Building a home vSphere lab - licensing?

TeeJayHoward

Limpness Supreme
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Feb 8, 2005
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10,436
Been out of the VMware game for too long. I think the last version I used was 6.0. Work was pushing towards RHEV, so I killed my lab and started learning that. Now I'm pretty well acquainted with it, but I miss my VMware setup @ home.

So... Let's talk about doing it legally.
  • If I go with a VMUG license, can I still use DRS/DRM/vMotion/HA/FT?
  • Do you need a vSAN license AND an ESXi host license for each physical vSAN server?
  • Can a vSAN host also be a VM host? Is it best practice to separate them?
  • I see that 6CPU licenses are included, but it talks about 3x 2-CPU servers. If I have 6x single-CPU servers, is that allowed?
  • Never got a chance to play with NSX. How's it different from distributed switches? How's it licensed?
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
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Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,712
How many systems are you talking about?

[I've run a total of one, so licensing for home / learning use was free...]
 

TeeJayHoward

Limpness Supreme
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Feb 8, 2005
Messages
10,436
How many systems are you talking about?

[I've run a total of one, so licensing for home / learning use was free...]
I've got probably a dozen low-utilization VMs, and 8 identical physical servers to run them on. Not all 8 need to be licensed (or even powered on) as my workload's so small.

Each server is
Xeon E3
32GB RAM
Dual 1GbE onboard NIC
Dual 40Gb Infiniband (or dual 10GbE) PCIe NIC (Mellanox Connect-X2)
256GB SSD
2TB HDD
16GB SataDOM
16GB USB
My network infrastructure consists of
A pair of 24-port GbE switches
An UNMANAGED Infiniband switch (So the vCSA or one of the hosts will need to be running an IB management service)​
 

cjcox

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jun 7, 2004
Messages
1,790
ESXi is "free"... have never known VSphere (VCenter) to be free.
 

Spartacus09

[H]ard|Gawd
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Apr 21, 2018
Messages
1,540
Been out of the VMware game for too long. I think the last version I used was 6.0. Work was pushing towards RHEV, so I killed my lab and started learning that. Now I'm pretty well acquainted with it, but I miss my VMware setup @ home.

So... Let's talk about doing it legally.
  • If I go with a VMUG license, can I still use DRS/DRM/vMotion/HA/FT?
  • Do you need a vSAN license AND an ESXi host license for each physical vSAN server?
  • Can a vSAN host also be a VM host? Is it best practice to separate them?
  • I see that 6CPU licenses are included, but it talks about 3x 2-CPU servers. If I have 6x single-CPU servers, is that allowed?
  • Never got a chance to play with NSX. How's it different from distributed switches? How's it licensed?
1) yes vmug gets you the equivalent of a 6cpu enterprise plus license, Which includes all of those features you listed
2) yes you need a licensed Esxi host to apply the vsan license to
3) I think you’re confused on how vsan works, the intention is for three or more esxi hosts to share their local data store, to use as VMware datastore storage, You then use that storage and those hosts as a cluster, its not a nas thats shared out, The storage is only used by the hosts that are contributing.~ I will say this vSAN is a pain in the ass if you’re not using made for hardware. the hardware compatibility list is a lot smaller and not worth it IMO, if you care about the data on the vsan datastore.
4) It’s for six CPUs you can have that split however you want whether it’s 1×6, 2x3, 4x1+1x2, the limitation is physical CPUs not hosts.
5) never used nsx sorry

As a sidenote the way vmug works is you get a license for 13 months, after which your licenses expire, or you get new ones with your renewal ( I never did multi year vmug so I’m not sure if they last longer for that or if you still have to renew them annually )

That being said I ended up switching over to linux and dockerizing a lot of my stuff, got tired of paying for VMware.
 
Last edited:

TeeJayHoward

Limpness Supreme
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
10,436
I think you’re confused on how vsan works, the intention is for three or more esxi hosts to share their local data store, to use as VMware datastore storage, You then use that storage and those hosts as a cluster, its not a nas thats shared out, The storage is only used by the hosts that are contributing.~ I will say this vSAN is a pain in the ass if you’re not using made for hardware. the hardware compatibility list is a lot smaller and not worth it IMO, if you care about the data on the vsan datastore.
Aah, I see. I had assumed that it worked like a traditional SAN where any host capable of iSCSI could take a chunk out of a shared pool of disks. Oops!

(Thanks for the rest of your answers, too!)
 

gimp

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
10,216
  • Never got a chance to play with NSX. How's it different from distributed switches? How's it licensed?

NSX is a whole different beast altogether.
I got to attend a presentation a few weeks back.

It allows massive micro-segmentation even within VLANs.
In essence, it's a per-port firewall.
You can group VMs via tags and apply rules to the tags, for example.

There's quite a bit more than it provides as well, like VXLAN.
It is licensed separately, but I believe VMUG provides the licensing.

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-V...UID-390CC876-9F7F-4A06-820E-D67876F53452.html
https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2013/04/vxlan-series-different-components-part-1.html

fwiw, I just paid $459 for 3-year VMUG last month. They give a price break for the longer terms, and then I found an additional 10% off code somewhere.
 
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