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We are considering purchasing a VMWare bundle, the VMWare vSphere 4 Essentials Bundle for 3 hosts (one can buy it online

For several days, I have been trying my dardest to answer what, to me anyway, appears to be a simple question: If, at some point in the future, we need to install ESXi on a 4th host, and want to manage that hose with VCenter, what fees will we need to pay to do so?

I have tried calling VMWare sales -- they don't return calls apparantly. I tried emailing VMWare sales -- no response in over 3 days.

I have looked over their web site but can't find a concrete answer.

It might be that one simply pays $795 per processor to license additional VSphere hosts at the essentials level. I seriously doubt that this is the case because I believe that the VCenter license that comes with the essential bundle is permanently limited to 3 hosts. This leads to another interesting question: Will the VSphere licenses that come with the bundle work with a VCenter licensed later on?

I have a sneaking suspicion that the answer is that there is no upgrade path. If/When you want to manage 4 hosts, you need to re license everything (VCenter and the VSphere hosts).

Does anyone out there know the answer to this question? Furthermore, does anyone out there know a way to get quick answers out of VMWare over this sort of thing (a nice live chat or something?)

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closed as off topic by Mark Henderson Jan 11 '12 at 3:50

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When dealing with VMWare, you're best off dealing with a reseller of VMWare products like Dell, IBM, or a local VAR. VMWare is absolutely impossible to work with directly. – MDMarra Jan 22 '10 at 16:44
Can you recommend someone I can contact to get my questions answered? – SvrGuy Jan 22 '10 at 16:52
Where are you located and do you have any existing relationships with resellers? Where do you get your gear in your datacenter from, do you have a relationship with any consultants, etc. You should check with them first, you'd be surprised who's reselling VMWare now-a-days – MDMarra Jan 22 '10 at 22:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe you are correct that you will have to re-license the VCenter Server. The next jump up is 16 hosts.
ESXi is free, so you won't have to purchase anything there, though you won't have support unless you buy it for each host.
As others have suggested, a VAR is your best bet. CDW has knowledgeable people in this area. VMWare sales people have never called me back either, apparently they are trying to gain Oracle's reputation... :-)

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Not sure where you're saying next jump is 16 hosts. Full vSphere licensing is done per-processor. – MDMarra Jan 22 '10 at 22:45
VCenter is by host though... – Scott Lundberg Jan 23 '10 at 1:29
He's right about re-licensing the vCenter server. – Brent Ozar Jan 23 '10 at 15:13

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