Know What Features Limitations There Are With The
“Free” Version Of ESXi/vSphere!
Have you ever wondered about the FREE version of vSphere and what limitations there are? I have created the below summary of limitations that are associated to the free version. For those using it for a home or test lab, the free version may do the trick for you. But even if using it for those situations, you still need to understand the limitations you have. One aspect to keep in mind especially is that the free version DOES NOT come with any type of technical support for it which is critical to understand!
Because of the below list of limitations and there not being any technical support for it, I highly recommend it not be used in corporate environments even in their Test/Dev labs! Instead, if you are trying to reduce the costs associated to vSphere licensing and have a limited budget, I would recommend that you look at the vSphere Essentials Kits which are very reasonably priced and offer two editions (Essentials & Essentials Plus). These offer you the ability to get support for them so if using in a production environment, you can be assured to get support from VMware to help keep your environment up and running at all times!
Essentials Kit – Edition Comparisons:
- vSphere Product Page (Compare Tab) – http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere.html
- VMware Store (Essentials Kit) – http://store.vmware.com/store/vmware/en_US/buy/productID.282883900&src=eBIZ_LandingPage_vSphereEssentials_Buy_US
- VMware Store (Essentials Plus Kit) – http://store.vmware.com/store/vmware/en_US/buy/productID.285644500&src=eBIZ_LandingPage_vSphereEssentialsPlus_Buy_US
FREE vSphere – Limitations Summary:
- No vMotion
- No Fault Tolerance (FT)
- No vSAN
- Maximum of (2) physical CPU’s allowed per host
- No built-in monitoring
- NO Microsoft Active Directory (AD) integration
- CANNOT be managed by a vCenter Server
Removed Limitations in vSphere 6.x:
- Starting in vSphere 6.x, they removed the 32GB RAM limitation, it is now unlimited physical RAM
- Free vSphere Download: https://my.vmware.com/en/web/vmware/evalcenter?p=free-esxi6
- vSphere Community Discussion: https://communities.vmware.com/thread/520560