I had tested both environment with my test machine which is DELL Precesion Workstation with 2 x 2.0 Quad core, which had total of 17GB ECC memory loaded with 3 SATA disk contain more than 1TB local storage. Below is the comparison I had done during the test.

Installation – ESX 3.5i had advantages as the entire process is fast and simple. ESX 3.5 require more interaction as it looks similiar to Linux installation. I know the ESX 3.5 can be script and customize by using the ks.cfg which I had done previously for mass deployment. For comparison 1 to 1, ESX 3.5i is much more easier and faster.

Configuration – Basically I dun really find much different as I do manage this machine with my virtual center. The only different is the Linux connection and command no longer usable on ESX 3.5i. By the way, I read some artical to tweak around to make the SSH work on the 3.5i, but I will prefer to proceed with powershell or CLI if I do need to use command prompt.

Perfomance – ESX 3.5i had better through put. In my test, I created 3 VM which 2 of them running on Windows 2003 SP2 with 4GB memory and 4Vcpu, plus additional 1 VM with SUSE Linux. I did the same on ESX 3.5 too. The respond on the ESX 3.5i is much smooth and not lacking, as ESX 3.5 you will see some lacking from the console open on Virtual center.  Follow by file copy test, the VM on ESX 3.5i is slightly faster than ESX 3.5. just less than a minute faster which I tried to copy some file with 20GB. Beside these points, I had not found anything different.

Manage ability – ESX 3.5 will still be the best, as there are none of the software vendor will guarantee bugless on their products. If the ESX 3.5 having some technical issue, it can be easily troubleshoot and anlayze from the Linux command which is more familiar with. ESX 3.5i still have a gap to be close up as is still new to most users yet.

Here is all my finding and I will post more in the future for any new finding