In case you needed more encouragement to move to ESXi here’s a good reason. The recent Linux vulnerability that was announced that can give attackers root access to a system effects the ESX 4.x Service Console as well as it is based off Red Hat Linux with the 2.6.28 kernel. The vulnerability affects nearly all 64-bit Linux distros but is not present in 32-bit Linux distros. Because of that the ESX 3.x Service Console is not affected by this. Apparently VMware is aware of this and a patch is in the works so be on the lookout for it and patch your systems immediately. If an attacker were to gain root access to your ESX Service Console they could easily gain access to all your VM’s as well. ESXi systems are not affected at all as they do not run a full Linux operating system and instead run a small POSIX based environment that has a smaller attack surface.
The next release of vSphere won’t include VMware ESX, so you may be unsure how to upgrade your ESX hosts to ESXi hosts. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet, and as with all upgrades, you should not rush into it without being prepared. In this article, I will provide a suggested methodology.
1. Understand the differences between ESX and ESXi
First, you need a good understanding of the differences between ESX and ESXi. The two hypervisors run the same VMkernel, but managing ESXi is different from management ESX. ( VMware provides a basic ESX vs. ESXi comparison on its website and a more detailed one in the ESX vs. ESXi 4.1 KnowledgeBase article.) ESX and ESXi used to differ considerably, but vSphere 4.1 addressed most of them and the two hypervisors are now on par with each other.
Read the full article at searchvmware.com…
VMware ESX 4.0 installation video (Boche.net)
Video: vSphere4 Unleashed: 01 - Installing ESX4 (HyperVizor)
Installing VMware ESX 4 in Text Mode (Daily Hypervisor)
ESX 4 Quick Install Guide (Xtravirt)
How to Reset the Root Password in VMware ESX 4 (Xtravirt)
Partitioning your ESX host - part II (Yellow Bricks)
Configuring the Net-SNMP Agent on ESX Hosts (VMware)
Changes to the ESX Service Console for ESX 4.0 (VMware)
ESX4 man pages (Jume)
Three ways to kill a frozen vSphere ESX host virtual machine (Virtualization Pro)
Howto: 101 Scripting ESX server installation on vSphere 4 (VI Tips)
Creating USB based boot media for ESX 4 installs (Ubiquitous Talk)
Automating vSphere ESX4 host installations (Ubiquitous Talk)
Best Practices for vSphere (ESX 4) Service Console Partitions (VM/ETC)
Determining detailed build number information for VMware ESX 4.0.x hosts (KB Article)
Cannot log in to an ESX 4 host with vSphere Web Access (KB Article)
Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi Server (KB Article)