vSphere Enterprise Plus Edition is the recommended edition for vCloud Director

I have been lately seeing many tenders in my region that include vCloud Director, but the funny part most of them were purposing vSphere Enterprise Edition. This has alarmed me as I always go back to our partners and ensure they are aware of the features they will lose in vCloud Director when using it with Standard  Switches rather than vDistributed Switches. The sad part, I have discovered most of our partners in this region at least were not aware of it so I thought I will document it in this blog post. Further there is an official VMware KB (KB Article: 1026328) found at: Virtual switch support for VMware vCloud Director that clearly state: “Although it is supported, VMware recommends that you do not use vSwitches” <== in this statement the KB recommend using Distributed Switches with vCloud Director over Standard switches which is only included in the Enterprise Plus Edition. I just wanted to make sure its clear that its not only me who is saying so.

OK, so why do u need Distributed Switches/Enterprise Plus Licenses when using vCloud Director. I mean you don’t expect me to tell you just to buy them then quit did you? You want the reasons behind it. Here it come:

* Basically without Distributed Switches you will lose important automation features of vCloud Director the main one pointed below:

– All port groups have to be created accordingly on all ESX hosts in advance
– Dynamic provisioning via on-the-fly network pools is not possible
– You will not be able to use vCloud Network Isolation
– You will not be able to use VLAN-Baked Network Pools.

Further, Customers at that price range usually as well can afford moving to Enterprise Plus as the price difference is usually not huge when you buying at scale. Further, when buying Enterprise plus you are not only paying for vCloud Director to function better but paying for all the features below that are worth the difference:

– vDistributed swithces are becoming the standard in vSphere environments today & only available in Enterprise Plus
– Support third party switches like Cisco Nexus 1000v
– Network I/O Control & Storage I/O Control
– Host profiles that will easy the ESX deployment as well ensure compliance.
– It will allow you to use up to 8-Way Virtual machines
– It will remove the 6-cores per CPU & 256GB memory limit on the ESX host.

OK, now shall I start expecting to see more tenders coming out with vSphere Enterprise Plus when pricing for vCloud Director or should I just keep beating it loud with a large drum sticks!! Anyway I hope this will be useful for someone out there.

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