VMWare Essentials Plus VCenter

I'm looking to purchase VMWare Essentials Plus for my environment.

I was told that it has a "light" version of the VCenter Controller which only runs in a VM (as opposed to the Advanced or Enterprise vesion where the VCenter can run in a VM or on a separate computer).

1. Please confirm if VMEP uses a "light" version of VCenter.
2. Please confirm if VCenter for VMEP only runs in a VM.
3. If no to #2, please specify perferred configuration - in a VM or separate comptuer.

Thanks.

akivashapiroAsked:
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
That is not true.  VMware Essentials comes with vCenter foundation and can run as a physical or virtual machine.  The only limitation is that you can only run 3 ESX hosts, you will not be able to upgrade if you want a 4th ESX host and will need to buy an outright vCenter license and Advanced, Standard, Enterprise version of ESX.

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akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the post.

Can you please point me to some documentation which confirms your comment?
Also, please let me know about your recommended configuration.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
I haven't seen any direct documentation for vCenter for Essentials but it is the same version as regular vcenter just limit of host and features

http://store.vmware.com/store/vmware/en_US/DisplayProductDetailsPage/productID.126841300/?resid=9Nu7IQoBAkgAAE4kibwAAAAy&rests=1271729393951

As VMware states it is limited to 3 hosts.

Will the VMs be on local storage or shared storage (NAS or SAN)?
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akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
The VMs will be on local storage, but the data will reside on shared. I looked at the link, and it brings me only to the VMWare vSphere 4 Essentials Plus page. I've tried to navigate their site to find detaild installation information which will document the vCenter installation procedure, but I've not had any luck. That is why I was hoping to find it here.  Please let me know if you can locate it.  Thanks.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
If you do not have shared storage you should look at vSphere Essentials, it is now on sale for $500 and doesn't have HA which you can't use but includes VMware Data Recovery which you can use for backup software but you can get better 3rd party software at a cheaper price such as Vizioncore vRanger for Essentials.

Here's a link to differences between versions, I have installed dozens of these and the only difference is the licensing, operationally there are no diferences and I wasn't able to find te exact verbiage but here's a link to the differences between the versions

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/editions_comparison.html
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akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
I intend to have 3 servers - 1) Primary, 2) HA and off-site 3) Disaster Recovery. Each will have local storage for VMware and each will be redundantly connected to a QNap NAS for data.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Ok.  If you are going to use QNAP for your VMs, I would go with the vSphere Essentials Plus so you can do HA locally.  HA is only for connection with 1GB network and on the same cluster.  

How do you intend to get the VMs offsite?
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
I would do the following:

Setup a 2 node cluster with HA, both connected to QNAP via NFS or ISCSI Datastores.  If you have a VPN to a remote network take a look at vizioncore or veeam backup and replicaton software, these will allow you to backup locally to tape or disk (for business continuity) and replicate to offsite for DR
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akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
What about the following:

2 note cluster with HA locally with the VM's on the QNAP. The QNAP Remote Replication feature:

http://www.qnap.com/pro_application.asp?ap_id=134

Thoughts?
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akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments. Though they didn't answer my question, some information was helpful.
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