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  • 1.  advice on which version of vmware to use

    Posted Jan 22, 2012 09:31 AM

    Hi folks, I'm relatively new to VMWare and hope you can help me with this decision. We currently have VMWare vSphere 4 installed. I need to deploy 2 new VMWare hosts and I'm trying to work out which VMWare version to deploy. I know there is a free version of ESXi 5 available that will be fine to host the VMs I need to run. I also know that if and when I want to upgrade those free VMWare licenses I can do.

    My question is does the same hold true for ESXi 4 - is it free and can I upgrade the license as and when I want to? The advantage for deploying version 4 is that I can then add those hosts to my vSphere environment and use templating (we don't have any shared storage for vMotion or any other HA type features). Also are there any advantages of using ESXi 5 as opposed to 4.

    Thoughts would be appreciated!



  • 2.  RE: advice on which version of vmware to use
    Best Answer

    Posted Jan 22, 2012 10:44 AM

    Welcome to the Community,

    you can get a free license for ESXi 4.x as well as 5.x. What both of them have in common is that you can run them only as stand alone hosts. They cannot be added to a vCenter Server instance. The main difference - besides the improvements in the newer version - is when it comes to licensed features. With ESXi 4.x there's basically not limit regarding memory (256GB), but there is a limit of 6 cores per physical CPU. With ESXi this was modified and you now have no more limits regarding CPUs and cores, but you are limited to 32GB RAM per host.

    In your case, an inexpensive alternative to the free edition could be a vSphere Essentials license which includes 1 instance of vCenter Server as well as CPU licenses for up to 3 hosts with 2 processors each. With this edition, the vRAM entitlement (sum of memory for powered on VMs on all hosts) is 196 GB. In addition to this, with this license you'd be able to use vCenter Server features as well as e.g. 3rd party backup applications.


  • 3.  RE: advice on which version of vmware to use

    Posted Jan 22, 2012 01:39 PM

    I agree with André. My choice is ESXi 5 for better performance and future upgradations(if you require).

  • 4.  RE: advice on which version of vmware to use

    Posted Jan 22, 2012 02:25 PM

    Hi I would go for ESXi 5 if you can, as I have found the there is an increased stability in the virutal machines and a lift in performance since the footprint of the hypervisor has been dropped a little.

    The only drawback I would caution with regarding the free ESXi 5, is the patching mechanism, which is clumsy without having a vCenter 5 license which allows you to run 'Update Manager'.


  • 5.  RE: advice on which version of vmware to use

    Posted Jan 22, 2012 05:22 PM

    thanks for all the good advice - I'll stick with ESXi version 5