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Licensing ESXi 5.x and vCenter Server 5.x (2014295)

Purpose

This article provides steps to add, assign, remove, unassigned, and change the licenses of ESXi 5.x, vSOM 5.5 (vSphere with Operation Management Suite), vCloud Suite 5.x and vCenter Server 5.x.
 
Notes:

Resolution

You can add any number of licenses to the vSphere 5.x inventory. When assigning licenses in 5.x products, you can create a relationship between an asset and a license key. Each asset can be licensed by one and only one license key or it can be unlicensed as an Evaluation Mode.

Note: To perform these steps, your vSphere Client needs to be connected to the vCenter Server.

Adding License Keys

To add licenses:
  1. Log in to the vSphere Client.
  2. Click Home.
  3. Under the Administration section, click the Licensing icon.
  4. Click Manage vSphere Licenses.
  5. Enter the License Key in the Enter new vSphere license keys field (one per line).
  6. Include labels for new license keys as necessary.
  7. Click Add License Keys.

    After clicking Add License Keys, you can review the license keys you added, capacity counts, expiration dates, and labels associated with the license keys.
  8. Click Next to assign the license keys.

Assigning License Keys

To assign licenses to the vCenter Server or the ESXi host:
  1. Log in to the vSphere Client.
  2. Click Home.
  3. Under the Administration section, click the Licensing icon.
  4. Choose Evaluation Mode and expand the list. Find the product you want to license.
  5. Right-click on the product and click Change License Key.
  6. Assign a key from list that was entered previously on Manage License window.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Verify that the product is licensed now.
Note: When the cursor is hovered over a license key in the Manage vSphere Licenses wizard displays a tool tip with all of the asset's information.

Removing License Keys

To remove license keys:
  1. Log in to the vSphere Client.
  2. Click Home.
  3. Under the Administration section, click the Licensing icon.
  4. Click Manage vSphere Licenses.
  5. Click Next twice.
  6. Choose the license key you want to remove.
  7. Click Next to proceed to the confirm changes page.You can review your changes on the Confirm Changes page before applying them to your inventory.
  8. Click Finish to apply all of the changes.

Changing License Keys

To license your product with a different license key:

  1. Log in to the vSphere Client.
  2. Click Home.
  3. Under the Administration section, click the Licensing icon.
  4. Expand the product you want to change the license for.
  5. Right-click on the product and choose Change License Key.
  6. Choose the license you want to use to license the product.
Note: From this dialog, you can place a product in Evaluation Mode during the first 60 days.

Licensing a standalone ESXi host

To license a standalone ESXi 5.x (vSphere Hypervisor):
  1. Log in to the ESXi host using vSphere Client.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. Click Licensed Features under Software.
  4. Click Edit under Licensed Features.
  5. Select Assign a new license key to this host.
  6. Press Enter and enter the License Key.
  7. Click OK.

Licensing vCenter Server

To license vCenter Server 5.x:
  1. Log in to the vSphere Client.
  2. Click Home.
  3. Under the Administration section, click vCenter Server settings.
  4. Select Assign a new license key to this vCenter Server and click OK.
  5. Enter the license key for the vCenter Server and, if necessary, include labels.
  6. Click Next and Finish.

Evaluation

In the evaluation mode, you can access and use all features of ESX. The evaluation period is 60 days and begins as soon as you power on the ESX machine. To make full use of the evaluation period, make an early decision on whether to use evaluation mode. If you do not enter a vSphere license key during installation, ESX is installed in the evaluation mode.

Note: Select the evaluation option to enable the evaluation mode. You do not receive a license key for evaluating vSphere.

Configuring vCenter Server to use the legacy license server

The legacy License Server is required to manage your ESX 3.x host machines on the vCenter Server 4.x and the vCenter Server 5.x. You may use an existing VMware License Server or install and configure a new instance of a VMware License Server. VMware License Server versions can be downloaded here.

To configure the legacy VMware License Server information in vCenter Server:
  1. From the vSphere Client, click Administration > vCenter Server Settings.
  2. Choose Licensing.
  3. In the License Server section, enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or the IP address of the legacy VMware License Server. Acceptable formats for entering the FQDN/IP address are:
    • abcd@vmware.com:27000
    • 27000@10.16.16.1

      Optionally, specify the port where the legacy VMware License Server is running.

      Note: If you do not specify the port when configuring the legacy VMware License Server, the default port, 27000, is entered automatically.

  4. Select Reconfigure ESX 3 hosts using license servers to use this server.

    Note: If you do not select Reconfigure ESX 3 hosts using license servers to use this server, the licensing settings on the ESX host remain unchanged.

