Is VMware ESXi Development Free for Commercial Use? What are Restrictions and Limitations?

Is VMware ESXi Development Free for Commercial Use? What are Restrictions and Limitations?

We all are aware of VMware for virtualization solutions. Further, VMware ESXi is well-known in the market. It is a type-1 hypervisor. VMware ESXi development is in demand and is loved by all the specialists in the IT industry.

VMware ESXi has made its place in the leading virtualization hypervisor at the global level. It is used by IT specialists widely.

Now, the question arises- Is VMware ESXi development free for commercial use? And if yes, it is free then what are the restrictions and limitations it holds?

Let’s understand it more in this article. For VMware ESXi development, ESXi comes with both free and paid versions. Yes, VMware ESXi is free for commercial use but for the free version, it comes with certain limitations and restrictions.

1. Advantages of Free ESXi in VMware ESXi Development

A free license of ESXi offers you unlimited physical CPUs for an ESXi host. A free VMware ESXi development is advised not to use for the production environment. But, a free ESXi does consists of several good uses including personal development, disaster recovery, and testing of them.

With free VMware ESXi development, you have the access to unlimited cores per physical control processing unit. It offers a loyal licensing policy.

2. Restrictions and Limitations of Free VMware ESXi Development

Now, we are well aware that VMware ESXi is free for commercial use and have an understanding of the advantages that comes with the free license of VMware ESXi development.

Now, let’s look closely at the restrictions and limitations of the free license of VMware ESXi.

In order to get all the best features for VMware ESXi development in commercial use, it is essential to opt for the paid license as free ESXi comes with limited scope in commercial use.

2.1 Limitations and Restrictions

  1. Levels of Support– Free ESXi versions don’t offer levels of support, it doesn’t have official support. It lacks in high availability support, and usage of Storage/Backup API is not supported. No support for live migration of VMS (V Motion) in the free version of VMware ESXi development. Moreover, load balancing of VMs (DRS) isn’t supported.
  2. No central management– Free ESXi version suits ideal for testing and development of the small scale applications. But, the free ESXi version doesn’t offer central management. The service vCenter server in paid version provides daily monitoring, administration, and patching smoothly.
  3. No official VMware support– No technical-commercial support is offered by VMware for the free version of ESXi.
  4. Some restrictions in free VMware ESXi development can be ignored but others are critical. Also, for free ESXi, if one wishes to create a VM with more than 8 virtual processors then failure of the VM starts.
  5. Apart from the mentioned limitations and restrictions, there is no vStorage API in free ESXi. vStorage API is a data protection framework for VMware. vStorage API allows virtual machines’ centralized backup on a host level. The free edition of ESXi displays an error message for backup applications. Free ESXi doesn’t enable interaction of ESXi server via vStorage API. Therefore, virtual machines aren’t backed up from the free ESXi edition on a host level. Making it a big disadvantage for free VMware ESXi in commercial use.

VMware offers a great licensing policy, you can explore the aspects of virtualization with the free version of VMware.

3. Conclusion

Free VMware ESXi can be taken into account as a good solution for small-scale companies such as self-employed people and small shops.

Free VMware ESXi development is also a great solution for learning and testing purposes.

Despite having limitations in free VMware ESXi development, free ESXi in a production environment is not prohibited in the license agreement. For sure, free VMware ESXi holds inabilities such as no vStorage APIs, no levels of support, no central management, etc.

However, there is no expiration date for the free VMware ESXi license. One can have the assurance that it will not expire. Moreover, the accessible version of the ESXi server can be used as long as one wishes, and can opt for or apply for the commercial license at any time without having the need to reinstall the ESXi server.

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