Another big change in this release that enhances business continuity for small businesses is the inclusion of the replication engine. The new VMware vSphere Replication feature simplifies disaster recovery for all applications. It can replicate virtual machine data over the LAN or WAN for basic disaster protection. And if needed, small-business customers will be able to add a new version of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager that will remove some of the complexity by automating the disaster recovery process.
VMware is adding vSphere Data Protection for virtual machine backup and recovery, providing nondisruptive backups with built-in data deduplication; and vShield Endpoint for securing virtual machines, eliminating the need to run antivirus agents within the VMs.
At the same time, VMware is rolling out its cloud-based virtualization and IT management tool called VMware Go Pro, which was first announced in October 2010. This management tool was built with small businesses in mind, and it will allow these smaller organizations to better manage and monitor their virtualized environments from anywhere via any Web browser, VMware claims. It also helps simplify and automate patch management for hundreds of third-party applications, including those from Microsoft.
VMware vSphere Essentials will be priced at $495, and VMware vSphere Essentials Plus pricing goes to $4,495. All VMware vSphere Essentials Kits will include licensing for six CPUs on up to three host servers. VMware Go Pro pricing will start at $12 per managed system; but for a limited time, VMware will include VMware Go Pro free with VMware vSphere 5.1 Essentials and Essentials Plus purchases -- a price much easier to swallow for an small IT shop looking for virtualization management software.
This article, "VMware turns attention to small businesses with vSphere 5.1 Essentials Plus," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.