Get started with ESXi Fling on Arm architecture | TechTarget (2024)


Arm architecture brings benefits of energy efficiency as well as edge use cases. Read up on how to get the right ISO files and hardware to properly run ESXi Fling.

VMware's ESXi Fling on Arm architecture is a perfect illustration of the industry's move from less energy-efficient architecture to the more performant and energy-efficient Arm architecture. A successful use case for this technology requires the right hardware, agreement to a Technical Preview License and VMware software.

Many hardware vendors have jumped onto the Arm bandwagon, so now more hardware is available compared to the ESXi Fling on Arm software's first release in October 2020. The latest ESXi Fling on Arm release is version 1.8. VMware Fling enables users to test new technology concepts and provide feedback to the vendor to yield a more refined product.

Administrators can choose from a list of currently tested hardware, which is available as a small form-factor edge device or data center server with a lot of RAM. Experimentation with ESXi Fling on Arm can start small with software installation on a Raspberry Pi 4Go and have a tiny edge device that runs a couple of small VMs.

What is ESXi Fling on Arm, and why was it created?

ESXi Fling on Arm is an Arm-based edition of VMware ESXi hypervisor. There is a selection of supported hardware, but it is an experimental release, so admins must agree to a Technical Preview License before they download the software.

ESXi Fling on Arm software allows a hypervisor-based software that has the same feature set as the non-Arm version to run on x86-based architecture. Energy efficiency and performance are the key factors to why leading hardware manufacturers create Arm-architecture based hardware. Its principal use case is Arm workload virtualization.

Arm architecture is more energy efficient than x86 CPU architectures, so many hardware vendors use it to provide more energy efficient servers for data centers and edge infrastructure.

Arm processors have higher performance per watt than x86 CPUs. This makes them suitable for battery-operated or solar powered devices where energy efficiency is an indispensable feature. These Arm processors are found in a lot of consumer devices -- such as smartphones and tablets -- so it is a logical step for VMware to provide ESXi-based hypervisor for Arm.

Hardware requirements for ESXi Fling on Arm

Successful use of ESXi Fling on Arm requires the right hardware. There are different specifications for the data center, the near edge or far edge. Some hardware options only have experimental support.

  • Data center . Ampere Computing eMAG-based systems, Ampere Computing Altra-based systems, Ampere Computing Altra-based shapes from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or Arm Neoverse N1 System Development Platform
  • Near edge. SolidRun Honeycomb LX2, SolidRun MacchiatoBin or CN9132 EVB or Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier Developer Kit
  • Far edge. 4 GB or 8 GB Model of Raspberry Pi 4b (8 GB is highly recommended, and USB 3.0 device for ESXi/VMFS is also recommended), Raspberry Pi 400, Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX Developer Kit, LS1046A-based NXP Freeway, LS1046A-based NXP RDB and Socionext SynQuacer Developerbox

Admins can use VMware vCenter Server to manage the host(s) that the software installs. This requires ESXi version 7.0.

Get started with ESXi Fling on Arm architecture | TechTarget (2)

How to begin the ESXi Arm Fling deployment process

To run ESXi Fling on Arm, register on the VMware website and download the ISO file. For different hardware types, there is alternative documentation admins can download as a PDF for a step-by-step configuration setup.

The ESXi hypervisor needs storage. If admins use Raspberry Pi, they need a microSD card for the firmware and a USB stick to act as the VMware installer.

Get started with ESXi Fling on Arm architecture | TechTarget (3)

Finally, admins need an installation destination for VMware. It is possible to install ESXi on a microSD card, but this option is not officially supported. Admins will most likely consider a USB-based or network offering, such as PXE or iSCSI.

ESXi Fling on Arm use cases

VMware might release a fully supported ESXi on Arm in the future, which will not only run the Arm Fling software but also have commercial vendor support.

For example, admins could deploy two far edge devices that both run ESXi and create a small cluster. This setup can run at a remote site, such as a telecom transmitter, a wind turbine or any other critical edge device.

The admin can then run infrastructure maintenance without shutting down mission-critical service. To do this, the admin runs vMotion in a VM to the second ESXi node. After the admin finishes the maintenance, they can enable fault tolerance on that VM, so if one of the Arm hosts fails, there is no service downtime.

For these use cases, the configuration must be mature and have an equivalent feature set as the VMware ESXi. VMware currently only supports clean installations of ESXi Fling on Arm -- without upgrades.

The upgrade is possible, if an admin does a clean installation that preserves the original datastores -- and VMs -- and then registers the VMs back into the user interface. But this is a lengthy process that each admin would have run on each individual device.

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Get started with ESXi Fling on Arm architecture | TechTarget (2024)


Get started with ESXi Fling on Arm architecture | TechTarget? ›

How to begin the ESXi Arm Fling deployment process. To run ESXi Fling on Arm, register on the VMware

VMware is a virtualization and cloud computing software provider based in Palo Alto, Calif. Founded in 1998, VMware is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies. EMC Corporation originally acquired VMware in 2004; EMC was later acquired by Dell Technologies in 2016. › definition › VMware
website and download the ISO file. For different hardware types, there is alternative documentation admins can download as a PDF for a step-by-step configuration setup. The ESXi hypervisor needs storage.

