VMware’s position as the leading enterprise virtualization platform has been secured for many years. However, their position in the SMB market is not nearly so well entrenched. In the SMB market price and complexity have been hurdles that VMware has had trouble getting over. Timothy Stephan, Senior Director of Product Marketing met with me during VMworld 2011 to explain how VMware’s vSphere 5 release takes aim at SMB organizations. With the vSphere 5 release VMware brings three different offerings into the SMB virtualization market.
vSphere Essentials - vSphere Essentials is the low-end starter product and it lists for $495. It’s based on the ESXi hypervisor and can be used on up to three hosts with a maximum of 2 CPUs per host and 192 GB of vRAM. It’s designed to support about 20-40 workloads.
vSphere Essentials Plus – vSphere Essentials Plus picks up where Essentials leaves off and adds enterprise features like high availability, data protection and vMotion. Essentials Plus is for SMBs that need enhanced business continuity. Essentials Plus lists for $4000.
VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 1.0 – Perhaps the most interesting addition to the VMware line-up is the new VMware vSphere Storage Appliance. While its name suggests a hardware solution the VMware Storage Appliance is a software solution that you install on industry standard servers. The VMware Storage Appliance brings the availability features like VMotion to the SMB without requiring a SAN by creating a shared storage pool from each server’s DAS. The vSphere Storage Appliance starts at $7,245.