Licensing Confusion

stupidboystupidboy Member Posts: 470
In what seems like endless study, I thought I had passed all the areas that I was a little foggy on. Whilst reviewing the Rob Schmidt questions there was a question about licensing and versions. I had to double check the changes from 3.0 to 3.5 and now I am confused.

I think the following is correct but I am unsure.

You can buy VI in three flavours, Foundation, Standard and Enterprise (I believe these are the correct names for 3.5). With Enterprise you get all of the product features such as DRS, DPM, VMotion and Storage VMotion but these all need VirtualCenter. However, you do not get VirtualCenter and this has it own license model, VirtualCenter Foundation and VirtualCenter (difference is the number of hosts you can manage). If you bought Enterprise you still need to also buy VirtualCenter separately (otherwise you cannot use the features like VMotion).

Furthermore, you cannot part license a server. If you have six processors you need six licenses (even if each processor is a quad core as the licenses are per socket not per core)?

I think in writing this I am correct and its make more sense. But if someone can decipher these ramblings and advise I would be most grateful.



  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Looks good. The keywords they keep throwing around a per-instance licensing and per-processor licensing. VC is the only item that is licensed per-instance (number of CPUs in the machine is irrelevant), all the others, such as VMotion, are per-processor.

    Have you gone through the Exam Cram practice tests yet? There was one licensing question that caught me off guard. It was something like, you have three machines with four quad-core processors, and you want to VMotion between two of them. How many licenses do you need? The answer was 20 because you need one for each processor for ESX, and then you need another one for each processor for VMotion.
  • astorrsastorrs Member Posts: 3,139 ■■■■■■□□□□
    You are correct there are 3 different versions of VI3. This table breaks down the additional features you get as you move up through them:


    VI3 Hosts are licensed per physical processor socket (not core) and licenses must be bought in 2 processor increments (the list prices above are for 2 processors). As of April 2008 VMware allows you to split those license across multiple machines, so if you had 2 single socket servers (think an HP DL320 G5) you could buy 1 x 2 processor license and use half of it on each system.

    vCenter (VirtualCenter) is licensed per instance, with most companies needing only a single license. It is available in 2 versions, vCenter Server (can manage unlimited hosts) and vCenter Server Foundation (can manage up to 3 hosts).

    You can also buy licenses for HA, DRS and VMotion/Storage VMotion seperately - but that usually doesn't make any sense. :)

    Also Support and Subscription (SnS) is mandatory when you buy a license through VMware. You can choose between Gold (12x5) or Platinum (24x7) in 1, 2, or 3 year increments. People often miss this when they calculate the licensing costs.

    VI3 supports 2 different types of licenses: host-based and license server. Host based licenses are stored directly on the ESX/ESXi servers and support the basic functionality contained in the Foundation level. To support the advanced features (HA, DRS, VMotion, etc) in the Standard/Enterprise versions you need to use a license server (this is usually run on the vCenter server).

    The license files themselves are for the individual technologies (since you can buy them individually) and not for the "packages" (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise). You will have licenses for:
    • ESX/ESXi Processor License
    • Virtual Center Agent
    • Virtual SMP
    • VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB)
    • HA
    • VMotion (includes Storage VMotion)
    • DRS (includes DPM)
    All licensed per processor and of course a single license for vCenter Server (or vCenter Server Foundation).


    So if you were to buy enough VI Enterprise licenses to support 5 HP DL360's with dual quad cores you would need 5 VI Enterprise licenses which would actually consist of 71 separate licenses (10 of each of the different licenses listed above) and a vCenter Server license. Don't worry it all comes in a single file. :)

    Anything I missed? Questions?
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    That licensing question that dynamik posted and astorrs further explained would have thrown me off too. When I'm buying VMWare licensing, I just purchase 2 or 4 processors worth of VI Enterprise that includes all of those individual products, I don't think of counting them as separate licenses because I don't have to (unless I'm taking the exam :) ). I can see how it would be important if, say, you had a mix of Standard and Enterprise editions and didn't have enough vMotion licenses for all your processors.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • stupidboystupidboy Member Posts: 470
    Thanks everyone. It made a bit more sense when I was typing it out and re-reading it now I got it.

    I am reading way to late into the night icon_wink.gif I need some sleep.

    Thanks for you input, it really helps.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Stupidboy, you're setup to not accept PMs. Why would you PM me when you won't allow me to respond? icon_sad.gif
    The following errors occurred with your submission:

    1. stupidboy has chosen not to receive private messages or may not be allowed to receive private messages. Therefore you may not send your message to him/her.

    If you are trying to send this message to multiple recipients, remove stupidboy from the recipient list and send the message again.
  • stupidboystupidboy Member Posts: 470
    Dude the hints in the handle! Think I've fixed that now icon_redface.gif
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