VMware ESX Server

ESX Server is a component of VMware’s VMware Infrastructure, which adds management and reliability services to its core server product.

The basic server requires some sort of storage, like an array of disk drives, for storing the virtualized kernel and support files. VMware offers a variant of this product called ESX Server ESXi Embedded. This moves all the server’s kernels into a dedicated hardware device.

In the VMware world, they refer to the hypervisor used as a vmkernel.

VMware notes that ESX Server runs on “bare metal.” That is, unlike other VMware products, it does not run on top of another operating system, but rather sets up its own kernel.

ESX Server sets up a Linux kernel first, and that kernel is used to load specialized virtualization components, including vmkernel. That first installed Linux kernel becomes the first running virtual machine and is called the service console.

The vmkernel has three interfaces with the user:
• Hardware Access to other hardware is accomplished using this interface.

• Guest systems This interface simulates hardware and occurs in such a way that a guest system itself can run unmodified on top of the hypervisor.

• Service console A general-purpose operating system used as the bootstrap for the VMware kernel and used as a management interface.

Each virtualized server perceives the system resources as unique to it, and not shared with others. ESX Server has some limitations that might restrict its deployment and use: The maximum amount of RAM for a guest system is 64GB; and there can only be 32 hosts in both High Availability (HA) clusters and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) clusters.

Source of Information : Microsoft Virtualization with Hyper V


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