ESXi Free Version Limitations

I thought that after my previous post about ESXi really being free, I would write a post with the limitations I’ve noticed when you don’t have vCenter Server.  Having never used ESXi before and always having had vCenter I didn’t really know what to expect.

This is surely not an exhaustive list, but just things I’ve noticed so far.  Some of the items on these lists  really go into the differences of the licensed versions of the product, and I haven’t noted that here. (Standard, Enterprise, Enterprise Plus)

In no particular order….

* No cloning of virtual machines (Instead I just copy a machine directly on the data store and ‘add to inventory’)

* No templates (same as above)

* No Virtual Consolidated Backup (VCB) (With the free version you do not have access to download it at all)

* No Virtual Data Recovery (VDR) (same as above)

* No Clustering

* No vMotion

* Performance charts only display ‘Real Time’ statistics

* No Alert features

* No console on the host.  Management is ONLY through VIC

* Symantec’s VMWare agent will not work

* Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS)

* Power Management features

* Dynamically adding CPU and RAM to a running Guest

[UPDATE] * vStorage APIs (why Symantec’s AVVI will not work)

 

Things I was surprised to see…

* AD Integration for security in the Virtual Infrastructure Client (VIC)

* Resource groups

* Performance statistics of any kind

* Guest automatic startup/shutdown features

 

 

For now this is all I can think of.  I will try and keep this list in mind and update it as I notice other things.

Post a comment if there is something you have noticed!

8 thoughts on “ESXi Free Version Limitations”

  1. I do not believe it is possible to use any API features with ESXi Free. They lock out those interfaces unless you have a higher level license.

  2. Is is possible to automate routine operations using VI JAVa API with ESXi free version?
    I would like to automate following tasks –
    power on, power off, create snapshot, revert to snapshot etc.

  3. Kevin,
    Great list!
    Question with regard to any other ESXi (free) limitations.
    Did you notice if USB/serial/parallel hardware pass-through to a VM was still possible?

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