News Releases6 min read

VMware ESXi Hypervisor Now Free

VMware ESXi Hypervisor Now Free

With Customers Deriving Value from More Than 20 Products in the VMware Portfolio, Company Makes #1 Hypervisor Free

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 28, 2008 – VMware, Inc., (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today announced its stand-alone ESXi hypervisor will be available at no cost to help companies of all sizes experience the benefits of virtualization. Since 2001, VMware has provided the industry’s most popular and reliable hypervisor, which is now used by more than 120,000 customers. In December 2007, VMware announced significant improvements with ESXi – its third-generation stand-alone hypervisor. With the industry’s smallest footprint and OS-independence, ESXi sets a new bar for security and reliability. ESXi 3.5 update 2, available today, meets the criteria for mass distribution: (1) ease of use and (2) maturity and stability now having been ‘battle tested’ for six months with customers. The leading server manufacturers have all embedded VMware ESXi, including Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hitachi, HP, IBM, and NEC. ESXi can be downloaded now from

According to Gartner Vice President Distinguished Analyst Tom Bittman, “Virtualization is one of the most impactful trends in computing. The availability of free hypervisors will undoubtedly grow the market and provide a compelling reason for companies that have not virtualized their environment to begin doing so. This is especially true for small to medium business customers and customers in emerging markets. The hypervisor itself is really just a foundation. The business model and real value in virtualization is evolving toward a virtualized infrastructure and the management and automation tools leveraging the hypervisor.”

“VMware has always believed that virtualization needs to be ubiquitous. We want to accelerate the day that x86 servers and desktops are fully virtualized,” said Raghu Raghuram, vice president of products and solutions, VMware. “With the explosive growth of multi-core capacity, improvements in virtualization-aware hardware, and performance improvements in our virtualization software, we believe that no technical hurdles remain for 100% virtualization. Now we are removing financial hurdles as well. ESXi is mature enough and easy enough to use that it can be the entry point into virtualization for those companies just taking their first steps with the technology.”

VMware ESXi is Easy to Deploy and Manage

ESXi is purpose-built for running virtual machines, minimizing configuration requirements and simplifying deployment. Customers can go from installation to running virtual machines in minutes, particularly when downloading and installing a pre-configured virtual appliance. There are over 800 virtual appliances that have been created for the VMware hypervisor on the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace, and ESXi now incorporates a direct integration with the Virtual Appliance Marketplace to allow users to immediately download and run virtual appliances. This enables a new and radically streamlined approach to plug-and-play software delivery and installation. Read what partners are saying about ESXi here:

“ESXi is a dynamic and affordable entry point for learning about the power and benefits of virtualization as we investigate a larger deployment with related products like VMware Site Recovery Manager,” said Ron Pike, associate, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP. “ESXi integrates easily with our storage area network for simple deployment, monitoring, and backup of our virtual machines.” Based in Portland, Oregon, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects is a nationally recognized architecture, planning and interior design firm.

“ESXi installation is so simple that it takes only a few minutes to get up and running,” said Daniel Jacobs, systems analyst, Foothills School Division. “Plus creating virtual machines is a breeze and we can build them remotely in a few minutes. We run a number of operating systems as virtual machines including both Linux and Windows and only ESXi provides high quality support for them all.” Foothills School Division in Alberta, Canada, is located in the front range of the Rocky Mountains, and offers innovative educational services to its students and the community.

The Reliable, Secure and Scalable Platform for Applications

Built on the proven and mature technology found in the ESX hypervisor, named “most reliable” by publications like Redmond Magazine, ESXi extends this tradition with an operating-system independent architecture that minimizes attack surface area. ESXi offers features, such as 4 virtual CPUs, 256GB hosts, and memory de-duplication, for running the most resource intensive applications. This allows ESXi to offer the highest consolidation ratios and thus the lowest TCO and cost per virtual machine. These features work equally well across the broadest set of supported operating systems in the industry, including Windows, Linux, Netware, and Solaris.

The Most Trusted Foundation for Building a Virtual Datacenter

ESXi is the base virtualization platform that customers can build upon for continuous application availability and infrastructure security. VMware offers more than 20 additional software products for datacenter virtualization, desktop virtualization, application and infrastructure management and automation. With VMware Infrastructure 3, the industry-leading datacenter virtualization and management suite, customers can add to ESXi the benefits of centralized management, automatic load balancing, business continuity, power management and the ability to move a virtual machine across physical machines to minimize service interruption. VMware Infrastructure 3 is also compatible with VMware’s desktop virtualization and management solutions.

VMware Infrastructure 3 is available in three editions.

  • VMware Infrastructure 3, Foundation Edition enables centralized management with VirtualCenter, automated patch management of physical and virtual machines with Update Manager, and off-line backups with Consolidated Backup.
  • VMware Infrastructure 3, Standard Edition adds in VMware High Availability which automatically restarts virtual machines on a new host when a physical server fails. This provides an operating and application independent high availability solution without the cost and complexity of clustering.
  • VMware Infrastructure 3, Enterprise Edition includes VMotion for the non-disruptive migration of running virtual machines, Storage VMotion for the live migration of virtual machine disks between storage locations, Distributed Resource Scheduler for dynamic load balancing based on application demand, and Distributed Power Management to reduce power consumption by powering down idle server capacity.

Proven In the Most Demanding Environments

Over 120,000 companies of all sizes and across all industries are using VMware and its partner products to simplify their infrastructure, dramatically reduce costs while improving service levels, and provide cost-effective availability and disaster recovery solutions to all of their applications. 100% of the Fortune 100 and 95% of the Fortune 1000 deploy VMware products. 85% of customers deploy VMware in production with 46% standardizing all or most new applications in a VMware virtual machine. The performance, quality, and ROI of VMware encourage 90% of customers to recommend VMware products to others. VMware virtualization is a fundamentally better way to deliver IT services and is a core technology component for every IT environment.

About VMware

VMware (NYSE: VMW) is the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter. Customers of all sizes rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2007 revenues of $1.3 billion, more than 120,000 customers and nearly 18,000 partners, VMware is one of the fastest growing public software companies. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is majority-owned by EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) and on the web at

VMware is a registered trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.

Related Links:

VMware ESXi Resources:

VMware ESXi Download site

VMware ESXi Documentation and Hardware Compatibility

VMware ESXi online training course  

VMware ESXi Web site

VMware ESXi product community

Virtual Appliances Market Place

Other Resources

VMware Infrastructure Web site

VMware Infrastructure team blog

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to the safe harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate, but are not limited, to continuing customer adoption and deployment of our products and architecture, levels of demand for our products including market size and leadership, ongoing development and delivery of innovative new products and applications of our product. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions; (ii) delays or reductions in consumer or information technology spending; (iii) competitive factors, including but not limited to pricing pressures, industry consolidation, entry of new competitors into the virtualization market, and new product and marketing initiatives by our competitors; (iv) factors that affect timing of license revenue recognition such as product announcements and beta programs; (v) our customers’ ability to develop, and to transition to, new products, (vi) the uncertainty of customer acceptance of emerging technology; (vii) rapid technological and market changes in virtualization software; (viii) changes to product development timelines; (ix) VMware’s relationship with EMC Corporation, and EMC’s ability to control matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of VMware’s board members; (x) our ability to protect our proprietary technology; (xi) our ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; and (xii) fluctuating currency exchange rates. These forward looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value and effect as well as other risks detailed in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, which could cause actual results to vary from expectations. VMware disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.