I’ve been a keen user of the VMware vSphere and previous versions of their bare metal hypervisor for a number of years now.
When I first get hold of the product, I usually build a test lab, purely so that I can install and play with the product in an environment that I’m not going to break, and if I do, it’s not a business critical system that will bring the company crashing down.
With VMware vSphere 7.0, VMware have allowed the product to be installed and used in full Enterprise Plus mode for 60 days.
As the evaluation is a full edition of Enterprise Plus, you can use all of the features that makes the product the market leading virtualisation platform, these features include vSphere vMotion, vSphere HA, vSphere DRS, etc.
The 60 evaluation starts when you first turn on the ESXi host. At any time during the evaluation period, you can convert the product to a licensed mode from evaluation mode, but the evaluation mode has only decreased by the time it was in evaluation mode.
For example, I install ESXi on 1st April 2020 and convert to Standard license on 7th April 2020, that means I have only used 7 days of my Enterprise Pus evaluation.
Now let’s say that I really need to test vSphere Distributed switches, unfortunately these are not available with Standard edition.
If we set the product back to evaluation mode, we’ll be able to explore the entire feature set for an additional 53 days.