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steve.lavoie
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Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by steve.lavoie »

Is Free ESXi supported in 3.1?

If not, is it a Veeam choice or a Vmware technical limitation?

We have deployed recently many Veeam Backup 3.01 to backup some Free ESXi 3.5 and it is very annoying that support for free esxi has ended.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

1. Free ESXi 3.5 is supported in Veeam Backup 3.1 for all existing customers (everyone who have bought Veeam Backup before June 3rd, 2009). However, depending on your license file, you may need to contact our sales to get an updated license that enables free ESXi processing.

2. Free ESXi 3.5 is no longer supported for evaluators and new users (anyone who have bought Veeam Backup after June 3rd). We have stopped marketing this functionality on our web-site almost 1 month ago, so it happened in advance. Such users will not be able to get license file that enables ESXi 3.5 free processing, per our agreement with VMware.

3. Free ESXi 4 is not supported for any customers. We had to disable free ESXi 4 support per VMware request. Technically, this capability is still in the code, but it is disabled via hard-coded ESXi type and version check. Yes, VMware introduced certain technical limitation in the latest update too, but due to approach we are using, it does not really affect our code anyhow.

4. Licensed (paid) ESXi 3.5 and ESXi 4 are fully supported without any limitations. Just wanted to explicitly say this here because this was causing confusion before.

Please let me know if this answers your question.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by steve.lavoie »

Thanks for your answer.

I will contact sales support for my existing clients (about 5 to 10). It is annoying that they will not be able to upgrade their ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 4 unless they dump Veeam Backup. Your product is really good, but I understand that you are bound by contract with Vmware.

You said in another post that Veeam has a large discount when bundled with vSphere Essential? How does it work? How much?

Steve Lavoie, VCP

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

Steve, if you are our partner, then you should have received an announcement with exhaustive information and all pricing details last week.

In short, here's the story and approx. pricing:

Veeam Essentials is a bundle with 6 licenses of Backup, Monitor, and Reporter (USD 2000). This is 66% discount from list price, if my math is right. Now, Veeam Essentials can only be purchased and used with VMware vSphere Essentials bundle (another USD 1000). So together, this will cost about USD 3000 for your customer.

Previously, your customers would use Free ESXi (USD 0), and buy Veeam Backup at list price (USD 3000 for 6 sockets). So for most typical SMB customers, this is a win-win change: they get more Veeam products and licensed VMware hosts at the same price they would otherwise spend on 6 sockets of Veeam Backup.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

steve.lavoie wrote:I will contact sales support for my existing clients (about 5 to 10). It is annoying that they will not be able to upgrade their ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 4 unless they dump Veeam Backup. Your product is really good, but I understand that you are bound by contract with Vmware.
Just to comment that, they would not get much from upgrading to free ESXi 4 anyway since most of the new vSphere features is not available in free ESXi. But, if they really want to upgrade to vSphere, they should simply buy VMware vSphere Essentials (USD 995), and having this bundle will make them eligible for free upgrade to Veeam Essentials too.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by satheesh »

This is very important information regarding ESXi 4 and the backup solution we choose. I cannot seem to find the "paid" ESXi 4 version anywhere in the VMware Online Store (I know I should probably ask VMware, but maybe anyone here got an idea?).

As for the vSphere Essentials at $995 isn't really that bad of a deal. But I'm not sure why you actually get the ESXi "free" version along with vSphere (ESX). Doesn't make any sense, why would anyone use ESXi when you got the full version? :?

Anyways, thanks Gostev for taking the time to explain how things are. The licensing issues still remain a puzzle for me after years in the IT industry. :mrgreen:
Satheesh.net

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

Satheesh, all "paid" ESXi 4 licensing options are described in this document
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by davidshq »

I must say, this is a most disturbing move on VMWare's part. It also comes at a most awkward time for VMWare. Microsoft is offering their full featured Hyper-V for free including live migration (and one other big feature I can't remember at the moment). VMWare's advantage in this market has been shrinking and now they've hobbled their own horse even further. Bad business plan in my opinion.
Dave.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

The other big thing is HA (High Availability), it will also be free in Hyper-V R2.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by davidshq »

Yes, thats it...and that is a pretty huge feature as well. Will you guys be adding support for Hyper-V to Veeam? :twisted:

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by elwappo »

This worries me as well. I was on the verge of buying Veeam backup when I stumbled on this thread. Now there is no use for this product in my environment. Part of the reason so many people use the free hypervisor is to lower TCO. I keep hearing the suggestion that purchasing VMware's starter kit makes this an ok thing. Buy not for people running more than three ESXi hosts. If VMware's intention was to make a free product that no one can create really useful software for they should pull it off the market. It's starting to feel like Shareware to me now. And that's making me rethink what I'm doing in my datacenter.

