Virtualization has become prevalent in all areas of our infrastructure, from the datacenter, to our remote offices. Virtualizing remote offices brings additional challenges to organizations, beyond just the initial deployment. One of the most difficult aspects can justifying the licensing costs to provide a redundant infrastructure in a remote or branch office. VMware vSphere Remote Brach Office editions solve this problem by providing an alternate licensing model for small VMware vSphere deployments.
Instead of host based licensing, vSphere Remote Branch Office editions are licensed by the number of Virtual Machines. This license covers 25 virtual machines, which may be split between sites.
Many times, it can be difficult to justify licensing multiple ESXi hosts in a remote or branch office. vSphere Remote Branch Office editions solve this problem, allowing for organizations to take advantage of vSphere clustering features for even the smallest deployments. In addition, vSphere Remote Branch Office allows you to manage your remote hosts from your centralized vCenter deployment. vSphere Remote Branch Office comes in two editions: Standard and Advanced.
You can see the features compared below:
In terms of remote management and deployment, vSphere Branch Office Advanced adds Host Profiles and Auto Deploy. If you are currently using these features in your VMware vSphere environment, using them in your remote and branch offices make sense. However, if you are not, you may be better off selecting VMware vSphere Remote Branch Office Standard. The other feature to think about is Distributed Switches, which is a part of vSphere Remote Branch Office Advanced.
The list price of vSphere Remote Branch Office Standard in USD is $3,000.00, and the list price of vSphere Remote Branch Office Advanced is $4,500.00, which does not include support. Remember, this is per 25 virtual machines, and not ESXi host hardware.
From a list price perspective, vSphere Remote Branch Office Advanced is more cost effective than licensing vSphere Enterprise Plus, which has a list price of USD $3,495.00 per processor. If your ESXi host has more than one processor, this cost can quickly add up. vSphere Remote Branch offices eliminates this problem, and allows for multiple hosts to be deployed. One key reason this is recommended is to take advantage of vSphere High Availability in order to protect against host hardware failure.
Need a refresher on what is included with vSphere Enterprise Plus Features? Be sure to check out Comparing vSphere Editions: vSphere Standard and vSphere Enterprise Plus.
vSphere Remote Branch Office editions simplify licensing for remote sites and branch offices. By allowing for the virtual machines to be split across multiple sites, customers can also take advantage of VMware vSphere to protect critical servers from hardware failure for even the smallest sites with very few servers. Without vSphere Remote Branch Office, this would not be economical from a licensing perspective.
To learn more about vSphere Remote Branch Office, take a look at the data sheet.