RParker
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HyperVisor FREE License CPU Limit?

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I can't find a conclusive answer to this question.

If we install HyperVisor FREE version (not licensed for Essentials / Enterprise) will it work on a 4 socket server?

Are there any other limitations for FREE HyperVisor vsphere 5?

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a_p_
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Afaik restrictions for the free Hypervisor edition are:

  • limited to 32 GB physical RAM
  • limited to 32 GB vRAM
  • CLI access is read-only
  • no SNMP support

I'm not aware of any restrictions regarding the number of CPUs and/or Cores.

André

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a_p_
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Afaik restrictions for the free Hypervisor edition are:

  • limited to 32 GB physical RAM
  • limited to 32 GB vRAM
  • CLI access is read-only
  • no SNMP support

I'm not aware of any restrictions regarding the number of CPUs and/or Cores.

André

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ac427
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The CPU count on vSphere 5 Hypervisor (Free Edition) is unlimited.  That is what the licensed features show in the vSphere Client.

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rickardnobel
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On the FAQ for the free version it only says this about CPUs:

"vSphere Hypervisor license provides a vRAM entitlement of 32GB per server, regardless of the number of physical processors". It might only mean that you get 32 GB of vRAM no matter if you have one CPU, as the original limit were 8 GB vRAM per CPU and by having four sockets you could get 32.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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meimeiriver
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On the FAQ for the free version it only says this about CPUs:

"vSphere Hypervisor license provides a vRAM entitlement of 32GB per server, regardless of the number of physical processors". It might only mean that you get 32 GB of vRAM no matter if you have one CPU, as the original limit were 8 GB vRAM per CPU and by having four sockets you could get 32.

The way I read the above, is that simply no statement is being made, whatsoever, about the total number of physical CPU's. It merely states that you can have a max of 32G, "regardless of the number of physical processors." So, yes, you could assign 1 vCPU to a 32G VM; but that still leaves the question unanswered as to the (possible) limit of vCPU's.

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rickardnobel
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meimeiriver wrote:

The way I read the above, is that simply no statement is being made, whatsoever, about the total number of physical CPU's. It merely states that you can have a max of 32G, "regardless of the number of physical processors."

If we read it with the first history in mind I still think it says something. When the first information about ESXi 5 was realeased in July the total vRAM limit was 8 GB and it was said from VMware that you could increase this amount by adding more physical CPUs, up to 32 GB. That is, it was supported to use at least four physical sockets.

The current statement "vSphere Hypervisor license provides a vRAM entitlement of 32GB per server, regardless of the number of physical processors" for me implies that we could use one or more physical sockets and always get 32 GB. Since VMware allowed up to four sockets in July and nothing now says it is not allowed, I guess it still does. It would be nice with a certain statement of course.

meimeiriver wrote:

So, yes, you could assign 1 vCPU to a 32G VM; but that still leaves the question unanswered as to the (possible) limit of vCPU's.

I thought the thread was about the physical CPU sockets, but for the vCPU amount there is some mystery. The "compare" page for the free ESXi says it allows 32 vCPU per virtual machine, but I am not certain at all about this.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/compare.html

The whole page is extremely strange, since it compares the free ESXi Hypervisor with Hyper-V and XEN, but claims a lot of things which is not true at all. Quite a lot of the features will absolutely not work on free ESXi.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
ac427
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Enthusiast

Where did you find this info Andre?   I am having great difficulty finding any informaton in Hypervisor free.

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a_p_
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RParker
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a.p. was right, I called VM ware, sales told me there is NO limit to the number of cores / CPU for hypervisor, but there is a limit on vRAM, 32GB. [FREE license]

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ac427
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Thanks Andre, i did not have the second link you posted.

Below is the licence from a vSphere 5 Hypervisor, sadly with only 2 physical CPU's

Licence Free.jpg

I am sure more than 8 way vSMP would be available with more physical CPU's.

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RParker
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OK, still not done, there is NO answer for this.  How it's SUPPOSED to work and what actually happens are very different.

Documentation says 256GB of RAM, VM Ware support / Sales says 32GB vRAM limit.. however, we installed the FREE hypervisor on a 96GB RAM / 2 Socket system.. guess what.. ALL RAM is there, we setup 6 Linux machines (Performance tab shows 55GB of RAM active.. ).  There doesn't seem to be a limit up to the physical limit of the system..

