VMWare Licensing

Hi Experts,

I have multiple questions on VM licensing and best practices.

Our Enviornemt consists of,
1) 3 locations, 1 corporate location and 2 satalites.
2) Main location has 3 esxi servers with 5 hosts on one and 2 hosts each on the reamining 2.
3) The 2 satalite locations have 3 hosts each on thier ESXi servers.

My questions(new to company) All servers are licensed, but I believe these are the free VWare licenses, how can I tell?
All the servers have thier own vspere's for management with no VM motion and no VM backups, how can i license these to be 1 managed enviornent with the capability to provide VM motion, backups, DR. I am not sure if VM esstionals plus would provide this and also waht would be the cost?

Thanks
talltreeAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. To check if the ESXi servers are using the FREE license, select Host > Configuration > Licensed Features, what does it state?

You mention you have vSphere, do you have VMware vCenter Server for Windows, e.g. do you connect to a single server for management, or connect to each ESXi server for management.

The reason I ask, you CANNOT add VMware ESXi host free edition to vCenter Server.

vCenter Server is used to Manage VMware vSphere hosts, vCenter Server can be "linked" between sites, so all ESXi hosts can be managed.

The use of vMotion requires shared storage, e.g. a SAN or NAS.

So you have FIVE ESXi Host servers, with some Guest VMs.

Too many for VMware vSphere Essentials or Essentials Plus, you only get licenses for 3 Host ESXi Servers.

But it depends on your requirements to manage, do you want a SINGLE vCenter Server for your organisation?
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talltreeAuthor Commented:
Hello.

1) Shows Product: vSphere 4 Hypervisor Licensed for 2 physical CPUs (1-6 cores per CPU)
License Key: (took it out for security)
Expires: Never
2) We have Vspere client for each ESxi host and log into each one to manage, so it sounds like i need vsphere server to be able to manage all ESXi hosts together?
3) No San or storage yet, small organization, perhaps a NAS, so we could use VMMotion.
4) Yes, 5.
5) So with Essentials Plus we would only be able to manage the corporate location and could not use VMMotion etc for the remote offices as it would exceed the 3 ESxi hosts?
6) Would a Vcenter server license  give the capability to manage all hosts in 1 environment and if so what is an estimated cost?

thanks again
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. FREE registered license.

2. To manage all servers you will need vCenter Server. This comes in a few flavours

VMware vCenter Server Foundation - you can only managed 3 servers. (and cannot link vCenter Servers).

VMware vCenter Server Standard - this can manage 1000's of ESXi servers and be linked to other vCenter Servers.

3. to use VMware HA and vMotion you will need shared storage at your sites.

4. Okay. 5 Hosts.

5. Correct. vMotion across sites, is limited and not really easy or possible!

6. Yes, the least expensive option would be:-

A Single vCenter Server, which manages and has ALL five ESXi hosts, this is very much depedant upon WAN bandwidth between head office (HQ) and remote sites.

This would need to be

vCenter Server Standard -
Basic Service and Subscription for 1 Year

Approx 1800 USD

This just purchases a license for VMware vCenter Server Management Server, you cannot ADD any of your existing ESXi servers to this, you would then need to purchase licenses for each ESXi server.

VMware vSphere Standard is priced per socket (processor) of each host.
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talltreeAuthor Commented:
Thanks hanccocka

Also, besides supppet what additional benefits do you get from having your ESXi's licensed than not?, as I am wonder why anyone would use a non licensed product compared to being licensed.

Thanks again
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Non Licensed Products, you do not have any of the Licensed Feastures, e.g. vMotion, HA, FT, DRS, DPM, Storage vMotion, Backup.

FREE Registered versions, you cannot access the Management or Storage APIs, servers cannot be managed effectively, and you cannot backup VMs Live.

If you have valid Support and Subscription, you also get licenses, support, and upgrades and updates, during your support period, so if a new version 6.0 comes out of vSphere, during your 1 or 3 year Support and Subscription, you can upgrade for FREE!

Small Business, VMware Labs, Home Users use FREE Licensed versions!

All versions need to be Licensed, e.g. Paid or Free licenses.
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talltreeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the information.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Not a problem.
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