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esx/i liscensing basics

Posted on 2014-01-30
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Can I ask a few questions on esxi liscensing.

1) Is it 1 liscence per esxi server? So if you have 20 servers running esxi servers you need 20 liscences? What are the rules for test servers (i.e. not hosting any production vm's, do they need one as well)?

2) When you purchase a set of esxi liscences, what do they give you as a receipt? i.e. if an audit team wanted evidence of liscences, what could the IT team pass them?

3) Does vCenter require a liscence in itself?

4) and aside from normal OS and server app liscences, do the VM's running on the esxi hosts require any form of liscence so they can run as VM's on esxi, or not really?

5) could in theory you download esxi... install it on a server.. and run it, without having to enter any sort of liscence key? Or is the software not active/fully funcitonal until you enter a liscence key, thus you cant really cut any corners if you want the product to work? hence not as much risk associated with the liscensing, as theres no way they could get it wrong.
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Question by:pma111
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Alex Green earned 668 total points
ID: 39820374
1. You're not buying ESXi you're buying V-Sphere, however I'm not 100% sure on this one since I just order it. I think it's based on a per processor license.

2. You get an invoice from the company you purchase it from

3. No, you can download and install V-Center on any machine, it's not licensed and is just the management tool for ESXi, you can't manage VM's from ESX itself.

4. I'd recommend you buy windows 2008r2 enterprise, you can then have as many VM's on that host as you want. E.G you have 2 hosts, buy 2 copies of windows 2008r2 enterprise and that will give you unlimited VM's running that OS

5. You can download a trial version https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/evalcenter?p=vsphere-55
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by:pma111
ID: 39820377
but for 5. some software is fully functional from download, whereas others you need to enter/register a liscence key before it becomes fully functional. so if its the latter the likelehood that you are non compliant with liscence rules is almost impossible as you'd have a non fully functioning product.

I wasnt sure if an admin could pay for one copy of esxi, yet use that same key on endless servers to activate the product.
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by:Abhilash
Abhilash earned 668 total points
ID: 39820381
1) Is it 1 liscence per esxi server? So if you have 20 servers running esxi servers you need 20 liscences? What are the rules for test servers (i.e. not hosting any production vm's, do they need one as well)?
A.No ESXi is licensed per processor. If you have a server with two processor sockets you will need to buy 2 licenses. For 20 servers having 2 processors each you will need 40licenses.

2) When you purchase a set of esxi liscences, what do they give you as a receipt? i.e. if an audit team wanted evidence of liscences, what could the IT team pass them?
A.When you purchase the license VMware will give you an invoice for the licenses you procured.

3) Does vCenter require a liscence in itself?
Yes vCenter needs a license to manage ESXi hosts.

4) and aside from normal OS and server app liscences, do the VM's running on the esxi hosts require any form of liscence so they can run as VM's on esxi, or not really?
A. No you will not need any licenses apart from ESXi and vcenter.

5) could in theory you download esxi... install it on a server.. and run it, without having to enter any sort of liscence key? Or is the software not active/fully funcitonal until you enter a liscence key, thus you cant really cut any corners if you want the product to work? hence not as much risk associated with the liscensing, as theres no way they could get it wrong.
A. yes you could download and install ESXi. By default it will work without a license in full features mode for 60 days evaluation. After which you can procure a license.

That being said. Vmware offers a Free ESXi which can be used in production too. it does not come with support. And cannot be managed using vCenter.

take a look at this for pricing details
http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/pricing.html
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by:Alex Green
ID: 39820383
I think it's on a time trail basis but again I've never downloaded it :S, best bet is to just download it and see.
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by:pma111
ID: 39820386
there seems a disagreement between whether vcenter needs liscensing or not? any links to backup either view?
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39820388
@alexgreen312
vCenter needs licensing. Its not just a tool for management, Most of the features in vSphere can be used only if youhave vCenter.
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39820392
here's a pricing link for vCenter
http://www.vmware.com/products/vcenter-server/pricing.html

You can also see the other pricing list i gave you.
There's pricing details for vcenter too.
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ID: 39821970
All VMware Products NEED a license!

whether they are trial, NFR, PAID Licenses.
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39823097
@Andrew
Trial or evaluation does not need a license. That's why its called trial :)
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by:pma111
ID: 39823913
does esxi have any equivalent to MS's OSL (Open subscription license)
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by:pma111
ID: 39823918
would be very interested in what a single  esxi liscence costs.
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LVL 126
ID: 39823926
Yes. VMware does have a similar License Agreement, if you are large enough.

It's called VMware Volume Purchasing Program, it has four levels, Level 1 to Level 4, and a different discount for each level!

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vpp/vpp-program-guide.pdf
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by:pma111
ID: 39823933
Any estimated figure on what a single vsphere licence costs, and what a vcenter licence costs?
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LVL 126
ID: 39823938
What version of vCenter Server ?

What version of VMware vSphere ?

At what level?
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39823956
Check the pricing details link i have provided in my first reply. Every licenses' information is there in it.

An essentials kit with 6 processors license, 1 vcenter license + 1 year subscription will cost you $560.
This is the basic one. And it will have very less features offered with it.
Check this below link

https://store.vmware.com/store?Action=DisplayPage&Env=BASE&Locale=en_US&SiteID=vmware&id=QuickBuyCartPage
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by:pma111
ID: 39823968
Latest versions and enterprise level
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 664 total points
ID: 39823989
If you were at Level 4, with a 12% Discount, you would pay approx

VMware vCenter Server - Approx $10,000
including Production 3 Year Support

VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus per Socket (CPU) in Server- Approx $7,500

If you speak to your VMware Partner/Reseller/Account Manager, you will get a better discount!
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39824050
As Andrew mentioned we could just tell you the List Price of the product but the discounts you get on the List Price varies from partner/reseller.
You can locate a partner near your region using the Partner Locator
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LVL 126
ID: 39824061
Example, if our business wanted the business, we would grant you more than the Standard 12%!

if you were on VPP! But to get on Level 4, would require a lot of points and purchases!
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Expert Comment

by:Abhilash
ID: 39850258
@pma111,

I would suggest you to consider reassigning the points.
The answer you accepted is actually wrong. vCenter does require a license.
4th point is not even answered.
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