Broadcom Discontinues vSphere Free Edition.

With the news of Broadcom killing off vSphere ESXi’s free edition, long time users such as myself explore what’s next.

Like many engineers, I cut my teeth on vSphere ESXi – specifically the free edition. For the last decade, its held its place in my home lab, acting as the trouble free host for a wide range of virtualization needs. It’s familiar interface, wide range of hardware support, and third party integrations like Veeam, made it dare I say a pleasure to run. I could wax on poetically about ease of upgrades, being able to run enterprise software in my humble home lab, and the simplicity it added to my environment – but those days are gone.

While trail versions will still exist, and as of writing this, VMUG still offers the advantage licensing – I find myself questioning the alternatives. Reddit’s /r/sysadmin and virtualization subreddits are packed full of nearly daily discussions around what to replace both free and production instances of vSphere with. Thankfully there are a number of popular growing alternatives such as Proxmox and Nutanix’s Community Edition, but we’ll discuss those in a future post.

So, like so many others today I cast my goodbye to vSphere’s ESXi free edition. You will be missed.

Marc Heynderickx