VMware vSphere Essentials Kit - How does it work?

So we have a few ESXI 5.5 installations running the free license, which only allows 8vCPU's per VM, but we have one VM which needs more than that, and are looking to purchase the vSphere Essentials Kit, which states that:

"It includes 6 CPU licenses of vSphere Essentials (for 3 servers with up to 2 processors each) and 1 license for vCenter Server Essentials"

So to clarify, does that mean I can have 3 seperate servers, each with 2 physical processors licensed with full functionality (Can add as many vCPU's to my VM's as I want)?

Do these servers have to be on the same network? Or can we license unrelated servers at different locations with this Kit aswell?

Are we easily able to downgrade the 6.5 license to a 5.5 and then upgrade back to 6.5 if needed in future?
tom_szaboAsked:
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Dariusz TykaICT Infrastructure Specialist Senior Commented:
Hi tom_szabo,

to answer your questions:
1. Yes you can have 3 separate servers, each with 2 sockets. When your host is properly licensed you can use up to 64 vCPUs per VM.
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2064117 & https://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere5/r55/vsphere-55-configuration-maximums.pdf
2. Those servers can be on different networks. Dependig on your connectivity between networks you may not be able to manage all hosts from single vCenter server.
3. You can downgrade/upgrade your licenses within your VMware portal.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Just to add on the following:-

Are we easily able to downgrade the 6.5 license to a 5.5 and then upgrade back to 6.5 if needed in future?

You can downgrade the licenses to 5.5, but that's it, you've surrendered the 6.x licenses.

Later you would need to purchase 6.5 licenses if you wanted to use 6.x.

My advice, upgrade to 6.5. otherwise you've got double the cost.
Dariusz TykaICT Infrastructure Specialist Senior Commented:
Hi Andrew,

why do you states that after license is downgraded it can't be upgraded anymore? I can go up and down with Essential license at anytime. Have tried to do that twice and there were no problems t all.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Confirm with VMware!

It seems it can be done via the My VMware Portal during your Subscription Period.
tom_szaboAuthor Commented:
Answered my questions perfectly, thanks :)
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