vSphere Hypervisor

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  • 1.  Free ESXi vs paid for small sites.. is paid worth it?

    Posted Jun 18, 2015 05:27 PM

    I'm trying to determine if there's any value to buying the paid vCenter vs using the free ESXi that we've been using for years.

    We are a small site, we don't use iSCSI or a SAN. We still buy servers with the data disks directly in each server. With that in mind, it doesn't seem like the paid versions of VMware really offer any benefits other than consolidating all the separate vSphere client logins into a single "dashboard" screen.


    The free ESXi 5.x now supports 2+ TB disks and 32+ gig memory and unlimited CPUs, so don't need paid to get that capability...

    The only real hassle with the free vSphere client is remembering on what host server the VMs are located, though that is resolved with an advanced tech known as "sheet of paper taped to side of administrator's monitor"...

    Fake example:

    Host 10.0.1.10 - root / ican'tbelieveit'snotvodka

    • Domain controller YODA / 2008 R2
    • Squid web cache / Ubuntu 15 LTS
    • VMA 5.0.0.2 / APC powerchute using SOAP

    Host 10.0.1.12 - root / ican'tbelieveit'snotvodka

    • Domain controller LEIA / 2008 R2
    • File server SLEEPY / 2008 R2
    • Antivirus server DOC / 2008 R2
    • Database server GRUMPY / 2008 R2
    • VMA 5.0.0.2 / APC powerchute using SOAP

    Host 10.0.1.16 - root / ican'tbelieveit'snotvodka

    • Domain controller C3PO / 2008 R2
    • File server HAPPY / 2008 R2
    • VMA 5.0.0.2 / APC powerchute using SOAP


  • 2.  RE: Free ESXi vs paid for small sites.. is paid worth it?

    Posted Jun 18, 2015 05:40 PM

    If you are satisfied with that solution it's fine. What may be worth considering a paid edition (even an Essentials Kits will do for up to 3 hosts) might be the option to manage the hosts and VMs centrally (which allows you to e.g. configure alarms), or the unrestricted API which allows to use e.g. VM based backup software.


    André,



  • 3.  RE: Free ESXi vs paid for small sites.. is paid worth it?

    Posted Jun 18, 2015 07:01 PM

    Glad you asked this question,

    Give vCenter appliance a trial you have 60 days and can see what it does, your using local storage so in the event of failure you have no redundancy, there are some backup solutions that can back up VM's but that is if the hard ware does not fail, there are many advantages to using vCenter in a three node cluster, this is down to what the environment is used for if this is revenue dependent I would advise the upgrade, if this is dev or a test shop then it really depends on your choice as the larger you grow will need automation from vCenter.