Uncovering the Differences Between VMware ESXi (Free) and VMware vSphere Essentials – Part 2

Uncovering the Differences Between VMware ESXi (Free) and VMware vSphere Essentials – Part 2

In the first part of the blog series, we looked at what the differences are between the two licensing options, and today, we will see how you can choose the right way to scale for your environment.

Two Months of Generous Trial? Wow!

As a software provider, VMware displays its confidence in its product, as we stated before, by offering a full-featured two-month trial. It means, you really get to understand how to utilize the solution in your backup server workflow. And even during the trial period, chances are you will probably buy before the free evaluation runs out, it is that good. Plus, although you have the documentation, you have no other support than online forums. They are really great, but you have no one to call if you run into any problems, so actually taking the plunge and buying a license after seeing how easy it is to use is a no-brainer. And although the beauty of the product is in the fact it is simple to use and not too feature intensive, with the free version, you can’t use the API. And for many people, that is a necessity.

Meet the Family

Let’s take a look at the multiple editions a bit more deeply now. So, we already discussed the free version. It is perfectly adequate for people who have one server and don’t want to back up in a modern way. But when you are a company and the company grows, suddenly, you realize you need more than just one server.

Two Starters? Great Choice!

VMware has two starter packages, one is called Essentials Kit, and it’s a paid license. It’s quite cheap, it’s only 600 or 700 EUR for three servers with up to two CPUs each, and this version gives you single management. So, you have a single management point, it’s called vCenter Server. It’s typically a virtual machine where you can log in and see all three of your servers and all of your virtual machines,  and you can back up in the modern way that you should use for backing up.

Just to point out, you can use VMcom for backing up with this version because the APIs are there. And it’s the cheapest way to get into virtualization the proper way. You buy the license, you have your management, you have your backups. So using the Essential kit with support from VMware is just 650 EUR. It’s a license, it’s a kit for three servers, and it has support for one year.

I Want More Support!

Extending the support is not expensive. This is great. You can buy support for three years for just 770 EUR. So you have your three-server environment, centralized management, but you don’t have high availability. This is a special feature from VMware and it means if one physical host breaks down, the virtual machines are restarted on another host automatically. This gives you better availability than with a traditional physical server. But you don’t have this feature in the Essentials kit. You need Essentials Plus, which is more expensive and you also need a shared storage. But it is a technology that helps improve the uptime of your servers. The software is exactly the same, just the feature is disabled on the cheaper option.

But, There’s More!

Essentials Plus has a few more tricks up its digital sleeve. It also lets you migrate virtual machines between physical servers. For basic support, it is 5,000 EUR per year. It’s a big jump in pricing. It’s again still three servers with up to two CPUs each. This is actually the option that most small companies go for. The only problem you can have is when your company suddenly grows and you suddenly need more than three servers, and you have to upgrade again and buy the Standard Edition. It’s again even more expensive and the price gap between Essentials Plus kit and Standard is so big that some companies just buy another Essentials Plus kit because it is cheaper than switching to the more costly alternative.

It used to be illegal to do this, they would check your VAT number and allow only one kit per company. But it’s now perfectly legal for you, as a company, to buy more kits. So, they don’t go for Standard, but they go for multiple Essentials Plus kits.

Now that you have a better idea of what options are available to you and you have answered the need for peace of mind that such a software affords. Adding to it a multi-tenancy backup and recovery solution for VMware vSphere virtual machines that is easy to use because it is designed by administrators for administrators. Not only will it help you to transform your environment into a backup powerhouse, but you and your tenants can also back up and restore files with just a few clicks. So, sign up for trial or buy a license today. With simplicity and power at its core and all the features you need within one application focused on multi-tenancy, you get the granularity you need to back up and restore exactly what you need when you need it.


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