What is VMware vSphere Platinum and Do I Need It?

"PLATINUM" written in platinum metal

Jan 2, 2019 by Jason Thomas

It sounds cool, but do you need it?

The release of vSphere 6.7 Update 1 came with a new edition of VMware called vSphere Platinum. VMware’s target for vSphere Platinum is  large, compliance-bound enterprises who are looking for advanced security capabilities

vSphere Platinum features several purpose-built security features, the most notable called AppDefense, that allows you to control how you monitor and detect east-west VM traffic and access. Additonally vSphere Platinum comes with a monitoring feature that tracks the VM’s “known good state”, which basically means that the machine hasn’t been modified from its original configuration or isn’t exhibiting abnormal behavior. This is helpful in large environments with several admins or users touching your VMs. With this monitoring feature, you can track if anyone has made any unauthorized changes or if your VMs are infected with malware.

vmware vsphere platinumvSphere Platinum is also compatible with vSAN encryption and networking/VM encryption, which allows encryption across the entire VMware stack. (While you assume this would be a given, across-the-board compatibility isn’t always the case, so doublecheck the compatibility matrix before making your decisions to turn features on.)

So, who would want VMware vSphere Platinum? Any large company that is highly security focused, like healthcare or financial institutions. Having these features in place will help you more easily pass your security audits as well as minimize the risk of data breaches. These types of organizations have had to put similar safeguards in place already, but with vSphere Platinum, you can centralize the management of these features without having to utilize third-party tools.

For the rest of us mortals, Standard or Enterprise Plus will still be the go-to. Platinum is a significant upgrade from Enterprise Plus with a price tag to match. (If you were confused as to why we didn’t mention Enterprise, read this.)

If you have any questions about VMware vSphere and what level is appropriate for you, send us an email or give us a call at 502-240-0404!

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