vSphere 5 licensing – ESXi free version

VMware, introducing new license model made a big confusion among users, admins and customers especially with free version of vSphere 5 ESXi hypervisior. A lot of people wrongly interpret or have a problems with correct interpretation. In this post I will try to explain ESXi free license in” human readable” format 🙂

Let see what VMware documentation states:

VMware vSphere Hypervisor
VMware vSphere Hypervisor is a free product that provides a simple
and easy way to get started with virtualization at no cost. vSphere
Hypervisor provides only basic virtualization capabilities allowing
to virtualize servers and run applications in virtual machines in a
matter of minutes. vSphere Hypervisor cannot connect to VMware
vCenter Server and therefore cannot be centrally managed. Users
can remotely manage individual vSphere Hypervisor hosts using
the vSphere Client. vSphere Hypervisor is entitled to 32GB of vRAM
per server (regardless of the number of processors) and can be
utilized on servers with up to 32GB of physical RAM.

[learn_more] source:  http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf Page 7[/learn_more]

What does it mean ? Basically means that you can run ESXi 5 free version on a physical hosts which has max 32GB RAM and as many CPUs as physical host can support (number of CPU sockets are not limited in ESXi 5 free version only RAM is limited). I hope it’s clear now but what about VM’s configuration ? Well, max RAM size for VM is 32GB of RAM and 8 vCPU.

Changes introduced in ESXi5 Free version

[box type=”warning”] ESXi 5 free version Update 1 – license “problems”[/box]

[box type=”info”] ESXi5.1 free version – limitations

Updates on vSphere 5.X licenses [/box]

[box type=”info”] How to set up a vSphere LAB in a BOX

Home Lab at box

Test hardware – white box for ESXi4 and ESXi4[/box]

Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).