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  1. Stuck in a padded room... ITVince's Avatar
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    #1

    Question ESXi, vSphere, vCenter Can you explain the correlation?

    I'm very new to virtualization, just familiar with setting up basic VMWare Workstations for test labs. However at work, higher up sys admins are looking into virtualizing servers company wide where it will prove cost effective. I've been reading through setup documentation and I see common references such as ESXi, vSphere, vCenter

    Here's my basic understanding thus far....

    ESXi is a O/S independent install that you install on a beefed up "host" server, say 64GB RAM, yadda yadda.

    This host server is then attached to a SAN device, and this SAN device houses your data stores for your various virtual machines you want to install.

    Then is vSphere just a client that allows you to access / manage / configure your VM's?

    Where does a vCenter come in to play here? Ours is apparently housed at corporate in another state...what is its central role?

    Just looking for a high level 30,000 foot view of how this software is setup and relates to one another in a corporate enviornment for curiosities sake. Thanks guys look forward to your responses
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ITVince View Post
    I'm very new to virtualization, just familiar with setting up basic VMWare Workstations for test labs. However at work, higher up sys admins are looking into virtualizing servers company wide where it will prove cost effective. I've been reading through setup documentation and I see common references such as ESXi, vSphere, vCenter

    Here's my basic understanding thus far....

    ESXi is a O/S independent install that you install on a beefed up "host" server, say 64GB RAM, yadda yadda.

    This host server is then attached to a SAN device, and this SAN device houses your data stores for your various virtual machines you want to install.

    Then is vSphere just a client that allows you to access / manage / configure your VM's?

    Where does a vCenter come in to play here? Ours is apparently housed at corporate in another state...what is its central role?

    Just looking for a high level 30,000 foot view of how this software is setup and relates to one another in a corporate enviornment for curiosities sake. Thanks guys look forward to your responses
    ESX/ESXi is the hypervisor, so yes it is the OS that you install on the host. The host server can use iSCSI SAN, FC SAN, NAS/NFS and Direct Attached Storage.

    VMware vSphere Client is used to manage a single host or connect to the vCenter Server. A vCenter Server allows you to manage multiple hosts/Clusters/DRS/HS/Multiple Sites/etc.Basically, this is your main point of management for your virtual infrastructure.

    vSphere is actually the name of the OS + extras (or bundle), the VMware vSphere Client is what you actually use for connecting to hosts/vCenter Servers.
    Last edited by vCole; 05-11-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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  4. Google Ninja jibbajabba's Avatar
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    #3
    vSphere is just the name of the bundle which includes ESX (the Hypervisor itself, as in ESX or ESXI), vCenter, and so on.

    The client itself is the VI Client, or virtual infrastructure client, which is used to connect to either a host or virtual center.

    the virtual center server is a central management tool. With the vCenter you can manage multiple single hosts or vSphere Cluster (High Availability cluster including multiple host).
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ITVince View Post
    I'm very new to virtualization, just familiar with setting up basic VMWare Workstations for test labs. However at work, higher up sys admins are looking into virtualizing servers company wide where it will prove cost effective. I've been reading through setup documentation and I see common references such as ESXi, vSphere, vCenter

    Here's my basic understanding thus far....

    ESXi is a O/S independent install that you install on a beefed up "host" server, say 64GB RAM, yadda yadda.

    This host server is then attached to a SAN device, and this SAN device houses your data stores for your various virtual machines you want to install.

    Then is vSphere just a client that allows you to access / manage / configure your VM's?

    Where does a vCenter come in to play here? Ours is apparently housed at corporate in another state...what is its central role?

    Just looking for a high level 30,000 foot view of how this software is setup and relates to one another in a corporate enviornment for curiosities sake. Thanks guys look forward to your responses

    ESXi is the hypervisor, bare-metal virtualization platform (they appear to be re-branding this to vSphere hypervisor now)

    vSphere is the general branding term for the vmware virtualization platform

    vCenter is the server that centrally manages your vmware infrastructure (used to be called virtualcenter)

    For more information:

    ESXI: Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor: Bare Metal Hypervisor (Based on VMware ESXi)

    vSphere: VMware vSphere 4: Private Cloud Computing, Server and Data Center Virtualization

    vCenter: VMware vCenter Server Virtualization Management (formerly VMware Virtual Center)
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  6. Stuck in a padded room... ITVince's Avatar
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    #5
    Perfect, thank you everyone for giving me a better understanding of these products
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