Installing the vmware esxi "bare metal" hypervisor actually is a breeze (Thanks pparks1 for details on decent NIC's that work) but acessing it seems to need a Windows ONLY piece of software called VI client. (Actually Vsphere but it's the same thing just re-badged).
Anybody to got this to work in WINE yet as it seems a bit of a waste to have a whole Windows machine lying around just to access the ESXI server (note there is no native console mode - so it has to be done via the VI client).
Once the thing is up and running you can install the VI client on one of the Guest Windows VM's itself but you still need the initial Windows system to create the data stores and install guest VM's.
Using ESXi allows a load more VM's to be up and running compared with running VM's on a Host system.
I notice that an app for the Ipad is available though http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2011/03...-for-ipad.html