If your environment does not include vCenter Server, clients can connect directly to the ESXi network.

You can connect to a standalone ESXi host in several ways.

  • VMware Host Client

  • One of the vSphere command-line interfaces

  • vSphere Web Services SDK or vSphere Automation SDKs

  • Third-party clients

The firewall requirements for standalone hosts are similar to requirements when a vCenter Server is present.

  • Use a firewall to protect your ESXi layer or, depending on your configuration, your clients, and the ESXi layer. This firewall provides basic protection for your network.

  • Licensing in this type of configuration is part of the ESXi package that you install on each of the hosts. Because licensing is resident to ESXi, a separate License Server with a firewall is not required.

You can configure firewall ports using ESXCLI or using the VMware Host Client. See vSphere Single Host Management - VMware Host Client.