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Can't make a poll, but who's worried about the future of ESXi in the hombelab?

Rising Star III

With the buyout of VMWare; who's worried about the future of ESXi outside of the enterprise?

I've had a VMUG license for my homelab for many years, but with even questions about the continued existence of VMUG, I've been looking into migrating in the long term. Just wondering who here might be thinking along these lines and what people are looking into.


JumpCloud Alumni
JumpCloud Alumni

Can you expand on ESXi for those of us that don't know what that is? lol

Rising Star III

Actually..... What *IS* ESXi an acronym for? Man. Imma have to look this up.

Novitiate III

ESXi is a VM (Virtual Machine) creation, player, and manager suite developed by VMware.  At the core, it allows a user to (or admin in ESXi's case) obfuscate the hardware level before an OS is deployed on top of it.  This allows the creator of the VM to dictate certain hardware abilities that may or may not actually exist for the OS to 'see' and utilize.  This can be used for many things such as to create, copy, or restore copys of an OS almost instantly (commonly called images or snapshots), to insulate a real OS from attack by presenting a decoy to an attacker, allows code to be run on many varieties of hardware (much like how JIT functions if you're a software dev), or conversely can pretend to be a variety of hardware in some instances, or a VM can allow multiple unrelated OSs to happily run in tandem on one machine, each thinking they are the only one installed.  Think like the tabs in your browser, but entire PCs or servers....even switches, printers, video game consoles, or anything else computer related!  Each one is separate, but all managed through one interface.  To go even crazier, you can open one inside another deeper and deeper and deeper (though they run like poo eventually as they spend more time talking up and down the chain than they do working).  It is a good system for testing or for setting up a PC you need, but dont often use and dont want to actually store on a shelf.  ESXi was designed to be a serious enterprise grade response to VM needs, and loaded on a dedicated server.  Prior to that, VMs were mostly per-user and deployed on serious desktop systems.

Ever look into Proxmox?  Then layer on whatever you want, including ESXi.  I prefer Oracle's VirtualBox, but that's just me (for now).  That way I can pool my hardware resources, then dole them out from the pool up through the VMs.  Want 500GB of ram and 2 cores?  Done.  2GB of ram and 80 cores?  Also done.  Add a native container?  Sure thing.  You're only limited by your raw hardware pool TOTALS, not per physical box.  Just watch your network overhead.  When you find a VM service you like, let it run and rotate the hardware in and out underneath it as you need.  I mined Monero for a hot minute like this as a test with 2 HP servers, 1 Dell server, 2 PCs, and 2 laptops, then the VMs setup as 1 CentOS server and 2 workstations (win10 and CentOS).  Now I use Proxmox as a base build for mobile deployments into client's compromised networks, like Wardriving, but ER Blueteam.

Buyouts/acquisitions always make me nervous.  I'm still nervy over OpenDNS.

Elastic Sky X, and the 'i' was added later for "Integrated" or "Interface"; I forget which.  Don't ask how I remember that.  I do recall it pissed me off cause I'd JUST bought a private copy of VMware 4 when they came out with ESX and I couldn't get them to trade me out for the 'new' model cause I'd gotten the copy from a (shady) 3rd party via some closeout sale they offered at like 80% off.

Novitiate III

Honestly, I'm afraid of both the future of Esxi for enterprise and medium business. In my previous role we used Vmware as our VM stack. Our servers became out of support for the HCI solution we were using and we were looking at the market.

Nutanix couldn't care less about our business as we weren't "big enough for them".
Proxmox is awesome for SMB who are techy or for home use.
Scale solutions offers a turnkey solution (was siding towards them before I left the previous role)

VMware was stable as a rock when I used it. It's a complex beast but also can do an insane amount of work.

With the broadcom buyout I have no idea where costs are going to go.... based on their past I am not confident....

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