VMware ESXi is an embedded hypervisor available on several Dell PowerEdge servers. The functionality and performance of ESXi is very similar to classic ESX Server, but ESXi does not have a service console, which changes many of the specifics in regards to management and deployment. This page is dedicated to ESXi or ESX3i specific resources and information.

VMware ESXi was also available for free as a hard-disk installable package from VMware. This free version is for ESXi only, with no option to use Virtual Center or any of the advanced features that it enables such as VMotion, VMware HA, or DRS. However, ESXi can be upgraded into full Virtual Infrastructure configuration with these features by purchasing the proper licenses at a later time.

Official VMware ESXi Product Home Page

TechCenter Web Chat ESXi Licensing and Features 8/12/2008 Transcript
TechCenter Web Chat ESX and ESXi Discussion 8/19/2008 Transcript

Virtualization Frontier Blog on ESXi

What to do with Free ESXi
The Day After with ESXi
Poor Man's Fail-over with Free ESXi

Documentation

Managing VMware ESXi - VMware.com
VMware ESX Server 3i Software on Dell PowerEdge Servers: Systems Management Guide (May 2008)

Remote Command Line Interface

The Remote CLI provides a way to execute service console commands remotely against both ESX and ESXi hosts. There are windows, linux, and virtual appliance versions available.

Download Remote CLI - Must logon to VMware.com


Using resxtop

Included with the Remote CLI (currently the virtual appliance and Linux versions) is a remote version of esxtop. This provides the ability to run esxtop against an ESXi host. For performance tests it is easy to use resxtop to collect data during runs by using the Remote CLI virtual appliance. The command format for resxtop is almost identical to esxtop. The only addition is the specification of a host and username/pw:

resxtop --server <ip address> -b -d 10 -n 700 > OUTPUTFILENAME.csv

--server remote ESXi or ESX server
-b batch mode
-d delay between updates in seconds
-n number of interations
> send output to a text file specificed

The output text file can then be imported into excel or windows perfmon for analysis.