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QTP/(U)FT Support Tip: What is VMware ESX/ESXi?

Hello everybody,


How are you? I hope you are fine 🙂


In the past I came across loads of questions about the support of VMware ESX/ESXi. There seems to be some confusion about what it basically is.


VMware ESX is not a virtualization software per se, where you can install software on. ESX/ESXi is a bare metal hypervisor. A hypervisor, also called a virtual machine manager, is a program that allows multiple operating systems to share a single hardware host. Each operating system appears to have the host's processor, memory, and other resources all to itself. However, the hypervisor is actually controlling the host processor and resources, allocating what is needed to each operating system in turn and making sure that the guest operating systems (called virtual machines) cannot disrupt each other.


Effectively this means, VMware ESX/ESXi does not run an Operating System on it, but is only a host or access manager (if you will) for Virtual Machines. Therefore, the user cannot install a software into it. The user can only install the software in a Virtual Machine itself, which could be hosted using VMware ESX/ESXi.


Information sources:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bare_machine - explanation "bare-metal machine"



http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/definition/hypervisor - simplified explanation "hypervisor"


I think there is a general confusion or perception issue regarding the support of VMware ESX/ESXi. This support, specified in our Product Availability Matrices, needs to be understood as "virtual machines hosted/managed by VMware ESX/ESXi version x.x.x.x".


Best regards,

Tino Pacholski

Functional Testing Support Engineer

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