kungpow112
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Contributor

VMware vSphere versions

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What’s the difference between ‘VMware vSphere Essentials Kit’ and ‘VMware vSphere Standard’ in terms of features?

www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/pricing.html

I'm looking into VMware for business use.

Thanks

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Virtualinfra
Commander
Commander

P2V can be done onf Free esxi edition, no problem. Also you can manage via vsphere client where you get GUI and you create VM with vsphere client connecting to ESXi host.

But it cant be managed by vcenter to get the feature like HA, DRS, vMotion, Template creation etc.

As you mentioned that you pretty much need one box with VMs its your decision to go with free or license,

If your going with free version of ESXi you can have only 32 GB vRAM entitlement. that means whether your physical machine have more than 32 GB RAM also can create virtual machine with not more than 32 GB RAM.

If you decide to go for licensing its better to choose essential plus rather than vsphere standard edition.

As essential or essential plus is a bundled pack which come with 192 GB of vRAM with max of 3 host with 2 processor and with a vcenter license too.Cost is lower than vsphere standard edition.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/pricing.html

Please award point by clicking the below tab for helpful and correct answer Smiley Happy

Thanks & Regards Dharshan S VCP 4.0,VTSP 5.0, VCP 5.0

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18 Replies
vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

Hello and welcome to the forums.

Check out http://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere/small_business_editions_comparison.... for a comparison chart.

Good Luck!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
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kungpow112
Contributor
Contributor

I have looked at that earlier.

VMware vSphere Essentials Kit $495 (licensed for 6 cpus total with 3 hosts or 2 cpus per hosts)

VMware vSphere Standard USD 995.00 (licensed only for 1 cpu. If I have two cpus, it is $1990).

What am I getting from the vSphere Standard that I'm not getting from vSphere Essentials? vSphere Standard is a lot more. How do I decide the right one for for my environment?

We pretty much just have one server with the following specs and we want it to be a virtual server box to host a couple virtual machines.

We spent aorund $15, 000 on this box.

HP ProLiant DL380 G7 specs:

2 x Intel Xeon 2.93 Ghz CPU 6 cores (12 threads). Total: 12 cores and 24 threads.

4 x 1Gbps network ports

1.2TB raid 10 (4 x 600GB SAS 15k drives)

24GB memory

Thanks for you help!

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mcowger
Immortal
Immortal

If all you have is one host (and thats where you plan to stay), then just stick with the Standard license, IMO.  Most of the features that Essentials adds are for people doing more than 1 host (vMotion, HA, vCenter, etc) that just aren't relevant to someone with 1 host.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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weinstein5
Immortal
Immortal

Essentials kit is a bundled package that includes a license for vCenter Essentials - and 6 CPU licenses while the standard license is just for a single ESX server -

If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful
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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

With the kit you also get vCenter Server (the Essentials edition - limited to 3 hosts).

How much memory do you have in the host?   That can have an impact.   If you don't plan to go above  3 hosts or  192 GB of RAM allocated to your VMs then the Essentials kit might be a sufficient choice.  The Essentials Plus kit might also be an option.

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kungpow112
Contributor
Contributor

Hi mcowger,

I'm planning to have one host and I don't see that changing in the future until maybe 2-3 years later.

I'm looking at the VMware vSphere Essentials Kit ($495) and not the Plus one ($4495). I don't need high availability.

Do you still recommend that I get vSphere Standard for $995? It seems like I should be opting for the Essential kit ($495) since it has way more features and it comes with vCenter even though I have 1 host.

One thing I notice about the vSphere Standard is that the yearly support is $273 for unlimited number of cases whereas vSphere Essentials Kit is $65 for only updates and not support. Support is $299 per incident which can become costly if I say call in 10 times/yr ($2990).

How often do you call in for support? I'm new to virtualization but I understand the technology. I have used VMware server before just not ESX. Is it better for me to have a yearly support contact or per incident support?

Thanks

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mcowger
Immortal
Immortal

The essentials kit is nice, but unless you have more than one host, you cant use any of them (vMotion, DRS, etc all require at least 2 hosts).  it also includes vCenter, which has little value with only 1 host.

So yes, I'd recommend just Standard.

As far as support - thats up to you.  The forums here are very good and can often answer pretty gnarly questions, but VMware support can also be a good backstop.  Up to you and your evaluation of risk.  I personally dont call support much, but I've also been doing this for 6+ years.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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kungpow112
Contributor
Contributor

What about the free version of ESXi vs the paid vSphere standard one?

Can ESXi be used in a production environment and what about the limitations besides high availability compared to the vSphere standard? I need to get all my facts down.

Thanks.

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Virtualinfra
Commander
Commander

What about the free version of ESXi vs the paid vSphere standard one?

Free version of ESXI has a limitation of maximum use of 32 GB v RAM entitlement and also it cant be managed by vCenter until you license both HOst and vcenter.

