vCentre Server 4 Foundation License Server

Mr_OCD
Mr_OCD used Ask the Experts™
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I've been using the Evaluation download of vCentre Server 4 for vSphere for a few days now and have just recieved the license key from VMware via email.

Now when I go to add the license key I get the following error:

' The vcentre server with vcentre server 4 foundation license needs access to a license server before it can manage hosts in the inventory. Update the configuration of the vcentre server to include the license server'

Ok fair enough... except I cannot find the license server download / license server program which according to online documentation should be in the VBX directory.

Can anyone advise on what I'm doing wrong? - Each host has its own FREE license as they are ESXi 3.5 hosts so I only need to activate the license key for vcentre.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
You can't manage ESXi hosts with vCenter unless you purchase ESXi support which will give you a vCenter agent unless you purchased foundation pack (3 hosts, 1 vCenter).

If the ESXi servers were in Eval mode it may work, not sure about 3.5 though running with eval vCenter

Another thing to note is vCenter Server 4.0 does not require a license server if you are managing ESX/ESXi 4.0 Hosts only.

If you want to manage a mixed environment of ESX/ESXi 3.5 and 4.0 Hosts, then a license server is needed.

paulsolov is spot on in mentioning that Free Versions of ESXi cannot be managed using vCenter because they do not have the VC Agent installed.

You either need to purchase vSphere Standard, Advanced, Enterprise or Enterprise Plus License and then downgrade them to ESX 3.5i License to use them.

I am not sure whether we can procure ESX3.5 Licenses now since vSphere was launched.


Author

Commented:
I dont want to manage the hosts... I want to add my license key to vcentre so its no longer in Eval mode...
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Author

Commented:
I've a virtual environment of three ESXi 3.5 hosts and have purchased the vCenter server 4.0 to manage them. It all works fine but I cant add the license provided for vcenter.

Are you saying this is not possible with foundation?

Ive logged a call with vmware...

Author

Commented:
... and yes we purchased foundation pack for three hosts.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
I've seen the bad vSphere licenses, I would check with vmware first.  From memory I think you need to have vcenter agents to add ESXi hosts into vCenter (basically the $500 or so license with 1 year support)
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
I believe there 2 possible ways to achive this

1. Backup your VC DB, uninstall then reinstall to use existing DB, you have the option to use your license key to avoid being in eval mode

OR

2. Get the previous VC 2.5 as it comes with the license server, you are right it is under vpx folder. Run licenseserver.exe to install it then reconfigure your Vsphere to use that, make it believe that you want to mange esx 3.x :)

Cheers!
Please note that vCenter 4.0 does not have the FlexLM Licensing Mode which was available with vCenter 2.5, hence you also do not require a license Server if you are managing only ESX/ESXi 4.0 Hosts.




Author

Commented:
Ok so how do I get the vCenter server out of Evaluation mode?

Getting the previous VC 2.5 doesnt work as it asks me to locate license files which I dont have due to using free ESi 3.5

How do I backup the database?

Author

Commented:
Well according to VMware I need to purchase vSphere Essentials or Essentials Plus!!!
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
Just one note.  From what my sales team tells me is that you can't upgrade from vSphere Essentials if you ever want standard or enterprise.

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