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VA Technical Reference Model v 18.12

VMware vSphere
VMware vSphere Technology

General InformationGeneral Information help

Technologies must be operated and maintained in accordance with Federal and Department security and privacy policies and guidelines. More information on the proper use of the TRM can be found on the TRM Proper Use Tab/Section.

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Description: VMware vSphere, formerly known as VMware Infrastructure, is the management infrastructure for VMware ESXi virtual machines (VM). In addition to environment management (such as software updates and backups) and system management of the physical hosts and VM guests, the vSphere infrastructure is capable of providing disaster recovery (through remote replication) and high availability (through vMotion) for production environments.

This technology comes in several editions: Hypervisor (free edition), Standard, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. Enterprise Plus is covered by this entry.

The TRM decisions in this entry only apply to technologies and versions owned, operated, managed, patched, and version-controlled by VA. This includes technologies deployed as software on VMs within VA-controlled cloud environments (e.g. VA Enterprise Cloud (VAEC)). Cloud services provided by the VAEC and those controlled and managed by an external Cloud Service Provider (i.e. SaaS) are not in the purview of the TRM. For more information on the use of cloud services and cloud-based products within VA, including VA private clouds, please see the Enterprise Cloud Solutions Office (ECSO) Portal at:
Technology/Standard Usage Requirements: Users must ensure their use of this technology/standard is consistent with VA policies and standards, including, but not limited to, VA Handbooks 6102 and 6500; VA Directives 6004, 6513, and 6517; and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards, including Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). Users must ensure sensitive data is properly protected in compliance with all VA regulations. Prior to use of this technology, users should check with their supervisor, Information Security Officer (ISO), Facility Chief Information Officer (CIO), or local Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) representative to ensure that all actions are consistent with current VA policies and procedures prior to implementation.
Section 508 Information: This technology has not been assessed by the Section 508 Office. The Implementer of this technology has the responsibility to ensure the version deployed is 508-compliant. Section 508 compliance may be reviewed by the Section 508 Office and appropriate remedial action required if necessary. For additional information or assistance regarding Section 508, please contact the Section 508 Office at
Decision: View Decisions
Decision Constraints: Veterans Affairs (VA) users must ensure VA sensitive data is properly protected in compliance with all VA regulations. All instances of deployment using this technology should be reviewed by the local ISO (Information Security Officer) to ensure compliance with VA Handbook 6500.

Users should check with their supervisor, Information Security Office (ISO) or local OIT representative for permission to download and use this software. Downloaded software must always be scanned for viruses prior to installation to prevent adware or malware. Freeware may only be downloaded directly from the primary site that the creator of the software has advertised for public download and user or development community engagement. Users should note, any attempt by the installation process to install any additional, unrelated software is not approved and the user should take the proper steps to decline those installations.

Due to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) identified security vulnerabilities, extra vigilance should be applied to ensure the versions remain properly patched to mitigate known and future vulnerabilities. The local ISO can provide assistance in reviewing the NIST vulnerabilities.

Due to potential information security risks, cloud based technologies may not be used without the approval of the VA Enterprise Cloud Services (ECS) Group. This body is in part responsible for ensuring organizational information, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), and VA sensitive data are not compromised. (Ref: VA Directive 6004, VA Directive 6517, VA Directive 6513 and VA Directive 6102).

No new acquisitions or installations of vSphere Hypervisor (free edition) are allowed in VA after 9/30/2015 because of the replication and visibility limitations with this free edition.

No new acquisitions or installations of vSphere Essentials Kits are allowed in VA after 9/30/2015 due to the limitations of the Hypervisor edition used by these kits.

If free trialware is utilized, the software must be purchased or removed at the end of the trial period.

Configuration baseline and deployment standards for this technology that are maintained by the Infrastructure Engineering organization within VA Information Technology Operations and Services (ITOPS) Solution Delivery (SD) must be followed and adhered to unless an appropriate waiver is granted. See the reference section for more information

Decision Source: TRM Mgmt Group
Decision Process: One-VA TRM v18.11
Decision Date: 11/30/2018
Aliases: vSphere ESXi; VMware Infrastructure; VMware vSphere Hypervisor; VMware vSphere Enterprise; VMware vSphere Standard
Introduced By:
Vendor Name: VMware
- The information contained on this page is accurate as of the Decision Date (11/30/2018).