[vmware licensing] staying out of trouble in the lab at work

ehndeehnde Posts: 1,103Member
My employer was fined in 2013 for having an unlicensed vCenter server. Fortunately I was not involved with that! icon_lol.gif

The fine was in the 10s of thousands of dollars. And now I want to build a lab....at work. How do I do this without getting into trouble? Is my employer accountable for vmware software I download & use in the work lab from a personal email account on a trial basis?

Let me be clear - my employer is perfectly fine with me labbing at work. I can even connect from home via VPN to a work lab whenever I want. I'd rather they pay the power bill, and I'm also being provided with some fairly decent hardware. I'm being actively encouraged to become an expert in vmware.

My lab consists of two repurposed workstations:
  • unknown HP - 12gb ram, 4 250GB SATA drives, debian x64 that can run vmware player/workstation. The USB ports on this box are bad, everything else works just fine.
  • HP z800 - 48gb ram, 2 8 core intel xeons, 4 250GB SATA drives. Has Windows 7 right now, but I could p2v the OS and run it as a VM on top of ESXi. Should I run vmware player/workstation on this computer or install ESXi?
  • 1 2TB USB3 hard drive, 1 500GB USB2 external HD....no usb 3 ports that I can use, though
I want to be able to play with DRS, HA, vMotion, and hopefully have some sort of VSA to hook into the virtual environment. I've got 2 work provided laptops that I can use to run the vSphere client from.

How would you recommend configuring all of this to fully cover the VCP5-DCV exam blueprint without embarrassing myself by getting my employer fined? If it matters I'd like to test on the 5.5 exam blueprint.
Climb a mountain, tell no one.

Comments

  • ande0255ande0255 Posts: 1,178Banned
    If it's not being used commercially then I wouldn't think it's a problem, if you're employer has already been burned though, why not bring the gear home and just use teamviewer or something to remote into a pc with access to the network the servers are on?

    I think you can actually even use it commercially for the 60-day free trial with no risk, I'd imagine your employer must have been running on a pirated license / copy, I can't imagine how you'd get burned at all while running the free trial.
    Back in my day we used to route packets on 56k lines, through the snow, uphill both ways.

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  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,721Mod Mod
    Of course your employer is liable for whatever unlicensed stuff is under their roof. Do you have an issue with using trial copies and rebuild when it expires?
  • ehndeehnde Posts: 1,103Member
    @cyberguypr - I have no issue with using trial copies and rebuilding when it expires. In fact, I just ran across this: http://www.labguides.com/autolab/ - looks like it might serve to speed up the build process....that is, if I am understanding the function of AutoLab correctlly. Here's a better, more concise question: can I run vmware trial software at work with no worries of licensing issues?

    @ande0255 - No pirating, I think it was an expired trial that was forgotten about. Nobody remembered this server was out there (the guy that built it left the company) and it was found during an audit. I'm fuzzy on the details, that may be wrong. The company I work for wouldn't knowingly pirate anything icon_lol.gif
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    This might give you a brief overview of Autolab. ReadySetVirtual: Why AutoLab makes building your home lab simple

    As for licensing in regards to a trial. It has a time on it as it is a trial. You are allowed to use the Trial under a company, but you must remove it as soon as it expires (whether it be by removing/uninstalling or attaching a current license to it). it is however, the companies responsibility to know and act upon.

    You can use it, but make sure it is not being used past its expiration.
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    Why not contact your VMware rep and ask? I cannot imagine that -
    A) your employer would mind to avoid an embarrassing situation
    B) VMware would not be willing to assist in educating in the proper licensing of their product

    Otherwise, why would you need to use this product at work? If your company is not authorized to sell Or service it, you have little need for a lab at work, right? It has been a few years, but when I got my team setup, they were very easy to work with.
    Plantwiz
    _____
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  • ninjaturtleninjaturtle Posts: 245Member
    ehnde wrote: »
    @cyberguypr - I have no issue with using trial copies and rebuilding when it expires. In fact, I just ran across this: http://www.labguides.com/autolab/ - looks like it might serve to speed up the build process....that is, if I am understanding the function of AutoLab correctlly. Here's a better, more concise question: can I run vmware trial software at work with no worries of licensing issues?

