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Recover data from damaged or formatted VMFS disks or VMDK files

ESXi Free Limitations and Its Benefits

Here you will find out:

  • about ESXi free limitations
  • pros and cons of VMware ESXi free
  • when DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

About ESXi Free limitations

VMware ESXi is a well-known Type 1 hypervisor for running virtual machines in the IT industry. The ESXi hypervisor is one of the components of VMware vSphere and has several versions, with different functions and license prices. However, VMware also offers a free version of ESXi.

Naturally, there are a number of limitations, which will be discussed in this article. In addition, you will learn some more useful tips that are hard to find on a public network.

ESXi Free limitations and how to check for them

To check for VMware ESXi Free limitations, you first need to give SSH access in ESXi’s settings. Then, to look at your license and the list of available options, type or copy the following command:

vim-cmd vimsvc/license --show

All the necessary information will appear on the screen.

Pros and cons of VMware ESXi Free

The idea that the physical CPU limit VMware ESXi Free is disadvantageous and not at all usable is not entirely correct.

Here are the key benefits and features of this version of ESXi:

  1. 1. The number of physical processors per ESXi host (VMware vSphere Hypervisor) can be infinite. This feature is already available in new versions of the ESXi free license.
  1. 2. Unlimited physical memory allows you to deploy a powerful physical server that contains 6 or more multi-core processors with a large amount of RAM.
  1. 3. An unlimited number of cores per physical processor allows efficient use of hardware processor performance.
  1. 4. The free ESXi license allows you to always use this version; that is, you don’t need to be afraid that this is only a trial version and then you have to pay up. Once installed, you can use VMware ESXi Free as much as you like. And when you need more features, just open the licensing options in your VMware host client or VMware vSphere client and enter a new license.

Of course, you should also know about the shortcomings of this version in order to weigh the pros and cons in advance:

  1. 1. There is no official VMware technical support. Of course, you can ask for help in the VMware community, but you won’t get such highly qualified and detailed help as in the paid version. In addition, with official VMware support, you get timely software updates.
  1. 2. The vStorage API function is also not available. That is, this version of ESXi does not allow applications to interact with the ESXi server through the vStorage API. As a result, backing up virtual machines from the free version of ESXi at the host level is not possible.
  1. 3. The maximum number of virtual processors that you can run on each machine is 8. In principle, it is not so small, but if you need more processors, you will get an error message: "There are not enough licenses to perform this operation."
  1. 4. You cannot centrally manage VMs using vCenter. Thus, clustering, migration, etc. will be beyond your reach.

Now you have a complete picture of all the features and limitations of the free version of ESXi. And only you can decide whether it suits you or if you want more features and capabilities.

If your VMware VM is corrupted

DiskInternals VMFS Recovery is a professional application for high-quality reading of the VMware VMFS file system when it is damaged. It can also recover data, where possible, from drives (in any state) in VMFS format.

All data found during deep scanning can be seen in the preview window. It will not cost you a dime. Further, if everything suits you, simply buy a license for DiskInternals VMFS Recovery for data export.

Here’s a guide to DiskInternals VMFS Recovery; be sure to read it:

Download and install the program on your computer, so you can start recovering lost VMDK data.

Connect via SSH, if necessary.

Open the disk (it can be either a local disk or SSH).

This is followed by a scan, after which you can find and mount the necessary VMDK files.

Preview the data for free before exporting.

Now, it's time to export data using the wizard. To perform export you will need to buy a license.

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