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Is VMware ESXi 5.5 hypervisor - truly free?

I have thought about switching over from Xencenter to VMware.

1) Is VMware ESXi 5.5 (newest) truly free?? Once registered, will there be any fees of any kind?

2) Is the Vsphere client used to access the VMware install truly free to use as well?

(Of course there will be additional fees if I need technical support etc, but I just want to make sure
this is truly free).

Thank you!
1 Solution
Muhammad MullaCommented:
Yes. A standalone vmware esxi hypervisor is free. However this would not include any advanced features such as DRS, HA, vMotion, clustering, etc.
Muhammad MullaCommented:
The client is also free. However, you will not be able to use the web client, so ensure that your guest VMs use vmware version 8 virtual hardware.
TheHappyTechAuthor Commented:
It will not expire after 60 days? (Like a trial)?

Yesterday I installed the supposed "Free" version, and its asking me to register it.
However when I click the register link it brings me to a page asking me to evaluate or buy it.

I just want to register it and not pay (if indeed it is truly free).


How shall I do this?
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Muhammad MullaCommented:
When you register on vmware.com to download the iso, it will send you an email with a serial number. You will need to enter this serial number Licensing a standalone ESXi host

To license a standalone ESXi 5.x (vSphere Hypervisor):
Log in to the ESXi host using vSphere Client.
Click the Configuration tab.
Click Licensed Features under Software.
Click Edit under Licensed Features.
Select Assign a new license key to this host.
Press Enter and enter the License Key.
Click OK.
Muhammad MullaCommented:
Apologies for the mobile formatting.

I should also mention that you can retrieve the license key again by logging on to my.vmware.com.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
When you register for a free license its free forever!

But you do not get any features!

Other than host VMs.

Client us free as well
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
You can also use the 5.5 VI Client to manage the VMs, the new build can manage version 10 hardware just not any new features that require vcenter/web client
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