You get what you pay for ._.Ugh, intel tax
Repost from the backup:
Maybe the english version of geizhals (german for cheapskate/scrooge ) can help you guys: Solid State Drives (SSD) mit Schnittstelle: M.2 (PCIe)/PCIe, Protokoll: NVMe, Besonderheiten: Power-Loss Protection Preisvergleich geizhals.eu EU
Edit: Fixed the link
But the TO asked fro SATA as bulk etc as well. I have 365G+765GB+2400GB ioDrive2's running under LTS kernel and up to 5.9 ... The TO showed no ESXI requirement.They don't support nvme and there are no official drivers for recent linux kernels (and esxi 7) anymore.
Curious though, why do you "need" to have the firmware updated? Are there known issues that require patching for example?