Well, I knew it was coming but I just didn’t want to believe it. VMware has officially taken down the download links to the ESX product from their website. I’ve heard that you can still get to it through some super-secret hyperlink, but I’m not 100% sure of that. This should come as no surprise to fellow VMware folks out there since they have been talking about this day for quite a while now.
One thing that I am going to miss (and maybe this is just a nostalgic thing for me) is that fact that I could immediately SSH to a node if there were any issues that popped up and I couldn’t get to it via vCenter or Virtual Center for the 3.x days. Oh sure, you can turn on “tech support mode” but then vCenter complains constantly that it is on and makes it look like you have all kinds of problems in your cluster with warning icons all over your hosts.
Being the sentimental guy that I am, part of me will be sad that there will be no service console anymore, but I am welcoming this change due to a number of reasons that are obvious:
1) The attack footprint of ESXi will be much smaller and therefore make it far more secure than ESX.
2) Deploying “diskless” nodes will contribute to a cost savings and allow for quick boot times via SD or other methods.
3) I will really not miss running out of local storage due to logs (something I haven’t seen since 3.x)
But for now, I bid you farewell ESX – you have served your purpose well and now I will have to live in the VMA appliance from here on out.