VMWare ESXi - not free?

Posted on 2009-02-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi Guys,

A while back I posted asking advice on VM solutions from various vendors. The VMWare ESXi solution was proposed and one of the reasons that we started playing with it is because the base product was supposed to be free.

We loaded our server and are using the version of the VMware Infratructure Client that came with it (the one you download from its little built-in website).  Thing is, at the top of the client's screen, there has been a ticker stating, "localhost.domain.local VMware ESX Server 3i 3.5.0, 123629 | Evaluation (XX day(s) remaining)" The XX part has been counting down from 60. Question is: Is it the Client that requires licensing, the Server or both? If so, how much do they cost? VMWare's website might as well be written in Greek - I can't make heads or tails of it! From what I read, this whole thing should be free and it is the add-ons (like backup and vCentral server) that they charge obsene amounts of money for...
Question by:Tyson0317
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    It is free, but you still need to install a client based license key.  You should have gotten an email from vmware telling you how to activate your download of ESXi.  If not, just go request another and use the new key on your current install.  Also, only the server needs licensing, the client does not.  

    You are certinally right though, vmware licensing is almost more confusing than microsoft licensing!
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Wazoo is correct!

    What happens is that when you do not register ESXi you have access to all the components e.g. Consolidated Backups, etc.) for a period of time (90 days!?!?!) When you get your free ESXi license key those trial components are not available.

    For the price ESXi is great. For my business I have two physical <ESXi> servers and 9 VM servers (Windoze and Linux) and it works great! I mange with the infrastructure client, no problem.

    I do however pay close attention to backups and recovery methods as VMWare can be a real  pain if anything gets corrupted.

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Vmware server is free, but after installation it has trial component (consolidated backup) that will unregister when you enter free license code.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    actually, vmware server isn't compatible with consolidated backup, FYI.  ESX or ESXi is, which is a different product from vmware server.  Just want to keep it straight for you!

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