Lately vShield seems to gain much popularity due to all the security benefits it offer in a virtual environment. Further, the security concern of merging 10s and (maybe 100s in the near future) of VMs on the same host seems just to push the demand for similar security capabilities in the Enterprise. It seems there is a lot of confusion on which version of vSphere you require to run vShield products. This has been specially raised up with vShield Zone being a part of vSphere Advanced Edition and above, & people assuming the rest of the vShield Family will only work with vSphere Advanced and above. To be honest I had the question about a week back from one of our partners, and I did not know the answer and was trying to look it up on the net. Though I had no official answer in any of our documentation even internal one but found multiple blogs that posted different answers. Though my colleague @wibrahim had an e-mail from our security team with the official answer that I would like to share it with you. First thanks to @wibrahim for sharing the info, & being kind enough to take the time and share the original e-mail with me.
The summary of the answer is as follow:
Only vShield Zone requires vSphere Advanced or above, where the rest of the vShield Family (vShield Edge, vShield App, vShield EndPoint) will work with vSphere Essential Plus and above. So basically any of the paid vShield Family products will require vSphere Essential Plus and above to run, & will not work with vSphere Essential. Further, the full vShield family work with vSphere 4.0, except vShield EndPoint which require at least vSphere 4.1.
Although my blog is by no mean can be regarded as an official documentation, I have got an official e-mails from our security team responsible for the vShield products that document this info so it can not be wrong at the time I have wrote this. I hope this will help many of our partners out there figure out which version they will require for each of the vShield products family.
Last, I would like to write a statement in bold as many of our SMB customers will care to find it out:
vShield EndPoint work with vSphere Essential Plus & above
vShield Edge work with vSphere Essential Plus & above
vShield App work with vSphere Essential Plus & above.
This means even SMBs can benefit from the same security vShield has been delivering to the larger Enterprise customers.