We are a small shop with about 20 physical servers currently. I use the free version of VMWare ESXi 4 on one server to run about 5 virtual servers, including a MS SQL server. This has been a stable setup so far.
We are planning on expanding and adding about 20 to 25 new servers, but we are planning on putting them on 5 physical servers. We have got a quote on VMWare VSphere 4 Advanced, with support, and I have to say, it is not cheap. I understand all of the features that Advanced version has, but I am not sure that we are big enough to have to worry about them.
Has anyone used the free version in production, and if you have, how many servers? Has the lack of advanced management tools made it more difficult?
FYI, we are a non-profit. That's why we are considering the free version.