Can anyone explain to me the minimum, cheapest, license that a small business would need to buy to be able to use VMWare vCenter to administer an ESXI host? I imagine it's VMWare vSphere Essentials, but I'm far from sure.
The limit of three physical servers/six physical CPUs is more than enough, we don't need a support contract, just the ability to use ESXI5.5, and for the sake of simplicity run the latest virtual machine version (so when I upgrade downloaded virtual machines to the latest I don't get daft messages from vSphere that it can no longer administer them) and use the VMWare vSphere Web Client, which is part of the vCenter distribution as I understand it.
I could rant about the vmware website and how utterly confused it is, apparently deliberately obfuscating the structure of their products and licenses, but I guess it wouldn't help any. At home I have a single server box and run ESXI5.0, and am now re-creating the same setup for the small company where I work - I never realised a company could make it so difficult to pay for something!
Thanks in advance for any clarification.
Depending on the features you need (see vSphere Editions) the Essentials Edition be meet the requirements. This edition - as well as all other paid editions - enable the API for e.g. 3rd party VM based backup applications.
Regarding the virtual hardware version, make sure you never upgrade this for the vCenter Server! For all other VMs you may simply use HW version 9 (vSphere 5.1 compatibility) in order to be able to manage the VMs using the vSphere Client if necessary.
Consider vSphere Essentials Kit, it's fits for small offices. But as per my knowledge, even for SMB's, HA and VM Level backups are essential. In this case do consider vSphere Essentials Plus Kit.
vSphere Essentials Kit is an all-in-one solution ideal for small offices.It must be purchased along with an one-year subscription to software patches and updates. Support is optional
and available on a per-incident basis.
vSphere Essentials Plus Kit adds features such as vSphere vMotion, vSphere HA, and vSphere Data Protection to vSphere SnS for Essentials Plus is sold separately. A minimum of one year of SnS is required.
Hi Andre & others, thanks for the replies, I'm still a little confused about the hardware upgrade - were I to buy the vSphere Essentials Kit (or Kit Plus) then I could upgrade all my virtual hardware to the latest version (10) and manage them through the vSphere Web Client? I understand the vSphere Web Client is part of the vCenter distribution, but if that is included in the vSphere Essentials package is still not clear.
Yes, Web client comes with vCenter and wil lbe included in your license. The point that Andre was trying to make is ::
1. If you upgrade VM hardware version to latest ie. 10, you can not manage these VMs by using vSphere client/Desktop client. The reason is desktop client is not supported for new features in 5.5 release. But if your VM hardware version is 9, you can manage VMs by using vSphere client/Desktop client.
2.If you use web client, you can manage even latest VMs with version 10. All new features in 5.5 release are supported on web client.
Let me know if you have any doubt.