sort of code?

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Ummmm .. and Citrix / HP / Dell are chopped liver

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site%3Atheregister.co.uk+Jack+Pastor

Someone seems to be flip-flopping a lot...

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Dead Vulture

By flip-flopping...

... do you mean astroturfing HP sock puppet?

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Anonymous Coward

3i

Is perfectly fine if you're doing development and testing with short lived environments. Only a monkey would use it on a critical/production system.

But then I'm still not sold on virtualisation of critical production systems anyway.

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JB

@ Chris (@ amanfromMars)

It appears to me that the user is adopting the speaking style of a science fiction charachter found in the book called 'A Stranger Among Us'. Its about a man from Mars coming to planet earth after having been raised by Martians, or something like that, its been a while since i read it.

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Happy

@Anonymous Coward

"But then I'm still not sold on virtualisation of critical production systems anyway."

I am. I have been using a paid for virtual server for a production system for a few years now and more recently have a few more. They have been rock solid and the technology brings root servers to the price point where many new networked applications become possible that previously wouldn't have been affordable. The production systems use user-mode Linux and I recently started using VirtualBox for development and experimental purposes.

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@AC

"Is perfectly fine if you're doing development and testing with short lived environments. Only a monkey would use it on a critical/production system."

Then we serve hordes of monkeys (would be our customers). The 3i/ESXi is only a cut down version from the long-time production safe ESX 2.x/3.x of which the latest version 3.5 is now in the racks.

Our companies entire infrastructure runs off two clustered ESX servers. Yes, we have Virtual Center to it and the full blown ESX version, but I trust the 3i/ESXi version as much as I trust the full ESX 3.5 version.

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