Chad2011
Contributor
Contributor

vCenter with ESXi (free)

Jump to solution

Hi, I recently purchased a copy of Essentials Plus and really like vCenter and would like to manage the free ESXi hosts I am looking to deploy.

Essentials looked like a great product but I'd quickly hit the 3 server limit and am not planning on using shared storage/HA or vMotion.

I've noticed I can purchase vCenter Standard or Foundation but I didn't see any info as to if I can manage the free ESXi version with it. Also Storage vMotion looked interesting and am wondering if that can be used to move VMs from local storage on 1 host to local storage on an alternate host and would I need to buy an ESXi LIC for that or is it available in the free version?

Thanks

0 Kudos
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
jamesbowling
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Based on the licensing, ESXi free can not be managed by vCenter.  Storage vMotion is a licensed feature so a purchase of an Enterprise license would be required and on top of that a shared storage facility such as a NAS or SAN is required for svMotion to work.

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
6 Replies
jamesbowling
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Based on the licensing, ESXi free can not be managed by vCenter.  Storage vMotion is a licensed feature so a purchase of an Enterprise license would be required and on top of that a shared storage facility such as a NAS or SAN is required for svMotion to work.

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
0 Kudos
Chad2011
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for your reply, is there anything like Quick Migration (SCVMM) that is offered with Hyper-V available with vCenter/ESXi?

The way I have things built/plan on building I can deal with a loss of ESXi hosts as long as I don't lose both servers for a service group.

Example I have 2 hosts for Infrastructure services like AD, DNS, DHCP etc etc 1 server on each host so losing one machine I won't lose AD, DNS, DHCP services within the domain. Same goes for the services hosts with XenApp, NetScaler as the servers/farm are across multiple hosts. However I would like the ability to move VMs if needed even if they are taken offline (don't need to be live).

Thanks

0 Kudos
jamesbowling
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

If you had shared storage for your cluster you would be able to utilize vMotion and HA.

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
0 Kudos
Chad2011
Contributor
Contributor

I wish I could afford shared storage lol, I have been looking at physical and virtualized offerings but I have seen so many deployments that the SAN is the biggest bottle neck and when dealing with an ERP system every last IOP you can get the better. I'm sure a SAN with 10GB NICs would be a lot better than the 2/4/8GB offerings I have seen but the hardware for a 2GB SAN starts around 13K and a 10GB SAN is so far out of reach as I'd have to replace or add to our core switches, those have 4 10GB links but I am already using 2 of them in each switch for stacking.

So without shared storage VMware doesn't have the ability to move VMs between hosts?

0 Kudos
jamesbowling
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Correct, without shared storage there is no automatic way of doing this.  I would think for an ERP deployment one would want to have this on a cluster.  I have run a couple of large JDEdwards deployments on some mid-grade to enterprise-grade SANs with little to no issues with performance.  Something I suppose you could look into if you don't want to look into a SAN is the vSphere Storage Appliance.  You can check it out here:

http://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere/vsphere-storage-appliance/overview....

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
0 Kudos
Chad2011
Contributor
Contributor

I have read up about VSA and at this time seems a bit to crippled with not being able to add more than 3 hosts/manage only a single instance per vCenter, unable to add additional hosts if you start out with 2 servers etc etc.

I use Epicor's ERP system and what I have done is configure 2 application servers on each host supporting between 20 to 40 users on each VM (4vCPU/8GB RAM) SQL is still physical and the application servers register themselves with a load balancer that will take servers out of access if they are not online, much the same as a hardware load balancer but built for the software in question. The software doesn't support a true failover SQL cluster so everything has to come down and up to point to the new SQL server if the primary fails for what ever reason. I have tried clustering but that failover is just enough for the ERP system to lose it's link to the DB and come crashing down (not the greatest system for what it costs).

A bit disappointing that I can't copy VMs from one host to another, I need to do a lot more digging into what I can do. Currently everything is on Hyper-V, physical and some stuff on Virtual Server (crap) and using SCVMM to manage VMs but I want better density of the hardware and management without deploying SCOM as Dell has plugins for the hardware layer for vCenter.

Thanks

0 Kudos