Understanding VMware vSphere 7 Editions and Features

VMware vSphere is a server virtualization product that combines the VMware ESXi hypervisor and VMware vCenter server. There have been several licensing changes with the release of vSphere version 7. One of the biggest changes that affect all the license editions was from an important announcement made on February 3, 2020, about updates to VMware’s per-CPU pricing model. Effective April 2, 2020, you will need one license for up to 32 physical cores. If a CPU has more than 32 cores, additional CPU licenses will be required. In this post, we are going to look at the different VMware vSphere 7 editions and the features supported on them.

Understanding VMware vSphere 7 Editions and Features

Understanding VMware vSphere 7 Editions and Features

vSphere 7 licenses are delivered as license keys, which are made up of 25-character alphanumeric strings. When purchasing a license, you can choose between the Basic Support or the Production Support options. Different license editions are,

vSphere Main Editions

  1. vSphere Standard – Provides the basic features for server consolidation. A support and subscription contract (SnS) is mandatory when purchasing the vSphere Standard
  2. vSphere Enterprise Plus – Provides the full range of vSphere features. A support and subscription contract (SnS) is mandatory when purchasing the Enterprise plus editions.
  3. vSphere Essentials kit – The essentials kit is an all in one solution for small environments with up to 3 hosts (2 CPUs on each host). Support is optional when purchasing the essentials kit and is available on a per-incident basis.
  4. vSphere Essentials Plus kit – This is similar to the Essentials kit and provides additional features such as vSphere vMotion, vSphere HA, and vSphere replication. A support and subscription contract (SnS) is sold separately, and a minimum of one year of SnS is required.
Features vSphere Standard vSphere Enterprise Plus vSphere Essentials vSphere Essentials Plus
vSphere Hypervisor
vSphere vMotion®
VMware vCenter® Hybrid Linked Mode vCenter Server Standard™ vCenter Server Standard
vSphere Virtual Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)
vSphere High Availability (HA)
vSphere Storage vMotion®
vSphere Fault Tolerance 2-vCPU 8-vCPU
VMware vShield Endpoint™
vSphere Replication™
Support for 4K native storage
vSphere Quick Boot™
vCenter High Availability vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server for Essentials vCenter Server for Essentials
vCenter Backup and Restore vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server for Essentials vCenter Server for Essentials
vCenter Server Appliance™ Migration vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server for Essentials vCenter Server for Essentials
TPM 2.0 support and virtual TPM
FIPS 140-2 compliance and TLS 1.2 support
VM encryption
Support for Microsoft virtualization-based security (VBS)
Per-VM Enhanced vMotion Compatibility
VMware Instant Clone
Identity federation with Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
vSphere Trust Authority™
Content Library
APIs for storage awareness
Storage APIs for array integration and multipathing
vSphere Virtual Volumes™
Storage policy-based management
Next-generation infrastructure image management
vSphere Distributed Switch™
Host Profiles and vSphere Auto  Deploy™
vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler™ (DRS) and vSphere Distributed Power Management™ (DPM) –
vSphere Storage DRS™
vSphere Network I/O Control and vSphere Storage I/O Control
Single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) support
vSphere Persistent Memory™
NVIDIA GRID vGPU
Proactive HA
Predictive DRS
Accelerated graphics for VMs
Dynamic vSphere DirectPath I/O™
vCenter Server Profile vCenter Server Standard
vCenter Server update planner

VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Editions

VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Editions are designed for an IT infrastructure located in remote/distributed sites. These editions include 25 VM licenses of vSphere Remote Office Branch Office. The following table shows the different options available for Remote Office Branch Office Editions.

Features vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Standard

 

vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Enterprise vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Advanced

 

vSphere Hypervisor
vSphere vMotion
vSphere Virtual SMP
vSphere HA
vSphere Storage vMotion
vSphere Fault Tolerance 2-vCPU 4-vCPU 4-vCPU
vShield Endpoint
vSphere Replication
vSphere Quick Boot
vCenter High Availability vCenter Server Foundation vCenter Server Foundation vCenter Server Foundation
vCenter Backup and Restore vCenter Server Foundation vCenter Server Foundation vCenter Server Foundation
vCenter Server Appliance Migration vCenter Server Foundation vCenter Server Foundation vCenter Server Foundation
FIPS 140-2 compliance and TLS 1.2 support
Support for Microsoft VBS
Identity federation with ADFS
Content Library
APIs for storage awareness
vSphere Virtual Volumes
Storage policy-based management
Next-generation infrastructure image management
Host Profiles and vSphere Auto Deploy
vSphere Distributed Switch
Limited DRS (maintenance mode only)
VM encryption
Storage APIs for array integration and multipathing
vSphere Network I/O Control and vSphere Storage I/O Control)
SR-IOV support

vSphere add-on for Kubernetes feature

New in vSphere 7 when enabled on your ESXi host, it allows you to use Kubernetes on your vSphere cluster. A cluster that is enabled for vSphere with Kubernetes is called a Supervisor Cluster. To enable this on your cluster, assign a VMware vSphere 7 Enterprise Plus with Add-on for Kubernetes license to all ESXi hosts that you want to use as part of a Supervisor Cluster. Below are the features provided by the vSphere add-on for the Kubernetes feature.

 

vSphere add-on for Kubernetes feature

 

 

DESCRIPTION

Application-focused Management Enables VI admins to organize multiple objects into a logical group and then apply policies to the entire group
VMware Tanzu™ Kubernetes Grid™ service for vSphere Allows developers to manage consistent, compliant and conformant Kubernetes clusters
vSphere Pod service Allows developers to run containers without managing VMs or Kubernetes clusters
Storage service Allows developers to manage persistent disks for use with containers, Kubernetes and VMs
Network service Allows developers to manage virtual routers, load balancers and firewall rules
Registry service Allows developers to store, manage and secure Docker and OCI images

vCenter Server editions

vCenter Server provides centralized, unified management for the objects in vSphere environments like hosts and VMs. It is a requirement for a complete vSphere deployment. One instance of vCenter Server. vCenter Server is available in the following packages:

  • vCenter Server for Essentials – Management for vSphere Essentials Kits.
  • vCenter Server Foundation – Provides management for smaller environments looking to rapidly provision, monitor, and control VMs.
  • vCenter Server Standard – Highly scalable management with rapid provisioning, monitoring, orchestration, and control of all VMs in a vSphere environment. vCenter
   

vCenter Server Essentials

 

vCenter Server Foundation

 

vCenter Server Standard

Number of hosts Up to 3 Up to 4 Unlimited
vSphere licenses managed vSphere Essentials and vSphere Essentials Plus vSphere Standard, vSphere Enterprise Plus and VMware vCloud Suite® vSphere Standard, vSphere Enterprise Plus and vCloud Suite

After knowing different vSphere 7 editions and features, it will be helpful for companies to purchase right edition of vSphere based on the company’s requirements.

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Patrick Odhiambo

Patrick is a technical consultant providing IT professional services and training solutions to clients. His key competencies are on VMware, SAN, Microsoft Exchange, and Active Directory. He likes sharing his experience through writing articles and you can contact him on Linkedin.
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