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Storage Design and Implementation in vSphere 6: A Technology Deep Dive, Second Edition by Mostafa Khalil

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Chapter 19. VisorFS

VMware ESXi Server has evolved quite a bit over the past 16 years. Originally called ESX Server, it required a Linux bootstrap to load its own kernel (vmkernel). Today, its name is ESXi Server, and it has its own bootstrap based on vmkernel. VMware shipped both flavors until version 4.0, and then since ESXi 4.1, it has shipped the ESXi format only.

In the process of this transition, ESXi Server was referred to as Embedded ESX Server and was designed to boot from embedded flash storage or a USB stick. This meant the size of the server’s boot image was reduced to fit on the 2GB flash storage available at that time. The vision was to have system vendors embed ESXi boot images on all servers they shipped and allow customers to ...

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