Comparison: vSphere Essentials vs Essentials Plus

In this short blog post, I want to discuss the differences in VMware’s entry level offerings. The other day I had to reference the VMware datasheet that compared the differences between vSphere Essentials vs vSphere Essentials Plus. Sadly I didn’t know the differences until now since I’ve always been fortunate to be spoiled with the full feature set of Enterprise and/or Enterprise Plus!

VMware Essentials Kits are perfect for small business/retail/branch offices. They allow businesses that normally would stay physical, an avenue to virtualize. Simply put, both editions provide vCenter Server for Essentials, which can manage up to three ESXi Host (2 processors each).

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The difference between the two pertains to the features. 

  1. Within the VMware Essentials kit you only have ESXi server.
  2. Within the VMware Essentials Plus kit you have additional features such as vSphere replication, vMotion and High Availability. *Note* This does not include DRS or Storage VMotion!

I wanted to write this quick blog post to hopefully help others who may be in my situation. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend anything other than Essentials Plus since it gives you the option to vMotion between two ESXi host. It’s the perfect setup for a small environment with two ESXi servers. I don’t recommend running VMware on a one server setup unless the situation specifically calls for it and you accept the risks. Without it the manual process of migrating powered off servers (downtime) is possible within Essentials, but you miss out on one of the best features that revolutionized the virtualization market, which is vMotion!