    @ande0255 - No pirating, I think it was an expired trial that was forgotten about. Nobody remembered this server was out there (the guy that built it left the company) and it was found during an audit. I'm fuzzy on the details, that may be wrong. The company I work for wouldn't knowingly pirate anything icon_lol.gif
    Running the trial version at work is fine, just as long as it's not in production.
    Current Study Discipline: CCIE Data Center
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  • ande0255ande0255 Posts: 1,178Banned
    After you build your lab out initially, take a snapshot of all your VM's running servers, then once the trial is up just revert back to that snapshot and your back at day 60 of your trial period icon_thumright.gif
    Back in my day we used to route packets on 56k lines, through the snow, uphill both ways.

    https://loopedback.com
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member
    Your company is not VMware partner by any chance? As partner you are getting NFR licenses (Not For Resale).
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    ande0255 wrote: »
    After you build your lab out initially, take a snapshot of all your VM's running servers, then once the trial is up just revert back to that snapshot and your back at day 60 of your trial period icon_thumright.gif

    Lol... Contact your VM rep and ask them to help you figure this out so that you are covered.
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • MacGuffinMacGuffin Posts: 228Member
    I seems like I have a similar situation at work. There is a production system with a vCenter server and two ESXi 5.1 servers. In order to learn some things on VMWare and to do some software testing I created a test system with two ESXi 5.5 servers and a vCenter server. I'm within the full featured trial period now but that will run out soon. As I recall, once the trial period expires the licensed features disable themselves but the virtual machines can still run. ESXi has a free (as in beer) license for basic features. The VMWare client that runs on the desktop and manages the vCenter or ESXi servers is also free as in beer. What costs money is the vCenter license that enables the advanced features that ESXi can do.

    Am I understanding the issue correctly in that once the evaluation period expires the vCenter software must removed, a license for its use purchased, or the company can impose a fine? How is this fine enforced? VMWare is not law enforcement so they can't "make" any one pay up. I would assume some sort of law enforcement show up with some sort of court order. Does VMWare get any of this money or does it go to the government?

    I'm thinking what I need to do at work to keep everything legal, and what might happen if we don't.
    MacGuffin - A plot device, an item or person that exists only to produce conflict among the characters within the story.
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    MacGuffin wrote: »
    I seems like I have a similar situation at work. There is a production system with a vCenter server and two ESXi 5.1 servers. In order to learn some things on VMWare and to do some software testing I created a test system with two ESXi 5.5 servers and a vCenter server. I'm within the full featured trial period now but that will run out soon. As I recall, once the trial period expires the licensed features disable themselves but the virtual machines can still run. ESXi has a free (as in beer) license for basic features. The VMWare client that runs on the desktop and manages the vCenter or ESXi servers is also free as in beer. What costs money is the vCenter license that enables the advanced features that ESXi can do.

    Am I understanding the issue correctly in that once the evaluation period expires the vCenter software must removed, a license for its use purchased, or the company can impose a fine? How is this fine enforced? VMWare is not law enforcement so they can't "make" any one pay up. I would assume some sort of law enforcement show up with some sort of court order. Does VMWare get any of this money or does it go to the government?

    I'm thinking what I need to do at work to keep everything legal, and what might happen if we don't.

    So ESXi is also licensed. If you open up Home > Licensing, you will notice ESXi and vCenter.

    When you log onto your host directly (would be in the case of no vCenter server) and then click on Configuration Tab > Licensed Features > select EDIT in the top right hand corner. You will be able to enter your license for ESXi.



    Then you can connect to your vCenter server and manage all your licenses.



    More here. VMware KB: Licensing ESXi 5.x and vCenter Server 5.x


    AS for how they impose the fine. This can be done by a court order. When you accept the license agreement (EULA) you agree that you understand VMware (or who ever) can and will take you to court for being in breach of their legal document that you accepted by pressing F11 upon install.
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
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