  5. Click OK to save your changes.
Notes:
  • vCenter Server 5.0 is compatible with ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 5 and later releases, whereas vCenter Server 5.1 is not compatible with any of the ESX/ESXi 3.x versions. For more information, see the VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes.
  • You must license the ESX host using a centralized license file uploaded on a licenses server. For more information on how to upload a centralized license file on a license server, see Installing licenses for ESX Server 3.x (1001383).
  • You can use another license server to manage the ESX/ESXi 3.x hosts, but the licensing information is not communicated to vCenter Server 4.x. The total number of licenses consumed and available on the license server are summarized on the License reporting portal.
  • For more information on how to generate a Centralized License file, see Creating a Single Host and Centralized License file in the VI3 License Portal (1005132).

Licensing vSphere with Operations Management Suite 5.1 (vSOM)

  1. Log in to My VMware.
  2. Select All Downloads from the Quick Links menu.
  3. Click the All Products tab.
  4. Click the View Download Components next to vSphere with Operations Management.
  5. Under the appropriate Edition (Standard, Enterprise, Enterprise Plus), click Go to Downloads next to VMware vCenter Operations Manager.
  6. Select the appropriate version from the Select Version dropdown.
  7. Click Download Now next to VMware vCenter Operations Manager version license key.
  8. Open the file that is downloaded (VMware-vcops-5.6.0.0-edition-VSOM-License_Key_for_VC_5.0.txt) and copy the enclosed license key.

    Note: The fact that the vCenter Operations Manager version in the file name is 5.6.0 and the vCenter Server version is 5.0 is irrelevant. The enclosed key is valid.

  9. Log in to vCenter Server as an Administrator (vSphere client connected to vCenter server).
  10. Click Home > Licensing.
  11. Select Asset.
  12. Right-click vCenter Operations Manager and click Change License Key.
  13. Select Assign a new license key to this solution.
  14. Click Enter Key.
  15. Enter the new license key in the New license key field and then click OK.
  16. Click OK to close the Assign License dialogue.
  17. Log in to the vCenter Operations Manager Admin UI (https://UI_VM_IP or FQDN/admin) as the admin user.
  18. Click the Status tab.
  19. Click Reload.

 

Licensing vSphere with Operations Management Suite 5.5 (vSOM)

Note: The license key for the vSphere with Operations Management Suite 5.5 unlocks all the components of the suite and, therefore, there is no license key on the download page.

  1. Log in to vCenter Server as an Administrator (vSphere client connected to vCenter server 5.1).
  2. Click Home > Licensing.
  3. Select Asset.
  4. Right-click vCenter Operations Manager and click Change License Key.
  5. Select Assign a new license key to this solution.
  6. Click Enter the vSOM 5.5 Key.
  7. Enter the new license key in the New license key field and click OK.
  8. Click OK to close the Assign License dialogue.
  9. Log in to the vCenter Operations Manager Admin UI (https://UI_VM_IP or FQDN/admin) as the admin user.
  10. Click the Status tab.
  11. Click Reload.
Note: vSOM 5.5 is compatible only with vCenter Server 5.1. If your environment has vCenter Server 5.0, follow the procedure in Licensing vSphere with Operations Management Suite 5.1 (vSOM).

 

Licensing vCloud Suite 5.x

Note: The license key for the vCloud Suite unlocks all the components of the suite.

  1. Log in to vCenter Server as an Administrator (vSphere client connected to vCenter server)
  2. Click Home > Licensing.
  3. Click Asset.
  4. Select Assign a new license key to this solution.
  5. Click Enter Key.
  6. Enter the new license key in the New license key field and then click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the Assign License dialogue.
Notes:
  • You must follow this procedure to license all the other assets, solutions, and components of vCloud Suite, such as vCenter Site Recovery Manager and vCloud Networking and Security.
  • vCloud Automation Center 5.2 is included in all editions of the vCloud Suite 5.5 release and it can be installed as part of the vCloud Suite Enterprise edition license key, but it is not supported in the vCloud Suite Advanced or Standard license keys.
  • If you purchased vCloud Suite 5.5 Standard or Advanced editions, you must download and install the license key available in the VMware vCloud Suite Standard or Advanced Edition vCloud Automation Center 5.2 download page.
  • To apply the vFabric Application Director 5.2 license to the vCloud Suite 5.5 Enterprise edition, download the vFabric Application Director 5.2 License.txt file from the VMware product download page. The license key unlocks the vFabric Application Director for Release Automation edition, which includes the basic features, updating a deployed application, and deploying applications to the Amazon EC2 environment capabilities.

Additional Information

For related information, see the KBTV video Licensing  ESXi 5.0 and vCenter Server 5.0

See Also

This Article Replaces

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