VMware vSphere is the leading server virtualization platform with consistent management for virtual data centers.

Deliver business value from day one with powerful server virtualization, breakthrough availability, safe automated management and intelligent operational insight that adapts to your environment. Automate workload placement and resource optimization based on preset customizable templates.

What vSphere Does
Powerful Server Virtualization

Virtualize your x86 server resources and aggregate them into logical pools for allocation of multiple workloads.

Consistent Management

Maximize the benefits of your virtual data center with unified easy-to-use operations management. Available in vSphere with Operations Management.

Efficient Storage

Reduce the complexity of back-end storage systems and enable the most efficient storage utilization in cloud infrastructures.

Intelligent Operations

Intelligent operations management adapts to your specific environment, giving you better insights in time to take proactive action. Available in vSphere with Operations Management.

High Availability

Maximize uptime across your cloud infrastructure, reducing unplanned downtime and eliminating planned downtime for server and storage maintenance.

Operations Automation

Safely automate infrastructure management with guided remediation and customizable actions, while always staying in control. Available in vSphere with Operations Management.

Network Services

Get network services optimized for the virtual environment, along with simplified administration and management.

Robust Security

Protect your data and applications with the industry’s most secure “bare-metal” server virtualization platform.

Platform Automation

Lower operating expenditures and minimize errors by streamlining routine tasks with vSphere's accurate and repeatable solutions.

Cloud API Integration

Provide choice on how to consume your cloud environment.

Explore the features of VMware vSphere, the industry-leading server virtualization platform with consistent management that lets you virtualize applications with confidence.



VMware vSphere ESXi

A robust, high-performance virtualization layer that abstracts server hardware resources and makes them shareable by multiple virtual machines.

Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)

Aligns compute resources with business priorities through automatic load balancing across hosts. Optimizes power consumption by turning off hosts during lower load periods.


Eliminates application downtime due to planned server maintenance by migrating live virtual machines between hosts, across clusters, distributed switches, vCenter Servers and over long distances of up to 100 ms RTT.

Big Data Extensions

Runs Hadoop workloads on vSphere to achieve higher utilization, reliability and agility.


GRID vGPU brings the full benefit of NVIDIA hardware-accelerated graphics to virtualized solutions.


Management and Operations

Consistent Management

Provides unified and easy-to-use management capabilities purpose-built for vSphere.

Intelligent Operations

Offers better insights with intelligent operations that adapt to your environment.

Operations Automation

Safely automate operations with increased control.

Workload Capacity Optimization

Ensures environments are right-sized based on their workload demands.

vCenter Server

Provides centralized management for the vSphere platform.

vRealize Orchestrator

Lets you assemble workflows using an easy drag-and-drop interface.



High Availability

Delivers high availability across your entire virtualized IT environment without the cost or complexity of traditional clustering solutions.

Fault Tolerance

Provides continuous availability for applications (up to 4-vCPUs) with zero data loss in the event of server failures.

Data Protection

Delivers storage-efficient backups through patented variable-length deduplication, rapid recovery and WAN-optimized replication for DR.


Eliminates third-party replication costs through built-in vSphere replication.


Platform Automation

Auto Deploy

Allows you to deploy and patch vSphere hosts in minutes.

Host Profiles

Lets you create a profile once and then use it to configure multiple vSphere hosts.

Update Manager

Reduces time spent on routine remediation by automating the tracking, patching and updating of vSphere hosts.

Content Library

Manage VM templates, vApps, ISO images and scripts with ease from a central repository.


Cloud API Integration

OpenStack API Integration

Leverage VMware Integrated OpenStack with your existing vSphere expertise and infrastructure to provide developers with OpenStack API's.



vShield Endpoint

Eliminates anti-virus footprints in virtual machines and improves AV scan performance by offloading functions to a security virtual appliance.



Storage DRS

Provides smart virtual machine placement and load-balancing based on I/O latency and storage capacity.

Virtual Volumes

Enables abstraction for external storage (SAN and NAS) devices making them VM-aware.

Storage-Policy Based Management

Allows common management across storage tiers and dynamic storage class of service automation via a policy-driven control plane.

Storage vMotion

Performs non-disruptive storage migration, eliminates virtual machine storage and I/O bottlenecks and frees up valuable storage capacity.

Storage I/O Control

Prioritizes storage access by continuously monitoring I/O storage loads and dynamically allocating available I/O resources to virtual machines according to business needs.


Simplifies virtual machine provisioning and administration with a high-performance cluster file system optimized for virtual machines.

Storage Thin Provisioning

Increases virtual machine storage utilization through dynamic allocation and intelligent provisioning of physical storage capacity.

Storage APIs

APIs enhance storage awareness, data protection and array integration and let you leverage multi-pathing capabilities from third-party storage vendors.

Flash Read Cache

Virtualizes server side flash providing a high performance read cache layer that dramatically lowers application latency.



Network I/O Control

Lets you define priority access to network resources according to established business rules.

Distributed Switch

Centralizes network provisioning, administration and monitoring using data center-wide network aggregation.

Compare VMware vSphere editions and see which is right for building your virtual infrastructure. One instance of VMware vCenter Server is required for vSphere deployments.

