How does VMware vSphere licensing work?

ESXi hosts are licensed with vSphere licenses. Each vSphere license has a certain CPU capacity that you can use to license multiple physical CPUs on ESXi hosts. When you assign a vSphere license to a host, the amount of CPU capacity that is consumed is equal to the number of physical CPUs in the host.

How long do vSphere licenses last?

60 days
Remember, the vCenter license that comes with VMware vSphere, the vCenter Server evaluation license, lasts 60 days, as do the other VMware evaluation licenses. This means your vCenter server license expires on day 61 if you forgot to enter the vCenter license key at the time of deployment.

Are vSphere licenses perpetual?

VMware vSphere for Platinum with VMware AppDefense Plug-in is deployed on-premises and sold as a perpetual license with Support and Subscription (SnS) and the VMware AppDefense (SaaS) for Platinum is a VMware hosted cloud service sold as subscription.

How is VMware vCenter licensed?

vCenter Server systems are licensed with vCenter Server licenses that have per-instance capacity. To license a vCenter Server system, you need a vCenter Server license that has the capacity for at least one instance.

What happens when a vSphere license expires?

For ESXi hosts, license or evaluation period expiry leads to disconnection from vCenter Server. All powered on virtual machines continue to work, but you cannot power on virtual machines after they are powered off. You cannot change the current configuration of the features that are in use.

How many vSphere licenses do I need?

Each physical CPU requires at least one license, so four vSphere Enterprise Plus 7 licenses are required. No additional licenses will be needed regardless of the number of VMs or the amount of virtual memory (vRAM).

Is vCenter a separate license?

vCenter Server Foundation It is sold as a separate license and only supports managing up to four vSphere ESXi hosts. This is true for vSphere starting with vSphere 6.5 Update 1 and above, older vSphere versions will support up to three hosts.

How can I tell if vSphere is licensed?


  1. Click Menu > Administration.
  2. Expand Licensing and click Licenses.
  3. Select a tab for the licensing information that you want to view. Tab. Description. Licenses. Lists all licenses that are available in the vSphere environment.