VMware FREE hypervisor

pzozulka
pzozulka used Ask the Experts™
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All we will need is to run 40 Win XP VMs. They will run on a single ESXi host, which has 2 CPUs, and 40GB of memory. We are not sure whether we need to purchase an Essentials license or go with free hypervisor license.

Does the free VMware hypervisor support NFS datastores (NetApp volumes)?

We noticed the Essentials license comes with vSphere API, and Storage APIs.
What do these 2 features do for us in terms of what we are trying to accomplish?
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
A free hypervisor license of VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.5 now has unlimited memory, so it will support 40GB.

see my EE Article

HOW TO: What's New in VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.5 (ESXi 5.5)

Does the free VMware hypervisor support NFS datastores (NetApp volumes)?

Yes, NFS and iSCSI is supported.

We noticed the Essentials license comes with vSphere API, and Storage APIs.
What do these 2 features do for us in terms of what we are trying to accomplish?

Third Party Products can access and perform management, and Backup Products can Backup the VMs, Live!

The above cannot be done on the FREE version.

So, what you want to achieve can be done for FREE, just register for a FREE license.

But, Essentials for approx $600, does give you three hosts licenses for 2 CPU Servers, and vCenter Server for management, and then you can Manage and Backup!

Part 1: HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

Author

Commented:
In a single host environment, are there any real advantages to managing a host and VMs with help of vCenter vs. Just connecting with VMware client directly to ESXi host?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
Single isolated host management one benefit is deploying virtual machines from a template.

E.g. I could script deploy all 40 VMs from a golden master template in one script.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
When using VCenter Server BUT you will need resources for VCenter Server e.g. a VM

Author

Commented:
Thanks all, it seems like here's an expanded picture for the FREE hypervisor:

Pros:
Free license supports:
* Unlimited CPUs, unlimited memory, NFS & iSCSI datastores, unlimited VMs
* Snapshot management
* Thin provisioning of disks
* To upgrade free hypervisor simply insert new license key
 
Cons:
* Essentials license costs about $600
* Without Essentials license, we don’t get vSphere API and Storage APIs – third party products that can access and perform management and backups of VMs.
* Without vCenter, we will not be able to:
o   Deploy virtual machines from templates
o   Clone virtual machines
o   Perform storage optimization using VSC plug-in
o   Migrate VMs or storage (move VMDK from NetApp volume to local server HD)
o   Monitor the health and hardware status of ESXi host
o   Receive alerts from the ESXi host about VM performance, or host’s health status

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