back to article ESXi on Arm? Yes, ESXi on Arm. VMware teases bare-metal hypervisor for 64-bit Arm servers

VMware today showed off a port of its bare-metal ESXi hypervisor for 64-bit Arm servers at its VMworld US shindig in Las Vegas. This morning's keynote audience briefly glimpsed vSphere Client managing a 64-bit Arm Cortex-A72-powered host that was running four virtual machines. The box apparently had four logical processors, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gelsinger? Haven't I heard that name somewhere before?

    Does he still have shares from previous employers, I wonder?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gelsinger? Haven't I heard that name somewhere before?

      He surely has several orders of magnitude more shares from his current employer...

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    It's all about the money

    ... the hyper-scale cloud giants preferred their own virtualization technology, so it kinda missed out there.

    I suspect it's more about money than "Not invented here". Could you imagine the cost of VMWare licenses for a large hosting platform?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: It's all about the money

      Can you image the price of IoT devices running ESXi? The license probably costs several times you typical (non-industrial) device.

      1. roomey

        Re: It's all about the money

        Ehh, esxi is free to use

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: It's all about the money

          Yes, I was thinking about vCenter / vSphere - I've never used ESXi standalone.

      2. andreiw

        Re: It's all about the money

        IoT gateways, not “things”, and because there is no concrete produxt definition, it’s too early to talk licensing. Clearly it would be something different to fit the narrative. All things considered, without a cohesive way to deploy, manage, secure, monitor, make fault-proof and upgrade IoT analytics and control workloads at the edge, IoT deployments will not be mainstream.

  3. big_D Silver badge

    I was reading...

    a presentation from VMWare at the end of last week on their site, where they were discussing the pros and cons of using ARM architecture.

    The overall impression I got from the slides was that ARM processors are still lacking a lot of stuff, when it comes to virtualization, the biggest being that there was little or no security on the processor caches, meaning segregating VMs and processes was difficult / VMs could in theory look into other VMs cache memory - think Spectre side channel attacks.

    I don't know how old the document was, but either ARM have now solved that problem, or this is going to be stuck in niche markets, where the whole stack is controlled, until the virtualization segregation technology in ARM matures. (i.e. for edge devices that run a few VMs from the same manufacturer, with a defined software stack, but not for datacenters or multi-tenant cloud services).

    1. andreiw

      Re: I was reading...

      You mean something like https://labs.vmware.com/download/68? That's old and irrelevant these days (sorry, Prashanth). This was from back in the 32-bit days and no virtualization extensions.

      Arm virtualization for 64-bit Arm CPUs is comparable to what you see on current x86 cores in terms of the feature set and overheads incurred. The ARM Architecture Reference Manual (ARMv8-A architecture profile) is freely available, so you can see for yourself :-).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just needs a LEG to go with it and you have the TCO

  5. Mark 110

    Fault tolerance??? Really

    "What was therefore teased was an Arm64 device running four Arm-compatible guest operating systems and applications on a port of VMware's bare-metal hypervisor with fault tolerance"

    You do realise that Fault Tolerance means something very specific in VMWare world. Its about running a live synchronised version of the VM on an alternate host in case of host failure (I've yet to run into this in the wiild). The article seems to imply a demo on a single host which wouldn't allow for that. It also doesn't allow for the lower level of fault tolerance, High Availability, which will move a VM to another available host in the event of host failure.

    What was demo'd was a single host running 4 VMs, not anything at all either 'Fault Tolerant' or 'High Availablity'.

    1. roomey

      Re: Fault tolerance??? Really

      I'm fairly sure they had two hosts there in the video, you can even see then suspending the replication and putting one of the hosts into maintenance mode to demonstrate downtime free patching

  6. andreiw

    Just look at the demo video

    The keynote demo involved a cluster of two Arm edge gateways in a hypothetical Wind Farm scenario, with HA and DRS enabled. One VM was running with Fault Tolerance - which means live synchronization of the VM onto a secondary. The demo also showed vMotion working.

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