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VMware vSphere: Licensing, Pricing and Packaging

VMware vSphere: Licensing, Pricing and Packaging

In today's increasingly complex business environment—complete with growing IT security threats and the need to support multiple new and existing applications—most companies have already made the move to some form of server virtualization.

VMware, a subsidiary of Dell, is a widely recognized leader in bringing the power of cloud computing to the data center. VMware's vSphere, the industry's first virtualization platform and cloud operating system, simplifies IT by separating applications and operating systems from the underlying hardware.

The result is a better way of managing your data center from computing to storage, networking and more.

What Is VMware?

VMware creates an ideal platform for building out cloud infrastructures because it simplifies and reduces the cost of your data center while increasing application uptime and preserving customer choice.

With VMware, a bare-metal hypervisor installed on the physical server allows multiple virtual machines (VMs)—each with its own operating system—to run on one physical server. All the VMs on the server share networking, RAM and other resources.

Benefits of vSphere

With vSphere, you have the ability to move to a totally virtualized infrastructure as your business needs evolve.

By consolidating your data center and moving away from disparate sets of infrastructure for different applications, you can simplify data center operations and better utilize the servers you already have.

Capital, maintenance and operational expenses are reduced, and the significant lost revenue sometimes associated with downtimes and outages can be avoided.

Application performance and availability is also enhanced with vSphere. It allows you to run any application—business-critical applications and new cloud-based applications—anywhere, on-premise or in the cloud.

"Today's typical enterprise has hundreds, if not thousands, of applications, and infrastructure environments are built for each one," said Stuart Miniman, a senior analyst at Wikibon.com. "VMware allows you to manage all of them. They are making sure they are well-positioned to run in the hybrid-cloud environment that we are in today."

vSphere makes it easier to manage and run your virtualized environment through features such as health monitoring, capacity planning and management of optimization and performance.

Application management is automated, and resources are dynamically allocated to applications across internal and external cloud infrastructures. This allows workloads to be automatically rebalanced before demand spikes.

Comprehensive security compliance—including disaster recovery and cyber recovery management—is built in to vSphere's newest release. A cost-effective, automated restart is provided within minutes for all applications in the event of a hardware or operating system failure.

"Today, security is a board-level concern that is getting a lot more attention from IT and corporate boards," said Miniman. "There are simply more places for hackers to get in. Being up-to-date on patches and fixes is critical. VMware has a solid internal team that works on security issues and makes sure systems are built in way that ensures they are robust and secure."

Another selling point of vSphere is its ability to work with a wide variety of ecosystem vendors and application services, enhancing performance and security to all virtual machines independent of the operating system or application you use.

VMware provides access to more than 75,000 solution partners worldwide and offers broad software support. You can also deploy applications without having to deploy additional servers, infrastructures or storage.

You control the hardware, application architecture, operating system and infrastructure that work best for your business, both now and in the future.

What's New with VMware's vSphere 6.5?

VMware's infrastructure platform is used by more than 500,000 companies around the world, including all the Fortune 500, and is widely considered a market leader by industry analysts.

The newest release, VMware's vSphere 6.5, features an even more simplified user experience, as well as comprehensive security enhancements and a universal application platform. This newest release offers:

  • File-based backup and recovery
  • Enterprise-wide policy-driven encryption safeguards
  • Protection from tampering for hypervisor and the guest operating system
  • Forensic insight in the event of a security threat
  • Predictive load balancing
  • Ability to run enterprise containers side by side with VMs
  • Built-in safeguards for hardware failures
  • An enhanced client interface
  • Improved host profile management

VMware vSphere 6.0 is available in six different bundles, as well as one free product. The paid editions can be customized with your choice of the full ESX hypervisor or the "lighter" ESXi. (The free version is only available with the ESXi.)

The VMware vSphere Essentials Kit and VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit are designed for small installations and those just getting started with virtualization. These provide virtualization and centralized management.

Essentials Kit ($560/Year)

The vSphere Essentials Kit includes six CPU licenses (for three servers with up to two processors each), as well as one license for vCenter Server Essentials. Groups of more than three hosts licensed with the Essential Kit (or the Essentials Plus Kit) can't be managed in the same vCenter cluster.

Key features and components of the Essentials Kit include:

  • Choice of ESX/ESXi
  • A robust, high-performance virtualization layer to enable multiple VMs to share hardware resources
  • Centralized management and performance monitoring for all VMs
  • Server consolidation
  • VM access to shared storage devices (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, etc.)
  • Dynamic allocation of shared storage capacity, which reduces storage spending by as much as 50%

Essentials Plus Kit ($5,439/Year)

The vSphere Essentials Plus Kit includes six CPU licenses (for three servers with up to two processors each) as well as one license for vCenter Server Essentials.

Key features and components of the Essentials Plus Kit include:

  • Business continuity with a smaller IT footprint
  • Choice of ESX/ESXi
  • A robust, high-performance virtualization layer to enable multiple VMs to share hardware resources
  • Centralized management and performance monitoring for all VMs
  • VM access to shared storage devices (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, etc.)
  • Dynamic allocation of shared storage capacity, which reduces storage spending by as much as 50%
  • Cost-effective, automated restart within minutes for all applications in the event of hardware or OS failures
  • Live migration of VMs across servers with no service loss or disruption to users, which eliminates the need to schedule application downtime for server maintenance
  • Simple, cost-effective backup and recovery for VMs
  • Agentless antivirus and anti-malware protection to secure your VMs
  • Low-cost replication for your VM, which serves as the foundation for leveraging a cloud-based disaster-recovery solution from a VMware cloud service provider

All of VMware's enterprise vSphere editions for larger enterprises are licensed per processor. A processor can have as many as six or 12 cores, depending on which edition you choose. Though there is no restriction on how many VMs (or types of VMs) can be hosted on a server, at least one year of Support and Subscription (SnS) services must be purchased per license.

Earlier this year, VMware also announced that VMware for Amazon Web Services is right around the corner. VMware Cloud on AWS will seamlessly integrate with existing customer data centers already running on vSphere.

"Most companies are already using server virtualization and some sort of public cloud—or multiple public clouds—and it can be impossible for IT to keep up with everything new on the market today," said Miniman. "For IT, the key is focusing on what is critical and what drives your business. VMware is trying to simplify some of this for businesses."

Contact our team at Aventis Systems to learn more about how VMware vSphere can help transform your business infrastructure.

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