(also just so we are clear, this is for ESX 4, not 5).  If we use 5, there doesn't seem to be much "features" for the free version, so we can get MORE use out of a machine by using 4)

So what does this mean?  Testing is the proof, we don't currently have a system in house to test beyond 96GB of RAM, but we do have a number of Enterprise / Enterprise + licenses, what started this whole thing we just wanted to do a proof of concept without wasting a license.  I think we have our answer.

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mcowger
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Dont forget that even the paid for licenses dont enforce the vRAM licenses.  Its intended as a 12 month rolling average (on the paid liceses), so it seems reasonable that it wouldn't enforceon the free version.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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RParker
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ac427 wrote:

Thanks Andre, i did not have the second link you posted.

Below is the licence from a vSphere 5 Hypervisor, sadly with only 2 physical CPU's

16949_16949.jpgLicence Free.jpg

I am sure more than 8 way vSMP would be available with more physical CPU's.

Is this ESX 5?  ESX 4.x didn't have this limit, so this doesn't make sense, why would someone "upgrade" to 5 if 4 works.. with MORE RAM, and less limits?

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RParker
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Matt wrote:

Dont forget that even the paid for licenses dont enforce the vRAM licenses.  Its intended as a 12 month rolling average (on the paid liceses), so it seems reasonable that it wouldn't enforceon the free version.

Well that does make sense actually and it's a very good point.  Thanks!

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a_p_
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Licensing can be so confusing Smiley Wink

What I understand is:

With the free edition of ESXi 4.x the limits were 256GB physical RAM (no vRAM entitlement), unlimited CPUs with up to 6 cores each. With ESXi 5.0 things changed and the limits are 32 GB physical RAM (32 GB vRAM), unlimited CPUs with unlimited cores. If you decide to use ESXi 5, you have to accept the new EULA. The "free" limits may currently only be "enforced by EULA", however I would not take the risk. If you need a lot of RAM you can stay with ESXi 4.1.

@ac427

The reason why you see "... licensed for 2 physical CPU's ..." is most likely due to the system on which you run ESXi. I assume it has two processors!?

Andé

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ac427
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Yes it only has 2 physical CPU's. i wish i had a 4 CPU server to try it on to view the vCPU limit.

The licence pic does show unlimited CPU's supported though. I think you may right about the EULA and limits not being enforced.

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rickardnobel
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Matt wrote:

Dont forget that even the paid for licenses dont enforce the vRAM licenses.  Its intended as a 12 month rolling average (on the paid liceses), so it seems reasonable that it wouldn't enforceon the free version.

My understanding is that only Enterprise and Enterprise + have this soft 12 month average and all other license version has a hard vRAM limit, where you can not start more VMs than the limit. I would assume this to be true for the free version too?

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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RParker
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Rickard wrote:

Matt wrote:

Dont forget that even the paid for licenses dont enforce the vRAM licenses.  Its intended as a 12 month rolling average (on the paid liceses), so it seems reasonable that it wouldn't enforceon the free version.

My understanding is that only Enterprise and Enterprise + have this soft 12 month average and all other license version has a hard vRAM limit, where you can not start more VMs than the limit. I would assume this to be true for the free version too?

OK, I see both points, but to your question, since it's "FREE" it has no "audit" period, and if you were running beyond 12 month period, who would VM Ware charge for violating the "imposed limit"?  There is NO incentive to keep people from going over.. right?

So it must be a "hard" limit in this case for the "FREE" version...  it wouldn't make sense to impose such a limit if it couldn't be enforced.  the vRAM isn't imposed because we are paying customers (dont' want to piss anyone off) however, you AGREE that if you go over you will get charged.. that's the agreement, the FREE version has not way to get payment after the fact, therefore it needs to be set limit from the beginning.. and since it's not part of vCenter, there is no management, so no way to control the limit... unless it was a hard limit.

I say that the FREE version will not allow ANY VM's once you cross that threshold.  I understand things change, but that's quite drastic (256 ver 4 vs 32 ver 5), seems quite a bit of a difference...  Risk vs reward, staying with 4 seems to be the better option with regard to a FREE solution.

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