Fairly often new people discovering VMware asking this questions: Esxi free vs paid? What’s the difference? While for many folks, VMware certified people, and others, this question (and especially the answer) is obvious, the new people who just discovered virtualization, might want to know exactly. That’s why this post. At first you might want to read my post ESXi Free – What’s the Limitations?
The ESXi Free version is the same download as the full blown ESXi, but stays unlocked only for 60 days. It is the exact same ISO image. If you don’t enter the serial number for the free version, the product works as full version during 60 days. When the trial period ends and the product lock out the advanced features, and becomes ESXi free (you’ll still have to apply a serial number, which is available with the free version when you download it.
--> Please see the rest on Vladan's Blog : http://www.vladan.fr/esxi-free-vs-paid