Recently, my team started looking into potentially spec’ing vSAN for a client hardware refresh.
While doing our due diligence, I came across an interesting point about licensing here.
To sum up the scenario:
- The Essentials and Essentials Plus kits provide licensing for 3 hosts
- Each host in your 2-node cluster consume a license.
- Since the witness appliance IS an ESXi host, it counts as a host towards licensing.
- But the appliance has to run on an ESXi host, but CAN’T run on the cluster.
- So, you’ll need a host to run the witness appliance.
- However, you can’t add it to vCenter, because you’re out of licensing at that point.
All in all, my general feeling is that if you’re considering vSAN, perhaps Essentials/Essentials Plus licensing isn’t for you.
Another point worth mentioning is that you only get per-incident support with Essentials/Essentials Plus, whereas you have the option of purchasing basic, production, or mission critical support. Depending on your level of comfort with vSAN, this could be a factor for you.