What are the different versions of ESXI 3.5, 4.1 and 5.0

I want to learn VMWARE, and I have downloaded a trial version of VMWARE Workstation 7.1.4. . I installed it on my Dell laptop.  It will expire in 30 days.

I want to install free ESXI on my vmware workstation 7, but I don't know which ESXI versions or types that I should use.  Can you please explain in details what the different between ESXI 3.5, 4.1,  and 5.0? ? Which ESXI version should I download and install on my vmware workstation for learning and practicing the vmware skills?

My Dell laptop details information below.
DELL Latitude E6500
It has 4gb of RAM
Intel Core 2 dual P8400, 2.26GHZ 2.27GHZ
WIndows 7 32bit.  


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Luciano PatrãoConnect With a Mentor ICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

You can install ESX on that VMware workstation for testing. Check if Virtualization Technology (VT) in motherboard BIOS is enable on your laptop.

Here is the features and differences between versions.




How to install ESX(i) in a VMware Workstation





Hope this can help you

Download and install VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.0(ESXi 5.0), it is the latest version.
There are many upgrades and features that make the 3.5, 4.1 and 5.0 versions different.
Download the 5.0 and start with a 2 or 4GB partition. Install the OS then add another drive to the VM and use that as your datastore.

I am not sure if you will be able to install ESXi on a notebook that is running Windows 7 32Bit. ESXi is 64 bit.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ESXi 5.0 is the latest version that was released on 24 August 2011.

All versions are very similar ESXi 3.5, ESXi 4.x and ESXi 5.0, I would stick with the latest version, as it supports more Guest Operating Systems.

VMware Workstation or VMware Player are ideal environments for learning VMware ESXi, many VMware Admins build VMware Labs using VMware Workstation or VMware Player (for FREE) on laptops.
coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I personally would start with ESXi 4.1; don't mess with ESX because it is no longer used by VMware...meaning, they only have ESXi now (with the release of ESXi 5). Make sure you enable Intel-VT in your BIOS so as to be able to install a 64bit VM (ESXi 4.x and higher are 64bit; vCenter Server 4.1 and higher HAS to be on a 64bit OS). Also, if possible, I recommend more RAM. Since you only have a 32bit OS, you can't have more than 4GB, but to be able to 'play' with vSphere a bit, I recommend you getting a 64bit OS for your laptop, then upgrading your RAM to at least 8GB. Your ESXi VM will have 2GB, then vCenter would need a min of 2-3GB, which leaves nothing for your laptop host OS. Just some things to consider.

Oh, and why I recommend 4.1 over 5? Well, 5 is really, REALLY new. If anything, what you can do is run and play with 4.1. Then, one of the things you can do is practice an upgrade from 4.1 to 5.

Hope that helps.

sriritaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Guys for the information.  I was thinking about install Windows 7, VMWARE Workstation 7, ESXI 5 and other OS onto the USB stick, so I can use it to practice or carry it to work.  Do you think 4GB usb stick is good enough for this learning curve purpose?  
Hmm...I haven't tried that, but I guess you could use a USB (E: drive?) as your datastore. I would get a 8GB USB if you can. I think that should suffice for you...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
A 4GB USB Flash drive will be okay to install ESXi 5.0, but do not try running Virtual Machines from an USB flash drive or External USB hard disks, it's slow and unusable.

Unless it's a new USB external disk with a SSD inside!
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