Just a thought. And what's being said about hyper-V here is very true. I was hoping VMware was going to find a different way to market their product to encourage you to license it per host, but, now it's starting to feel like they are finding little ways to force their hand.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

davidshq wrote:Will you guys be adding support for Hyper-V to Veeam? :twisted:
Yes, most certainly - Hyper-V is our next big thing. But not because of this situation, of course - we've planned this much earlier. Many of our large customers told us they already have, or are planning to have heterogeneous virtual environments (2-3 hypervisors). And they all want heterogeneous tools to manage them.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by TonioRoffo »

About needing a registered ESXi 3.5/4.0...

Is is enough for me to have Gold support on ESXi only, or do I need a full VI/vSphere license? It's still $495 vs $995, which is still a difference to the client.

I have clients running on a single ESXi 3.5 free box, which I would like to implement Veeam backup 3.1 on...

It's a bit silly to get a 3 host/6 processor license which I won't be using.

Thanks!

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

TonioRoffo, I am not sure I fully understand your question. What is being checked is whether the license key for specific ESXi is for "free" product, or for "paid" product. Support status is not reflected in the ESX license key, so it does not matter if you have support purchased or not.

As for number of ESX hosts, we find that in most cases, even for smallest/cheapest deployments most customers still use at least 2 ESX hosts with local storage, one as production host, and another one serving as hot standby and hosting Veeam Backup replicas of production VMs. Running everything on just one ESX host is not too safe: if host goes down, your whole production will be down until you fix it, and restore all backups - this can take days...

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by H in OH »

Gostev wrote: Yes, most certainly - Hyper-V is our next big thing. But not because of this situation, of course - we've planned this much earlier. Many of our large customers told us they already have, or are planning to have heterogeneous virtual environments (2-3 hypervisors). And they all want heterogeneous tools to manage them.
So, is Veeam also going to support Sun xVM and Citrix Xenserver also?

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by H in OH »

Gostev wrote:As for number of ESX hosts, we find that in most cases, even for smallest/cheapest deployments most customers still use at least 2 ESX hosts with local storage, one as production host, and another one serving as hot standby and hosting Veeam Backup replicas of production VMs. Running everything on just one ESX host is not too safe: if host goes down, your whole production will be down until you fix it, and restore all backups - this can take days...
A smaller installation may have some type of spare on hand for DR, but that does not mean that they would necessarily have a second ESX host actively running as a hot spare. There are other forms of DR plans, especially if 24x7 uptime is not a requirement. The real question is what do you do for those small companies that want to virtualize three or four lightly loaded servers into one ESXi host? The cost of VMWare Essentials just to get Veeam Backup to work is enough that they may as well just buy a new server and forget virtualization.

I totally get VMWare's desire to get companies to pay instead of running large numbers of free ESXi hosts in a single environment. However, if you really want loyal techs to go for VMWare and Veeam in the big or even typical installations, there should be some compromise for using the free ESXi in production for really small installations. How about an allowance for using the free ESXi in a production environment with only one or two hosts? For another compromise, how about being able to use backup and restore but not replication with free ESXi?

---H

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

H in OH wrote:So, is Veeam also going to support Sun xVM and Citrix Xenserver also?
If demand for supporting these hypervisors will increase, and will represent a measurable market share - yes, absolutely.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by TonioRoffo »

Well let me rephrase my question then:

What is the cheapest vmware license/veeam license combo to get a *single* ESX/ESXi host with veeam backup installed on it - is it the vpshere essentials bundle? Can I just buy a paid license for a single ESX/ESXi host like before it was free?

Do I need this (which is overkill)
http://store.vmware.com/servlet/Control ... =126843700

Or is it enough for me to get this:
http://store.vmware.com/servlet/Control ... =126842800

Thank you!

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

For single 1-socket host, cheapeast would be to buy "Standard" license, which is $795. However, I am not sure if support is included with this (it is included with "Essentials" bundle). You may want to check on that with VMware reseller.

This is the best reference document for all pricing questions:
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by davidshq »

The Essentials Bundle is a better deal though...B/c for $100-$200 more you get licenses to three vSphere servers with up to two sockets per server.
Dave.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

...plus vCenter

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by H in OH »

After carefully reading the official statements from Veeam and VMWare, it seems that the official licensing problem that VMWare has with Veeam is just with the way in which Veeam figured out how to suck data from ESXi without the license for the ESXi host to communicate with vCenter or VCB. What if the datastore for the free ESXi host was on a separate NFS server? Can Veeam Backup interact with the free ESXi host for the snapshot control while taking the data directly from the NFS server? That way there would be no reason to pull the data directly through ESXi and violate VMWare's license.

