VMWare Workstation costs some money, but why is ESXi, the more complicated product, as I think, distributed for free?
closed as not constructive by SvW, TheCleaner, Ward, Cheekaleak, Greg Askew Sep 10 '12 at 21:12
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VMWare Workstation is more of a consumer level product geared towards the home-user.
ESXi has a free version of their enterprise product that provides pretty much untethered capabilities. It does have some limitations, like lack of live-migration support and a cap on CPU/memory limits that the system will operate with.
My personal thoughts on it are this; the point behind virtualization is that your system will eventually scale beyond the limits placed on a single server in an enterprise environment. That said, if you already have a system in place that functions well, then why would someone jump ship in an enterprise environment if they currently have vested interest in that platform? The old ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ saying seems relevant.