For anyone who is a VMware document addict like me, I was perturbed to see that they have separate download pages for ESX, ESXi embedded & ESXi installable. This makes it triply hard to keep up to date with new updates. Each documentation set is around 2,000 pages, so you can imagine the overlap.
Up until now I’ve been basing my ESX4 Documentation Notes, on the ESX page here: http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vs_pages/vsp_pubs_esx40_vc40.html, but always felt like I might be missing a thing or two. So this morning I looked through and compared all three sets. If you don’t want to miss a beat, then here’s what you need. All 3 sets are identical except for:
- The Getting Started guides have a handful of slightly different pages, but nothing that isn’t covered in the later PDFs.
- ESX comes with an Installation Guide, whereas both ESXi streams come with Setup Guides. There is a fair bit of overlap, but if you start with the ESX, you just need to supplement it with the first 6 chapters of the Installable ESXi PDF. The Embedded one is the same except it misses out the small installing chapter. The rest of these are the same except the ESX Installation Guide has additional Service Console and WebAccess stuff.
- There is a different configuration document for ESX and ESXi, however if you start with the ESX one then everything is covered (again the ESXi one misses stuff like Service Console commands).
So in a nutshell, read the first 44 pages of the Installable Setup Guide and you’ll be covered. I’m going to add a summary of these pages to my ESX4 Documentation Notes; however I’m working full speed on my ESX4 Reference Card right now so it will probably be post-VMworld before it gets added. I will publish a preview of the Reference Card next week sometime, which will hopefully be about 50% complete.