You can interact with ESX/ESXi systems in several different ways. You can use a client or, in special cases, interact programmatically.

Administrators can interact with ESX/ESXi systems in one of the following ways:

With a GUI client (vSphere Client or vSphere Web Access). You can connect clients directly to the ESX/ESXi host, or you can manage multiple ESX/ESXi hosts simultaneously with vCenter Server.

Through the command-line interface. vSphere Command-Line Interface (vSphere CLI) commands are scripts that run on top of the vSphere SDK for Perl. The vSphere CLI package includes commands for storage, network, virtual machine, and user management and allows you to perform most management operations. For more information, see vSphere Command-Line Interface Installation and Reference Guide.

ESX administrators can also use the ESX service console, which supports a full Linux environment and includes all vSphere CLI commands. Using the service console is less secure than remotely running the vSphere CLI. The service console is not supported on ESXi.