Our latest white paper, VMware ESXi in a Cloud-based Lab, is out today. The following is an excerpt:
VMware ESXi is VMware’s vSphere hypervisor, used to run multiple virtual servers on a single physical server. It’s available in a free version (called the Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor) and commercial editions such as vSphere Enterprise Plus. Traditionally, a vSphere edition is purchased with some level of advanced features, the ESXi hypervisor is loaded on the physical servers, and vCenter is used to manage those physical hosts. Your physical servers, running your company’s critical applications, can then be turned into virtual machines such that you can run multiple virtual servers on a single physical server. vSphere offers tremendous cost reduction in the datacenter and it makes the life of a server admin vastly more efficient.
Historically, ESXi has been great for running on physical servers, but customer demand and increased adoption within development and testing has made running ESXi within a virtual machine for even further cost savings very difficult, and has been unsupported or rarely offered by cloud service providers. When we discuss running “VMware ESXi in the Cloud,” we are illustrating how to create a virtual machine, in the public cloud, that runs the vSphere ESXi hypervisor inside. This is generally not done for production purposes, such as running production machines inside the ESXi VM, but instead, done for development and testing, demos, and learning in a virtual lab environment. By providing the ability to run ESXi within a virtual machine, cloud service providers can give customers the ability to replicate production in a highly scalable and easy to use manor.
This paper will be of interest to IT management professionals as well as development and test professionals who are interested specifically in how ESXi can be used in a cloud environment. It is structured in three parts: 1) A high-level overview of scenarios that are enabled by ESXi in a cloud-based lab, 2) A set of steps that show how to run ESXi in a cloud-based lab, and 3) A set of detailed examples that show how users of ESXi can optimize using Skytap Cloud.