VMware vSphere+ is the next evolution that brings the benefits of the cloud to on-premises workloads. It transforms existing on-prem deployments into SaaS-enabled infrastructures. This allows customers to access new innovations and cloud services much faster.

I mention 4 important things to customers when they ask about vSphere+:

  • You can purchase a new subscription or upgrade your existing licenses to subscription
    • Available in 1, 3, and 5-year terms
    • Per-Core metric with a 16 core minimum per CPU (perpetual vSphere licenses use a per-socket metric with a 32 core maximum)
  • You still manage your ESXi hosts the same way. vCenter updates can be managed from the VMware Cloud console.
    • You can deploy an unlimited number of vCenters (vCenter Standard)
  • vSphere+ includes vSphere all features of the vSphere Enterprise+ edition and allows keyless management of your vSphere and vSAN infrastructure
  • You get central management and insights through the VMware Cloud Console, and add-on services

Diagram showing the architecture for vSphere+

That is vSphere+ in a nutshell. But there is much more. With this new service and connection to VMware Cloud services, customers start to ask a lot of questions. 😉

1) Which parts of the Tanzu portfolio are included in vSphere+?

vSphere+ comes with so-called developer services that include:

2) What is the Cloud Consumption Interface (CCI)?

The Cloud Consumption Interface is included with vSphere+ (powered by Aria Automation, formerly known as vRealize Automation) and gives consumers a consistent API and CLI to interact with all their cloud and IaaS operations. This means you can connect to all your Supervisor clusters from a graphical web console.

Note: Do you remember the Project Cascade announcement at VMworld 2021? That’s CCI.

3) What if I have 20 cores and want to license only 16 cores of them?

Let us say that you have 20 cores and disabled 4 of them in BIOS, vSphere+ would only see and activate/subscribe 16 cores only. This is a supported and valid configuration option that you don’t have to subscribe additional 16 cores for only 4 physical cores.

But it is recommended that you activate all the cores during a subscription upgrade to set the correct baseline for the future. If you never plan to activate those 4 leftover cores, then go ahead and license only 16 cores for this CPU.

4) What if I bought VMware Cloud Foundation or vCloud Suite already?

vCloud Suite (vCS) customers can upgrade their existing perpetual license to subscription with vCloud Suite+ (vCS+).

vCloud Suite+ Editions

Existing VCF customers should have a look at VCF+.

5) What is VMware Cloud Foundation+?

VMware Cloud Foundation+ (VCF+) is generally available since October 2022 starting from VCF 4.5 or higher. The difference with vSphere+ is, that VCF+ connects the vCenter Cloud Gateway to the SDDC Manager instead of vCenter.

VMware Cloud Foundation+

The following components are included in VCF+:

  • vSphere+
  • vSAN+
  • NSX term license
  • SDDC Manager
  • Aria Universal Suite Enterprise edition (formerly known as vRealize Cloud Universal)
  • Tanzu Standard
  • Keyless entitlements (only for vSphere+ and vSAN+)

VMware Cloud Foundation+ comes in three different editions:

  • VCF+ Standard
  • VCF+ Advanced
  • VCF+ Enterprise

Note: vCenter Standard is included in vSphere+. This means that vCenter is part of VCF+ as well.

6) What if I cannot connect to the cloud yet or have an air-gapped environment?

If you are not ready yet or are not allowed to connect your environment to a cloud solution like this, you have the following alternatives for the so-called “disconnected” use cases (with term licenses):

  • vSphere Subscription (sometimes called vSphere-S)
  • vCloud Suite Subscription (vCS-S)
  • VMware Cloud Foundation Subscription (VCF-S)

Important: You cannot mix perpetual and VCF+ instances. The same is true for VCF-S and VCF+.

Note: VCF-S can be upgraded to VCF+ but you cannot go from VCF+ to VCF-S.

7) What if I lose my connection to the cloud?

No problem! If you lose your connection to the VMware Cloud, only access to cloud services and the cloud console will be affected. vCenter instances, ESXi hosts, and workloads will continue to run normally and can be managed from vCenter (through the vSphere client). This is true for vSphere+ and VCF+.

8) How many vCenters can be connected to a vCenter Cloud Gateway?

Currently, a vCenter Cloud Gateway (VCG) supports up to 8 medium vCenters. VCF+ customers need to deploy a gateway per VCF instance.

vCenter Cloud Gateway

Note: VMware periodically auto-updates vSphere+ and vCenter Cloud Gateway whenever an update is available. These auto-updates are not applicable for your vCenter Server. You must manually update the vCenter Server whenever an update is available.

9) Can I mix vSphere+ with vSAN perpetual licenses?

Yes, you can continue to use your vSAN perpetual licenses with vSphere+. But as you would expect, you should not mix vSAN perpetual and vSAN+ subscriptions.

10) What about other vSphere+ and vSAN editions?

As I mentioned, vSphere+ includes vSphere Enterprise+ features – vSAN+ has vSAN Enterprise features included.

We can expect that VMware is going to introduce vSphere+ Standard, vSAN+ Standard and vSAN+ Advanced soon. 

Want to know more?

Here are a few additional resources: