5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2020 6:59 AM by davel82

    VSAN Witness options

    davel82 Lurker

      Hi

       

      I understand that a VSAN witness for a 2 node deployment can be either a physical host running the free version of ESXi (selected during VSAN 2 node setup, and not added to the cluster beforehand) - but it does require VSAN licensing.  The alternative is the VSAN witness appliance, which does not require a license.

       

      Can you run a host, with the free version of vsphere, and run the witness appliance on it?

       

      The scenario is I have a requirement for a secure site with a 2 node VSAN.  The witness will reside at the same site - however this will be a much smaller server and in an effort to keep costs down I would rather just virtualise it with a free copy of ESXi and run the witness appliance then on that host instead.

       

      I cannot see any limitations to it working, but cannot see any clarification if its allowed....

        • 1. Re: VSAN Witness options
          TheBobkin Virtuoso
          VMware EmployeesvExpert

          Hello davel82,

           

          Yes it is "allowed" but note the CPU requirements for 6.7 also:

          'VMware provides a vSAN Witness Appliance for those customers who do not wish to use a physical host for this role'...'This can include an ESXi Free licensed host'

          vSAN Witness Host | vSAN Stretched Cluster Guide | VMware

           

          Bob

          • 2. Re: VSAN Witness options
            TheBobkin Virtuoso
            vExpertVMware Employees

            "a physical host running the free version of ESXi (selected during VSAN 2 node setup, and not added to the cluster beforehand) - but it does require VSAN licensing"

            It doesn't require a vSAN license - only a vSphere license (whichever has the requirements you need as it can also run other VMs on it if required/capable) - vSAN licensing is always on the cluster-level, a standalone physical Witness doesn't need to be in a vSphere cluster.

             

            Bob

            • 3. Re: VSAN Witness options
              davel82 Lurker

              Thanks for the reply - that does look to be correct.

               

              In the VMware documentation regarding the Physical witness, it states the following: -

               

              Licensing

              If using a physical host as a vSAN Witness Host, it must be licensed with a valid vSphere license. This does not require the same licensed edition as the vSAN Cluster it is supporting.

              Does the free esxi license qualify as a valid license, assuming that this host won't be used for any other purpose...

              • 4. Re: VSAN Witness options
                TheBobkin Virtuoso
                vExpertVMware Employees

                "Does the free esxi license qualify as a valid license, assuming that this host won't be used for any other purpose..."

                Yes, as per my first reply (and as noted in the referenced documentation).

                 

                Bob

                • 5. Re: VSAN Witness options
                  davel82 Lurker

                  Thanks - admittedly I didn't click the link on your first post and went straight to your second post, doh!

                   

                  Thanks for your help, much appreciated