---H

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

H, you are almost correct. One thing that you are missing is that snapshots is still required. Snapshot operation can only be done through ESXi host, and VMware has restricted this operation through public API in their latest update. :(

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by H in OH »

Gostev wrote:H, you are almost correct. One thing that you are missing is that snapshots is still required. Snapshot operation can only be done through ESXi host, and VMware has restricted this operation through public API in their latest update. :(
Is there still a VMWare remote CLI for the free ESXi 4? If so, why not require that the remote CLI be installed on the same PC as VMWare Backup, and then issue snapshot control through the remote CLI? [Veeam already "cheats" this way requiring that VMWare Player be installed for file level restore of Linux VMs.]

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

Remote CLI has also been made read-only starting free ESX 3.5 Update 4...

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by AlaskanBrewing »

This is unfortunate news, we were just about to order additional licenses after running our first ESXi with Veeam backup and were very impressed with it. It doesn't make any sense to continue purchasing licenses as we'd have to buy full vmware licenses anyway as an added 'tax' just to use Veeam Backup.

The essentials bundle is worthless to us and most people due to it being limited to 3 servers and using a crippled vCenter server that can't be expanded and offers no value/features beyond central management (again not a huge benefit when you're limited to just 3 servers).

So now we've got a stack of new Dell servers with ESXi ready to go and no backup solution.

I realize why VMware did it, as a money grab to protect ESXi free from canibalizing their higher end product versions. However it seems to defeat the point of ESXi to fight off the competition and give businesses a jumping off point without a huge investment. Even companies like Dell were abusing ESXi requiring $1000-2000 support plans as of this year in order to buy a server pre-installed with the $5 USB drive that also cost $150. Last year it was "only" about $500 for consulting/setup support plan, again required by dell in order to get ESXi with your server plus the $95 for the internal USB drive.

In all likelyhood we'll probably be driven to a solution like the built-in backup on the new equallogic SAN models but I'm sure those require a fully licensed version as well. Or just hold out in the hopes VMware comes to its senses and not invest or get anymore dependant on their product so we can stay open to Citrix or Microsoft's offerings.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by davidshq »

If you haven't yet committed to utilizing ESXi, you might consider trying Microsoft's Hyper-V solution. We are already on ESX, so it would be a significant move to switch over to Hyper-V...but if you haven't yet deployed...
I don't think VMWare will be able to hold out on this pricing strategy for long. While legitimate, its market share suicide. I'm hoping to ride it out with Essentials till someone gets their senses back. :)
Dave.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by TonioRoffo »

$795 per host and the cost of veeam together still isn't *that* much. If you have more than 3 hosts it seems that you are running quite a large shop already and you should invest in a good product. Granted - it's not as cheap as it used to be, but still blows the socks off the competition.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by Gostev »

davidshq wrote:I don't think VMWare will be able to hold out on this pricing strategy for long. While legitimate, its market share suicide. I'm hoping to ride it out with Essentials till someone gets their senses back. :)
I had to comment and say that this is really good and smart strategy in my personal opinion. Today, I would do exactly the same. Because I am sure we will be seeing significant VMware pricing changes after Hyper-V R2 is released.

Anyway... competition and having choice is always good. And whether you are using VMware, or Hyper-V, or combination of both (for instance, licensed VMware for more critical, free Hyper-V for less critical workloads), we will be able to assist because Veeam Backup and our other products will soon support both of these hypervisors.

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Re: Free ESXi and Veeam Backup 3.1

Post by AlaskanBrewing »

davidshq wrote:If you haven't yet committed to utilizing ESXi, you might consider trying Microsoft's Hyper-V solution. We are already on ESX, so it would be a significant move to switch over to Hyper-V...but if you haven't yet deployed...
I don't think VMWare will be able to hold out on this pricing strategy for long. While legitimate, its market share suicide. I'm hoping to ride it out with Essentials till someone gets their senses back. :)
Dave.
I've been holding out and hoping for that over the last 7+ years or so. I had a large ESX install at UCLA running off Dell blade servers with the full Enterprise license package running for years without any issues. I've never had any complaints about the product itself, but as a company and their pricing strategy I've always been rubbed the wrong way with how expensive it was to purchase maintain support. At least then we had the budget for that, but good luck with it now.

They're really taking the Microsoft strategy of artificially limiting their product and spreading out the version pricing just like Vista, or Windows 7. The value of ESX is severely diminished by this, not having core abilities like vMotion across all versions defeats the point of virtualization IMO. As a market leader they sure seem to be squeezing every dime out of their customer base that they can get and it's going to cost them significantly down the road as the competition matures.

In any case, it sucks that Veeam was caught up in this. I'll be riding this out till the very end as well.

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