VMware officially confirms ESX end of life

Last month virtualization.info reported that, along with the launch of vSphere 4.1, VMware also disclosed a number of upcoming architectural changes to its virtual infrastructure.
Probably, the most significant one is that the next version of its hypervisor will come without a Console Operating System (COS).

Just in case some customers need an additional confirmation that ESXi is the only way to go, VMware made it clear once and forever, by announcing the ESX end of life:

…Going forward customers will be able to deploy vSphere only using ESXi. Although the infrastructure management tasks once performed by the Service Console are now handled by tasks running under the VMkernel, some ESX users may still depend on the custom scripts, third-party products, or operational procedures that use the Service Console.

This means that upgrading to vSphere 4.1 is the perfect time to start planning on migrating to the ESXi architecture and eventually break all dependencies on the Service Console once and for all. Here is a quick summary of what you should look into:

  • Replace COS-based hardware monitoring with CIM-based tools
  • Replace COS-based backup technologies with products that use the vStorage APIs
  • Replace COS-based scripts using the VMware Management Assistant, the vCLI, or vSphere PowerCLI