Recently VMware released the latest version of vCenter Protect Essentials. This product is a combination of several technologies but the major part is from Shavlik Technologies, which VMware acquired earlier this year.

VMware vCenter Protect Essentials provides centralized patch management and asset inventory for SMBs/SMEs and departmental needs. vCenter Protect Essentials Plus adds anti virus, power management, ITScripts, and configuration management for both virtual and legacy physical systems in an integrated solution.

This includes centralized management for Windows operating systems and the most widely used Windows-hosted applications running on both virtual and physical servers and workstations.

vCenter Protect Essentials is a software solution that runs on a Windows server on your network, either physical or virtual. No agents are required for your workstations or servers.

The software is designed to default to an agent-less architecture, but in those situations where agents are necessary (such as Antivirus), the solution offers extremely flexible and powerful agent software. Many companies will or are using the agent-less architecture which reduces the management overhead related to deploying, trouble-shooting, and repairing software agents running on hundreds or even thousands of distributed machines.

One of the most challenging things in an infrastructure is knowing what software is running on the network. Does the solution keep track of that for us? Yes. Asset Inventory, discovering and cataloging hardware and software by type, version and count, is a core functionality within vCenter Protect Essentials.

VMware vCenter Protect Essentials keeps desktop and server software, for both physical and virtual machines, fully patched and always current with one single patch management tool. This includes the Microsoft OS, all Microsoft applications (e.g., Outlook), all leading third party non-Microsoft applications (e.g., Adobe Reader, Apple iTunes, Mozilla Firefox, and many more), and even custom application patching as well.

Offline VMS?

The unified management console makes use of power management integration with VMware DPM and  industry standard Wake-on-LAN, therefor machines who are shutdown can be powered on, patched and shutdown again. This is also handy for those template machines who are shutdown by default.


VMware offers two support and subscription programs for VMware vCenter Protect Essentials and Essentials Plus: Production (24×7) and Basic (12×5). All support offerings also include access to updates and patches to VMware products during the life of our support contract(s). These programs are offered on an annual or multi-year basis.


Pricing is per managed system (physical hardware system or virtual machine) and there is a minimum purchase quantity of 10. Technically the product is keyed to a machine name and Windows operating system which could be a Windows server OS or workstation OS, physical or virtual. There are two license forms 1 for servers and 1 for workstations.


There are two editions for vCenter Protect Essentials, namely Essentials and Essentials Plus. VMware vCenter Protect Essentials includes centralized patch management, asset inventory, and basic ITScripting. Where Essentials Plus adds anti-virus protection, configuration management, power management, and advanced ITScripting on top of the Essentials bundle.


VMware vCenter Protect Essentials and Essentials Plus require access to a SQL Server database (SQL Server 2005, 2008 or SQL Server 2005, 2008 Express.) If you do not have access to a SQL Server database, the option to install SQL Server 2008 Express will be provided during the pre-requisite software installation process.


If you want to try it out for a spin, you can download an evaluation version here. If you register you can use the product for a trial period of 45 days.


If you want to see more what this cool product can, check out this video here.