VMware Essentials

VMware Essentials

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VMware has been at the forefront of data center virtualization for dozens of years already. What started as a science experiment for multiple companies has grown into a considerable part of their IT infrastructure strategy. While large and small businesses face some challenges, they have one thing in common: Virtualization can help them save costs in several areas and operating synergies.

That’s why VMware created the most critical VMware vSphere. VMware makes it straightforward to utilize this product by offering tricky VMware essentials with different features to suit additional business requirements. VMware Essentials kits are also aggressively priced.

What is VMware vSphere Essentials?

VMware vSphere Basics is VMware’s virtualization response for small businesses.

VMware vSphere Essentials provides small businesses the full potential of VMware virtualization at a size and price that suits them. The core components of VMware vSphere contain vSphere ESXi licenses for up to six processors on three physical servers with two processors each.

It also includes a license for VMware vCenter Server Essentials. While it may not seem like a lot of hardware to some, the fact is that it is more than enough for many small businesses to operate.

The Essentials set will limit you to a cluster with three hosts, with two processors each.

Nonetheless, you will not be able to use several features – vMotion, Cross Switch vMotion, High Availability, Data Protection, vShield Endpoint, vSphere Replication. These are available under the Essentials plus license.

VMware vSphere Essentials Kit Editions

VMware vSphere Essentials comes in two versions:

  1. VMware vSphere Essentials Kit
  2. VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit

VMware vSphere Essentials Plus

This kit includes six vSphere Essentials Plus CPU licenses (for three servers with up to 2 processors each) and one vCenter Server Essentials license. So far, it’s just like vSphere Essentials, but it lacks many features, like vMotion, High Availability (HA), or vSphere Replication (VR).

The VMware vSphere Essentials Plus suite grants an all-in-one solution for any kind of small businesses to virtualize their physical servers and decrease hardware expenses while obtaining excellent application availability and data security.

The vSphere Essentials Plus Kit is containing the following elements:

  • vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)
  • vCenter Server Essentials
  • vSphere Data Protection
  • vSphere High Availability (HA)
  • vSphere vMotion
  • Cross-Switch vMotion
  • vSphere vShield Endpoint
  • vSphere Replication

The difference between VMware ESXi (Free) and VMware vSphere Essentials

There are two main features that you do not get with the free version:

  1. vCenter
  2. API access

vCenter is the central controller for your ESX environment. With vCenter, you can manage more than one ESX host, move virtual machines between hosts with vMotion or fault tolerance.

If your environment is small, you may be able to live without vCenter. But with more than half a dozen ESX servers, vCenter is starting to show its importance. The most important feature missing in the free version is access to the ESX software APIs.

Third-party vendors use APIs to allow their products to access or control ESX hosts. For example, without access to the API, products for direct backup of virtual machines are not available.

Many UPSs also need to use the API to send a shutdown command to the ESX host when there is a power failure. There are solutions for most features that require an API.

Thus, in a small environment with only 1 or 2 ESX hosts, the inconveniences of bypass solutions may be acceptable. For most multi-server situations, it is often best to purchase a license.

VMware Essentials Licensing

There are two licenses. Both VMware vSphere Essentials and VMware vSphere Essentials Plus contain several critical features that VMware vSphere customers are accustomed to, such as:

  • VMware Hypervisor, ESXi
  • VMware vCenter Server, the brain of any vSphere environment
  • VMware vSphere Update Manager to manage ESXi and virtual machine updates.
  • VMware vCenter Converter, as an essential tool for converting physical machines into virtual machines or VMs.
  • If your organization starts with virtualization, this is a good solid set of basic features, and the cost is a significant concern.

VMware Essentials Plus Licensing

Concerning VMware vSphere Essentials Plus, some important features have been added:

  • VMware High Availability (VMware HA) is built for protection against host hardware defects. Virtual machines restart the surviving hosts in the vSphere cluster.
  • VMware vMotion, which enables live migration of virtual machines across vSphere ESXi hosts in the vSphere cluster.
  • These are the two distinctive features of VMware vSphere that enable organizations of all sizes to perform crucial workloads.

Without these two fundamental features of VMware vSphere, it becomes much more challenging to provide an aggressive SLA for your business.

For more details on what each release includes, be sure to check out the VMware vSphere Essentials Kit data sheet, which covers both versions of VMware vSphere Essentials in more detail.

Supervise through the VMware Essentials

When it comes to managing the basics of VMware, the good news is that it is no different from any other release of VMware vSphere.

VMware vSphere Essentials kit incorporates VMware vSphere Update Manager. With this, the updating of your vSphere environment is becoming simple.

That being said, when it comes to operations, VMware Essentials Plus has the advantage of including vSphere HA and vSphere DRS features.

vSphere HA ensures that your virtual machines reboot automatically in the event of a vSphere host failure. vSphere DRS maintains the optimal performance of your vSphere environment by ensuring that your vSphere hosts are not overloaded, and workload spread across them.


The VMware vSphere Essentials kit provides a start-up kit for small businesses can virtualize their physical servers and centrally manage them, reducing hardware costs and increasing operational efficiency with little prior investment.

Also, it includes 6 CPU licenses for vSphere Essentials (for three servers with up to 2 processors each) and one for Essentials vCenter Server.

VMware Essentials is another excellent example of how VMware constantly evaluates the market and solutions to customer problems.

VMware Essentials Plus provides an all-in-one solution for small businesses to virtualize their physical servers. Hence, there are servers reducing hardware costs with VMware Essentials while assuring higher application availability and data protection.