ESX 3i – Almost, but not quite there yet

What a contentious title for a post, however I couldn’t help but notice how many times I saw / heard “not supported in 3i” during VMworld Europe 2008, despite the significant keynote time given to IBM, HP and Dell who all duly announced you could get 3i on a USB stick with their hardware now!

Sure many of the things are relatively minor, but the biggest concerns for me are:

– HA is only experimental (no I’m not kidding)
– No advanced networking support that is found in 3.5 (TSO, Jumbo Frames)
– No Infiniband support that is found in 3.5

Ordinarily I wouldnt really care, but the marketing ppl at VMware would have us believe that the 2 products are identical except for the lack of a service console. As they say, the 2 kernels are identical, except when they’re not. One could argue that the benefits of no service console outweigh the limitations above, but as bullish as I was on 3i when I first saw it in the beta program, I just can’t justify deploying it in it’s current state.

Mind you, I believe absolutely that 3i is the way of the future, and will continue to work on that stateless infrastructure I mentioned a few weeks back… which reminds me, I should get to work on that stateless infrastructure I mentioned a few weeks back!

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