What is the difference between ESX and ESXi security with its architecture? ›

ESXi uses a modified kernel that is both smaller and more powerful. Because it doesn't employ COS, it has better security and is less complicated to manage when compared to ESX. The ESXi architecture has several advantages, including: With a smaller footprint compared to ESX, ESxi demands fewer resources.

What is ESX vs ESXi? ›

As previously noted, ESX architecture relies on a Linux-based Console Operating System (COS). This is the key difference between ESX and ESXi, as the latter operates without the COS. In ESX, the function of the console OS is to boot the server and then load the vSphere hypervisor into the memory.

What is the difference between VMX and VMM? ›

The VMX is also responsible for communicating with user interfaces, snapshot managers, and remote console. Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) process - A process that runs in the VMkernel that is responsible for virtualizing the guest OS instructions and manages memory.

What is the difference between vCenter and vSphere? ›

vSphere is VMware's enterprise virtualization platform and the basis for cloud-based infrastructures. vCenter Server is the centralized platform for managing vSphere environments, used for assigning roles to users, creating new VMs, searching the inventory, and much more.

Is Proxmox better than ESXi? ›

ESXi excels for large enterprises needing maximum uptime, performance, and scalability to run demanding workloads. Proxmox suits small to mid-sized organizations requiring virtualization on a budget, with enough power and flexibility for most workloads.

What architecture is ESXi? ›

VMware® ESXi is the next-generation hypervisor, providing a new foundation for virtual infrastructure. This innovative architecture operates independently from any general-purpose operating system, offering improved security, increased reli- ability, and simplified management.

Is ESXi no longer free? ›

Along with the termination of perpetual licensing, Broadcom has also decided to discontinue the Free ESXi Hypervisor, marking it as EOGA (End of General Availability). Regrettably, there is currently no substitute product offered.

What is ESXi in simple terms? ›

ESXi replaces Service Console (a rudimentary operating system) with a more closely integrated OS. ESX/ESXi is the primary component in the VMware Infrastructure software suite. The name ESX originated as an abbreviation of Elastic Sky X.

Is ESXi a server or OS? ›

VMware ESXi, also called VMware ESXi Server, is a bare-metal hypervisor developed by VMware for vSphere. ESXi is one of the primary components in the VMware infrastructure software suite. ESXi is a Type 1 hypervisor, meaning it runs directly on system hardware without the need for an OS.

What are the three types of VMM? ›

Virtual Machine Monitor
  • Type 1: These VMM (Figure 1) are directly installed on the hardware. They are also known as stand alone VMM. ...
  • Type 2: They (Figure 2) are installed on the host operating system. ...
  • Type 3: This (Figure 3) type is a cross combination of Type 1 and Type 2 VMM.

What does scvmm stand for? ›

System Center Virtual Machine Manager, also known as System Center VMM or simply SCVMM, is a management tool developed by Microsoft to efficiently manage virtualized environments, particularly as a company's virtual machine and services deployment size increases.

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 hypervisors? ›

The type 1 hypervisor sits on top of the bare metal server and has direct access to the hardware resources. Because of this, the type 1 hypervisor is also known as a bare metal hypervisor. In contrast, the type 2 hypervisor is an application installed on the host operating system.

Should I upgrade vCenter or ESXi first? ›

Once your vCenter is up and running, you can proceed with upgrading the hosts from their old esxi version to the new version number. You just have to keep doing vCenter first then the ESXi. You can't have ESXi version number ahead of vCenter.

What is vSAN in VMware? ›

VMware vSAN uses a software-defined approach that creates shared storage for virtual machines. It virtualizes the local physical storage resources of ESXi hosts and turns them into pools of storage that can be divided and assigned to virtual machines and applications according to their quality-of-service requirements.

What is vMotion? ›

VMware vMotion is a technology that enables the live migration of a virtual machine from one physical server to another without any downtime. This process helps maximize the performance and availability of your VMs by taking advantage of server consolidation, maintenance, and load-balancing capabilities.

What is the security issue of ESXi? ›

VMware ESXi contains an out-of-bounds write vulnerability. VMware has evaluated the severity of this issue to be in the Important severity range with a maximum CVSSv3 base score of 7.9. A malicious actor with privileges within the VMX process may trigger an out-of-bounds write leading to an escape of the sandbox.

What is the difference between ESXi host and hypervisor? ›

ESXi is a Type 1 hypervisor, meaning it runs directly on system hardware without the need for an OS. Type 1 hypervisors are also referred to as bare-metal hypervisors because they run directly on hardware. Hypervisors help run multiple VMs efficiently on a physical server. Type 1 vs.

What processor architecture is supported by ESXi? ›

Because VMware ESXi supports only x86 architectures, the server must have AMD or Intel processors.

Does ESXi need antivirus? ›

As VMware transitions from ESX to ESXi (and away from the general purpose OS running the COS), the need to run Antivirus/Anti Malware solutions to protect the hypervisor is even further diminished. For more information on the transition from ESX to ESXi, see the VMware ESXi and ESX Info Center.

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