vSphere is the collective term for VMwares virtualization platform, it includes the ESX hypervisor as well as the vCenter Management suite and associate components. vSphere is considered by many the industrys most mature and feature rich virtualization platform and had its origins in the initial ESX releases around 2001/2002.
vSphere is available in various edition and bundles:
vSphere Editions (un-bundled)
- Hypervisor (free)
- Enterprise Plus
vSphere with Operations Management (OM) - (vSphere + VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite Standard)
- vSphere with Operations Management Standard Edition
- vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Edition
- vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus Edition
vSphere with Operations Management Acceleration Kits (AK) - (Convenience bundles that include: six processor licenses for vSphere with Operations Management + vCenter Server Standard license. Six processor licenses of vSphere Data Protection Advanced with the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus Acceleration Kits only)
vSphere with Operations Management Acceleration Kits decompose into their individual kit components after purchase. This allows customers to upgrade and renew SnS for each individual component.
- vSphere with Operations Management Acceleration Kit Standard
- vSphere with Operations Management Acceleration Kit Enterprise
- vSphere with Operations Management Acceleration Kit Enterprise Plus
vSphere Essential Kits - (all-in-one solutions for small environments up to three hosts with two CPUs each that include the vSphere processor licenses, vCenter Server for Essentials (for an environment of up to three hosts with up to 2 CPUs each). Scalability limits for the Essentials Kits are product enforced and cannot be extended other than by upgrading the whole kit to an Acceleration Kit. vSphere Essentials and Essentials Plus Kits are self-contained solutions and may not be decoupled, or combined with other vSphere editions.
- Essentials Plus
vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Editions - licensing is priced in packs of 25 VMs (Virtual Machines). Editions can be used in conjunction with an existing or separately purchased vCenter Server edition. SnS is required for at least one year. The 25 VM pack can be distributed across multiple sites. A maximum of a single 25 VM pack can be used in a single remote location or branch office.
- VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Standard
- VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Advanced
VMware vSphere Desktop
vSphere Desktop Edition is a vSphere Edition designed for licensing vSphere in VDI deployments. It can only be used for VDI deployment and can be leveraged with both VMware Horizon View and other third-party VDI connection brokers (e.g. Citrix XenDesktop)
VMwares cloud offerings (vCloud Suite) and VDI (VMware Horizon) offerings are separate (fee-based) products.