VMware vSphere is a professional and complete virtualization solution that allows you to create a fully virtualized infrastructure to best consolidate your servers and benefit from the greatest possible flexibility.
VMware vSphere is a virtualization solution for virtualizing machines and servers, storage and networking.
With VMware vSphere with Tanzu, you will also be able to use containerized applications with Kubernetes.
Among the main software components of VMware vSphere, you will find :
The rest of the VMware vSphere solution is a very complete list of features including :
Important : VMware vSphere is a very complete set of features, but some features require one or the other edition.
It's therefore very important that you analyze your needs well and know in advance which features you will really need.
This way, you will be able to choose the edition that best suits your needs.
For more information about the different editions of VMware vSphere, see step "2. Which edition of VMware vSphere should I choose ?" of this article.
Then, don't hesitate to look for detailed information about the different features mentioned in this article and check if the desired features are still currently available (in the event that a feature is removed or replaced in the meantime by VMware).
VMware ESXi is a powerful bare-metal hypervisor (type 1) that allows you to create your virtual machines with direct access to your server hardware.
This allows you to benefit from better performance than with a type 2 hypervisor (such as VMware Workstation Pro or VMware Fusion).
In business, any VMware virtual infrastructure is based on several VMware ESXi hypervisors on which you will create :
Technically, VMware ESXi will also allow you to virtualize hypervisors (such as VMware ESXi or other equivalents) if desired for testing purposes only.
However, you will not be able to benefit from VMware support for these virtualized hypervisors.
As you can see, a VMware ESXi hypervisor can be managed very easily from a web interface coded in HTML5.
In the "Networking" section of your VMware ESXi hypervisor, you will have the possibility to configure the virtual networks of this one thanks to port groups and virtual switches.
These allow your virtual machines to be able to communicate with each other, but also with the outside (the physical network) if you associate a physical network adapter (physical NIC) with a VMware ESXi virtual switch.
Note that VMware ESXi is available as a 60-day trial version (if you want to test this hypervisor or if you want to learn how to use it).
But, once the trial expires, you will need to upgrade to a paid edition of vSphere to continue using it.
VMware vCenter Server (VCSA) is a software that allows you to easily manage your VMware virtual infrastructures centrally, regardless of their size.
You can even manage your different VMware environments located in the Cloud centrally if you have an edition of VMware vSphere that supports it.
Thanks to VMware vCenter Server (VCSA), you can manage a single VMware virtual infrastructure with a few VMware ESXi hosts (in the case of a small company).
But, you can also manage several VMware virtual infrastructures with several VMware vCenter Servers (VCSA) and several VMware ESXi hosts distributed in several countries (in the case of a multinational for example).
Managing multiple VMware vCenter Servers (VCSA) and its resources from a single location (if you have the required rights) is possible using Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM).
Previously, VMware vCenter Server could be installed on Windows Server or as an independent "VMware VCSA" server (vCenter Server Appliance) based on a Linux distribution (in this case : VMware Photon).
Since VMware vSphere 7, you will need to use the VMware VCSA virtual appliance deployable on any VMware ESXi hypervisor in your VMware virtual infrastructure.
Currently (vSphere 7), with VMware vCenter Server (VCSA), you can manage up to 2000 VMware ESXi hosts and 35 000 virtual machines from a single VMware vCenter Server (VCSA) server.
In addition, VMware vCenter Server (VCSA) allows you to manage your private cloud (in your company), but also your public cloud (VMware Cloud on AWS).
When you use the web interface (VMware Host Client) of a VMware ESXi host, the features are rather limited regarding the management of virtual machines.
But, as soon as you have linked your VMware ESXi hosts to a VMware vCenter Server (VCSA) management server, you can very easily :
Here are some screenshots showing these options.
In the example below, you can see that the "Win 10 v2004 x64" virtual machine is migrated (moved) from one datacenter (DC-Brussels) to another (DC-Paris) and from a VMware vCenter server Server (brux-vcsa.informatiweb.lan) to another (paris-vcsa.informatiweb.lan) without any problem.
Although the source host "brux-esxi1.informatiweb.lan" and the destination host "paris-esxi1.informatiweb.lan" are part of different data centers and VMware vCenter Servers and that these are located in different countries.
Thanks to VMware vCenter Server (VCSA), you can also group some virtual machines together in folders or use tags (to find them more easily).
Once the tags have been created and assigned to the various objects in your inventory (whether they are virtual machines, VMware ESXi hosts or other types of objects), you can easily find some types of objects by searching the corresponding tag.