Compare vSphere Editions

  Standard Enterprise Enterprise Plus
Overview Server consolidation and business continuity Resource load balancing Enhanced application availability and performance
Product Components
License entitlement Per 1 CPU Per 1 CPU Per 1 CPU
Centralized Management Compatibility
vCenter Server (sold separately) vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server Standard
Cloud API Integration
VMware Integrated OpenStack Support for VMware Integrated OpenStack is sold separately
Product Features Standard Enterprise Enterprise Plus
Business Continuity and Security
(+ Cross vSwitch)

(+ Cross vSwitch)

+ Cross vSwitch / Cross vCenter / Long Distance)
Storage vMotion
High Availability
Data Protection
Fault Tolerance 2 vCPU 2 vCPU 4 vCPU
vShield Endpoint
vSphere Replication
Hot Add
Resource Prioritization and Enhanced Application Performance
Virtual Volumes
Storage Policy-Based Management
Reliable Memory
Big Data Extensions
Virtual Serial Port Concentrator
Distributed Resources Scheduler (DRS), Distributed Power Management (DPM)
Storage DRS
Storage I/O Control
Network I/O Control
Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) Support
Flash Read Cache
Automated Administration and Provisioning
Content Library
Storage APIs for Array Integration, Multipathing
Distributed Switch
Host Profiles and Auto Deploy

Compare vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management

vSphere with Operations Management delivers virtualization with consistent management, purpose-built to get the best performance, availability and efficiency out of your infrastructure and applications from day one.

  vSphere vSphere with Operations Management
Virtualization Platform
Business Continuity and Security
Resource Prioritization and Enhanced Application Performance
Automated Administration and Provisioning
Operations Visibility and Management  
Performance Monitoring and Predictive Analytics  
Capacity Management and Optimization  
Change, Configuration and Compliance Management, including vSphere Security Hardening  

Learn more about vSphere with Operations Management, the best management for vSphere-based IT environments.

Compare vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Editions

vSphere, the industry-leading virtualization platform, now helps you extend virtualization beyond your data center to remote sites and branch offices.

vSphere Remote Office Branch Office is designed specifically for IT infrastructure located in remote, distributed sites and delivers improved service levels, standardization, availability and compliance.

vSphere Remote Office Branch Office editions enable rapid provisioning of servers through virtualization, minimization of host configuration drift and enhanced visibility into regulatory compliance, across multiple sites. In addition, with vSphere's business continuity features, you can be assured of highly available IT infrastructure in your remote sites.

Learn more about the Value of Virtualizing Remote Offices and Branch Offices with the IDC Analyst Connection, sponsored by VMWare.
Read an in-depth IDC whitepaper sponsored by VMware on the Benefits of Virtualizing Remote Offices and Branch Offices, and the VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office offerings.

  vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Standard vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Advanced
Overview Remote site server virtualization platform with business continuity and backup features. Remote site server virtualization offering business continuity and backup with advanced features such as standardization of host configurations.
Product Components
License entitlement Pack of 25 Virtual Machines Pack of 25 Virtual Machines
Centralized Management Capability
vCenter Server (sold separately) vCenter Server Standard vCenter Server Standard

vSphere (ESXi) and vCenter Server version 5.5U2 or above are required.

Product Features vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Standard vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Advanced
Business Continuity and Security
Storage vMotion
High Availability
Data Protection
Fault Tolerance 2 vCPU 4 vCPU
vShield Endpoint
vSphere Replication
Hot Add
Standardization and Compliance
Content Library
Host Profiles et Auto Deploy
Distributed Switch

Compare vSphere Essentials Kits

vSphere Essentials Kits are for small businesses and combine virtualization for up to three physical servers with centralized management with vCenter for Essentials.

  Kit Essentials Kit Essentials Plus
Overview Server virtualization and consolidation with centralized management Server virtualization and consolidation plus business continuity
Centralized Management vCenter Server Essentials vCenter Server Essentials
License entitlement 3 servers with up to 2 processors each 3 servers with up to 2 processors each
Features vSphere Hypervisor vSphere Hypervisor, vMotion, High Availability, Data Protection, vShield Endpoint, vSphere Replication

Get started with VMware vSphere by reviewing product offerings, evaluation methods and training videos.

Understanding Virtualization

Server virtualization is the remedy for costly infrastructure sprawl, allowing you to run multiple operating systems and applications on a single computer and improve productivity by reducing physical servers, with each operating at full computing capacity. Virtualization is also the foundation for cloud infrastructures that ensure efficiency across all data center services.

Virtualization Basics

VMware offers multiple virtualization offerings to meet the needs of any organization.

If you are looking to virtualize your data center with vSphere, you can choose from three vSphere editions.

If you are looking to virtualize remote sites or branch offices, you can choose from two vSphere Remote Office Branch Office editions.

Smaller organizations can quickly get started with vSphere Essentials and Essentials Plus Kits, which combine multiple vSphere licenses with vCenter Server for central management.

If you are looking to virtualize and gain insight to workload capacity and performance, you can choose from three vSphere with Operations Management editions. Acceleration Kits, which combine multiple vSphere with Operations Management licenses with vCenter Server for central management, are a great place to start if you are looking for an all-in-one package offering that allows you to deploy virtualization quickly and scale later on as your environment grows.

Managing vSphere

Get the leading server virtualization platform and automated IT operations management with vSphere with Operations Management, a bundle containing vSphere and vRealize Operations Standard. vSphere with Operations Management lets you:

  • Maximize the benefits of your virtualized infrastructure, with easy-to-use, unified and consistent management.
  • Gain the visibility and insights needed to proactively improve performance and avoid disruption with built-in availability, predictive analytics and comprehensive visibility in one place.
  • Expand the benefits of automation with increased control over your automated IT processes using customizable templates pre-set for standard configurations.

Learn more about how to manage vSphere using vSphere with Operations Management.


There are multiple ways to get started. Choose the method that best fits your needs and resources.

Next Steps

From training videos to consulting services to purchasing options, we have the information to help you take the next steps with vSphere with Operations Management.