Q: Will the next version of Windows Azure Pack natively support ESX-based virtual machines?
A: Currently, there is no plan for the next version of Windows Azure Pack (v2) to natively support ESX-based environments. Note that the next version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager will still support ESX environments via vCenter; it's only Windows Azure Pack that doesn't natively support ESX but will instead focus on Hyper-V virtual environments. VMware management via Windows Azure Pack will be similar to how it is with version 1.0:
- For provisioning in ESX environments, create Orchestrator runbooks (or Orchestrator SMA for pure PowerShell workflows), which are then made request offerings in Service Manager. The request offerings are made available as services in Windows Azure Pack via the third-party Gridpro solution or Cireson. Although this allows provisioning and other actions, it doesn't expose a friendly view of the virtual machines to stop, start, etc.
- Leverage Cloud Assert, which adds ESX-based support to Windows Azure Pack to provide an experience very similar to that available with Hyper-V based environments.