VMware vSphere basic edition


I am looking to deploy a single server to run 3 different servers. One will be SBS 2011, the other Win Server 2008R2 (for terminal services) and the third will be a linux server running asterisk.

I was wondering will I be able to use the free version of vSphere of will I need a full paid version?


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You should have no problem using the free version.  I run all my small offices, with multiple VMs, using the free version.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You can use the free version to deploy your virtual servers, however, you may want to check the benefits of purchasing at least an Essentials License for $500, so that you can Backup your Virtual Machines, because you'll have access to the Licensed APIs.

Please see my EE Backup Article which Explains more

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide
As stated above, yes, you can. It has been shared in several posts here on EE that Terminal Services can give you fits, performance-wise, but it WILL and IS SUPPORTED to run virtually. What are some of your other goals for your virtual infrastructure, backup/recovery-wise? HA? etc?

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Using VMware ESXi 4.1 or higher should be fine to run 3 VM guests.

From experience, I have used W8k2 R2 remote desktop with as many as 50 concurrent users without an issue but you will need a fair amount of resources. Additionally, I have also run Asterisk on a VM guest but have found that it should only be considered for no more that about 5 - 10 users. The bandwidth and hard drive requirements will quickly become an issue and will become very apparent when you start experiencing jitter, dropouts and echoes.

VMware doesn't have the performance characteristics needed for "real-time" communication such VoIP and streaming video. It would be my advice not to configure Asterisk in a VM environment unless you're in a very small environment.
Be carefull  esxi 5 can be used on servers with maximum physical RAM capacity of 32GB.
VMware ESXi 5.0 does have a 32 GB limit on a single physical host server where EXSi 4.1 does not, but there are processor limitations on 4.1 and none on 5.0.  This document explains the version 5 pricing, licensing and packaging http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf

Although VMware is easy to deploy, setup and create basic VMware guests, you'll want to do some due diligence in deciding how you want your virtual network and datastores created. Some parameters of datastores cannot be changed once created so make sure you choose correctly.  Here are some resources that will help you get going.  http://www.vmware.com/technical-resources/products/vsphere.html
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