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Recover data from damaged or formatted VMFS disks or VMDK files

VMware ESXi vs ESX: Differences and Peculiarities

Here you will find out:

  • what is VMware ESXi and ESX
  • ESX vs ESXi
  • how DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

VMware ESX and ESXi

What is VMware ESX and ESXi?

These are visualization VMware platforms with some differences and subtleties.

So ESX performs its duties through the service console.

For example, on the service console, many management agents and various third-party software agents transfer monitoring and control of equipment.

In order to be the owner of the VMware ESX Server platform, you do not need to have an OS installed.

ESXi is a newer hypervisor that is enjoyed by large corporations.

It has improved security, interface, and no service console (work directly on VM Kernel).


Let's start with the fact that new versions of ESX are no longer being developed - ESX 4.1 is considered the newest. After it, you can only upgrade to ESXi, and this is not even bad. As mentioned above, ESX includes a service console that allows you to manage the server from the console, but at the same time:

  • ESX server becomes cumbersome.
  • The size of the update for ESX is several times larger than for ESXi since it is impossible to update individual components here - only in full.

However, ESX has more commands to manage and administer from under the local console, while ESXi uses most of these commands by utilizing vCLI or PowerCLI.

Unlike ESX, ESXi lacks the ability to install software packages (RPM), manage services, as well as manage virtual machines.

SAN booting is available in both cases.

ESX web access is available in experimental mode, while ESXi doesn’t have it at all.

ESX has an agent for backup via COS, but ESXi does not.

I also wanted to note that in the vSphere Client for ESXi, you can view the Datastore, as well as configure alerts for HW. But, in the end, ESXi has a much larger set of management functions from vSphere Client than ESX.

As you can see, there are a lot of differences, and for each client, the choice is purely individual.

File recovery difference: ESX vs ESXi

For DiskInternals VMFS Recovery, there is no difference what exactly to recover - this application will perfectly cope with data from both platforms.

VMware virtual machines are capable of losing their data for any reason, from physical to logical. All this is possible with DiskInternals VMFS Recovery - it recovers data, even in the most difficult situations. VMFS Recovery automatically checks the current state of disk storage, VMFS, volumes, RAID (if used), and reads VMDK files, as well as VMFS structures, where possible. Virtual disks can be mounted in local disks, and they will be available for Windows Explorer, etc. Any program restrictions bypass Windows. It also supports Unicode file names and multilevel folders. All recovered files are available for viewing before buying a license, so do not worry about recovery - it is automatic here.

In addition, be calm if you have little experience in such programs - the Recovery Wizard will open on its own and tell you in necessary situations. The program also offers to use one of several recovery modes - fast (superficial) or full (this mode is recommended for a more productive result). Data export is possible only after purchasing the license.

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