To perform remote command line operations on an ESX host on versions of ESX up to 3.0.2, required either direct console access or using secure shell, e.g. Putty. As of ESX 3.5.0, there is a new alternative which is called RCLI.
There are 3 RCLI options
- RCLI Appliance (a ready-made downloadable VM appliance built on Debian Linux)
- RCLI for Windows
- RCLI for Linux
See more here.