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Now that VMW is going to make ESX 3i free as of July 28th I have to wonder if they will stop developing and selling ESX 3.5 (the service console based version)? Functionally both versions perform the same, they can both be managed by Virtual Infrastructure, they both support functions like vmotion, HA, DRS, etc.. so what would be the point in paying for ESX 3.5 when instead you could be putting more $ towards the management tools?

You can certainly perform basic management with either version of ESX via the VI client or the WebUI but you really need the Virtual Infrastructure tools to do serious virtualization so the more $$ you have to spend on the management tools the better I suppose.. I definitely see this as a good thing.

Just curious really and I wonder what other folks out there are thinking about this? did you just invest in VMware by purchasing ESX 3.5 and now wish you had just gone with the 3i version? If you skipped on the 3i version, why?