If you license your host with vSphere standard edition you get the benefit of managing the host via vCenter,also Convert Physical System to Virtual Machines and Leverage Live Migration (vMotion). refer the below link,

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/mid-size-and-enterprise-business/buy.html

Can ESXi be used in a production environment and what about the limitations besides high availability compared to the vSphere standard? I need to get all my facts down.

Unlicensed ESXI can also be used for production with following limitation:
1. Max 32 GB vRAM entitlement.
2. Cant be managed via vCenter
3. No vmotion or storage vmotion
4. no HA
5. No DRS
etc.
Thanks & Regards Dharshan S VCP 4.0,VTSP 5.0, VCP 5.0
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kungpow112
Contributor
Contributor

Virtualinfra, so the free version of ESXi doesn't have physical system to virtual machine converter? Does the free one have GUI (graphical user interface) for managing the virtual machines? I read online somewhere and it states that the free one is only command line based. Is that true and what does it mean in terms of managing/creating VMs? Does it make the process more complex since there's no GUI? I know in a larger environment, command line might make more sense.

I just pretty much need 1 box with VMs on it. I want to have it done properly regarding getting the free one or paid one.

Thanks

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

ESXi free is limited to 32 GB of physical and vRAM (running VM memory).  With Standard licensing you don't get high availability unless you add a 2nd host and vCenter.  Plus if you have over 64 GB of physical memory then you'll need to add more standard licenses.

I would go with Essentials.  You'll get vCenter which is a bit of overkill, but you'll get cloning, templates and long term performance data.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

No, with the free version you use the vSphere client (windows only) but you have limited functionality (it's more than enough to create and manage your VMs).  The limit with the free edition would likely be memory which is limited to 32 GB.

If you deployed the Standard edition,  you would again use the vSphere client to manage it, but you wouldn't have HA, cloning, etc.

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kungpow112
Contributor
Contributor

Dave.M, does the free one have a converter for physical to virtual?

Thanks

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Virtualinfra
Commander
Commander

P2V can be done onf Free esxi edition, no problem. Also you can manage via vsphere client where you get GUI and you create VM with vsphere client connecting to ESXi host.

But it cant be managed by vcenter to get the feature like HA, DRS, vMotion, Template creation etc.

As you mentioned that you pretty much need one box with VMs its your decision to go with free or license,

If your going with free version of ESXi you can have only 32 GB vRAM entitlement. that means whether your physical machine have more than 32 GB RAM also can create virtual machine with not more than 32 GB RAM.

If you decide to go for licensing its better to choose essential plus rather than vsphere standard edition.

As essential or essential plus is a bundled pack which come with 192 GB of vRAM with max of 3 host with 2 processor and with a vcenter license too.Cost is lower than vsphere standard edition.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/pricing.html

Please award point by clicking the below tab for helpful and correct answer Smiley Happy

Thanks & Regards Dharshan S VCP 4.0,VTSP 5.0, VCP 5.0

View solution in original post

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Virtualinfra
Commander
Commander

We spent aorund $15, 000 on this box.

HP ProLiant DL380 G7 specs:

2 x Intel Xeon 2.93 Ghz CPU 6 cores (12 threads). Total: 12 cores and 24 threads.

4 x 1Gbps network ports

1.2TB raid 10 (4 x 600GB SAS 15k drives)

24GB memory

With this config, I would choose to run server with free ESXi for now and do all my testing as the physical ram is only 24 GB and when required i would license with essential kit as a starter and go on.. ( there are no limitation for CPU, HDD - as of i Know)

Thanks & Regards Dharshan S VCP 4.0,VTSP 5.0, VCP 5.0
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kungpow112
Contributor
Contributor

Virtualinfra, for the free one, will I be able to access the ESXi operating system (eg. create scripts, copy vm files to usb drive, etc) or that can only be done on the paid one (vSphere standard)?

Even if I can't access the ESXi operating system on the free one, it shouldn't really be a big deal but will I be able to copy the VM files to usb drive for backup? For example, once a month, I would like to copy the VM files manually to USB drive by stopping the VMs. Is this possible? That way if my host server dies, I can install ESXi on another box and just transferr the VM files over to this machine via USB and start the VMs backup.

Thanks for you help!

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Virtualinfra
Commander
Commander

Yes, offcourse that is pretty much possible with the vsphere client itself by just copying from browse datastore.

ESXI doesnt support USB drive as datastore still . but the usb can be attached to any of the server (windows) and from that server you can access the ESXi with vsphere client and copy the VMDK files as a backup to USB drive that is pretty much possible.. or via winscp connect to the esxi and copy the data to the usb drive

Thanks & Regards Dharshan S VCP 4.0,VTSP 5.0, VCP 5.0
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doepain
Contributor
Contributor

I was running 9 ESXi server (free version) builds 3.5 and 4.1 and we had 64 GBs of physical RAM on all of them, and an NFS datastore attached to all of them that was being ran from a Windows server that had Unix services installed.  I never experienced "memory limitations" of only 32GB.  I would run ghettoVCB locally to backup my hosts on the NFS datastore which would then be picked up by my backup server and copied to tape.

Senior Hosting Engineer ModusLink Open Channel Solutions, Inc.
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