Its time for Pi – ESXi on ARM Computing

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This past year I was admitted into a internal VMware program known as CTOA (CTO Ambassadors). The CTO Ambassador program is run by the VMware Office of the CTO. The CTO Ambassadors are global members of a small group of VMwares most experienced and talented customer facing, individual contributor technologists. They are pre-sales systems engineers (SEs), technical account managers (TAMs), professional services consultants, architects and global support services engineers. The ambassadors help to ensure a tight collaboration between R&D and our customers so that we can address current customer issues and future needs as effectively as possible.  More information here >>

During a recent CTOA conference at VMware HQ, Chris Wolf (CTO, Global Field and Industry at VMware) demonstrated ESXi ARM on a Raspberry Pi.  He went on to challenge all the CTOA members to promote ESXi on ARM with the VMware Community.  The real challenge was — How do you show your customer something new, especially when the product has not released yet?   The answer — Supply your all the CTOAs with Raspberry Pi pre-loaded with ESXi for ARM!  You can find the specs on the kit they got us from Amazon.  They added in a 32GB SD card used to boot ESXi for ARM.

Overall the kit was pretty easy to assemble and it was similar to the Motorola 6800 Trainers I used at DeVry.  Similar how you may ask?  The Pi has the Extended GPIO 40 Pin (general-purpose input/output) pins along the top edge of the board. A 40-pin GPIO header is found on all current Raspberry Pi boards. Prior to the Pi 1 Model B+ (2014), boards comprised a shorter 26-pin header. Any of the GPIO pins can be designated (in software) as an input or output pin and used for a wide range of purposes.  The DeVry 6800 Trainer had a similar I/O pin out where we could create projects.  My senior class project was a home security system running on this trainer.  We build a model home with alarm sensors, interfaced those senors into the trainer, and I wrote all the code to create the security program.  In many ways this Raspberry Pi is very similar to the DeVry Trainer, only you needed to understand low level Machine Code specific for the 6800 CPU but the Pi pretty much works with most object oriented languages of today.

I’m looking forward to working with the Pi and plan to post up some videos of ESXi on ARM soon.


If you like my ‘no-nonsense’ blog articles that get straight to the point… then post a comment or let me know… Else, I’ll start writing boring blog content.




3 thoughts on “Its time for Pi – ESXi on ARM Computing

    Richard Hughes said:
    May 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Do you have an ESXi Pi ARM image to share?


      Matt Mancini responded:
      May 1, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      At this point its VMware internal only. I’m working on a quick video to show it off a bit. Like you can can’t wait for the release.

      Liked by 1 person

        Richard Hughes said:
        May 1, 2019 at 3:58 pm

        I do a podcast on ARM based and other mini computers. My home infrastructure is completely ARM based. I do VMware for a living. I’m pretty excited to get an ARM setup running!


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