For example, in our case, we assigned a "Linux" tag to all virtual machines based on a Linux distribution.
Thanks to this tag, we can easily find all our virtual machines running Linux.
VMware ESXi was available for free with limited features (although all features were available temporarily during the 60-day trial period).
But this is no longer the case since February 2024 following the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom.
Source : End Of General Availability of the Free vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 7.x and 8.x) (2107518).
Important : the information for VMware vSphere editions (except vSphere Foundation) shown in this article is based on information provided by VMware PRIOR to its acquisition by Broadcom.
It's therefore possible that Broadcom has made changes to the remaining editions. Indeed, the detailed information currently available on the VMware site dates from BEFORE the acquisition by Broadcom.
Warning : since the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom at the end of 2023, perpetual (permanent) licenses no longer exist.
VMware (Broadcom) therefore no longer sells perpetual licenses, but those you have already acquired remain valid.
VMware vSphere Essential Kit allows small businesses to virtualize up to 3 servers with 2 processors (thanks to the 6 CPU licenses of vSphere Essentials).
Warning : this edition no longer exists since the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom.
This kit contains :
VMware vSphere Essential Kit therefore allows small businesses to manage their servers centrally with VMware vCenter Server.
One of the advantages of VMware vSphere Essential Kit licenses is that they don't have an expiration date.
The support available with VMware vSphere Essential Kit also includes updates and new versions of the desired product.
On the other hand, you only benefit from support for the duration chosen (1 year or 3 years) when purchasing them.
VMware vSphere Essential Kit is available at $576.96 for 1 year and $686.77 for 3 years.
VMware vSphere Essential Plus Kit is also intended for small businesses and provides more features than the VMware vSphere Essential Kit.
In addition to the features of VMware vSphere Essential Kit, this all-in-one solution allows small businesses to also benefit from business continuity thanks to high availability and the protection of their data.
This kit contains :
Again, you can get support for 1 year or 3 years (your choice), but also choose the level of support you want :
Obviously, the price varies according to the duration and the level of support chosen.
VMware vSphere Essential Plus Kit is available from $5,596.00 for 1 year with basic support.
VMware vSphere Standard is an entry-level solution that allows you to centralize the management of your virtual infrastructure and obtain basic consolidation of your applications.
With VMware vSphere Standard, you can benefit from business continuity by reducing or eliminating your service interruptions.
VMware vSphere Standard and VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus editions include these features :
Again, you can get 1 or 3 years of support and choose between basic (available during office hours) or production (available 24/7) support.
VMware vSphere Standard is available from $1,268.00 for 1 year with basic support.
VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus is a slightly more complete edition than VMware vSphere Standard and therefore offers the same features, plus additional features related to performance, security and network.
Warning : this edition no longer exists since the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom.
However, this edition is part of the new "VMware vSphere Foundation" edition created by Broadcom (following the acquisition of VMware).
In addition to the features of VMware vSphere Standard mentioned above, you will also benefit from the features below :
If you are a large company, you will surely find all these features very interesting, but obviously the price of this very complete edition is higher.
The duration and level of support doesn't change from the VMware vSphere Standard edition.
You are therefore again entitled to 1 year or 3 years of support with a basic (office hours) or production (24/7) level of support.
But, the cheapest price for the VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus edition is $4,350.00 for 1 year with basic support.
If you choose the production support, it will cost you $4,494.00 for 1 year.
If you want support for 3 years, it will cost you $5,588.20 for basic support or $5,968.36 for production support.
The new "VMware vSphere Foundation" edition created by Broadcom (following the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom) contains the same features as the "VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus" edition presented above, as well as:
In conclusion, VMware vSphere allows you to create a small VMware virtual infrastructure in your small business to consolidate your servers and make them easier to manage, as well as save money on hardware and power for your servers.
But, VMware vSphere can also allow you to create very large VMware virtual infrastructures with up to 2,000 VMware ESXi hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with a single VMware vCenter Server (VCSA) server.
By using 15 VMware vCenter Servers (VCSA), you can even manage up to 5,000 VMware ESXi hosts with 70,000 virtual machines.
This allows you to centrally manage your VMware virtual infrastructure, even if your VMware vCenter Server (VCSA) hosts and servers are located in different physical locations or even in the cloud.
Finally, be aware that the screenshots presented in this article are part of the tutorials concerning VMware vSphere 6.7 (ESXi / vCenter Server) which will soon appear on InformatiWeb Pro.
So, don't hesitate to follow us on our social networks (available at the bottom of the home page of our website) if you want to learn how to use the different features of VMware vSphere 6.7.
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