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Tag Archives: license

Retrieving vSphere License Information & Expiration using the vSphere API

Last week I received a question about retrieving the expiration date for vSphere licenses in vCenter Server which can be seen in both the vSphere Web Client and vSphere C# Client under the Licensing section. Even though there are vCenter alarms that monitor license usage and compliance, it still makes sense that users may still want to be proactively monitoring their license keys for expiration and ensuring they are renewed in a timely manner.


I provided a quick sample script to the user but thought I might as well clean it up a bit and share it with the rest of the VMware community. I also wanted to provide some additional details on where to look for the expiration details as well as other information pertaining to licenses in vSphere.

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VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager and per-vm licensing

Hello everyone,

I had not planned on blogging on this subject yet, but I have gotten a number of questions from people and thought I should.  I head out on the road tomorrow to visit customers and partners – in the wonderful city of Boston so I am looking forward to it but it does mean that my ability to blog with screenshots will be harder.

So here is the scoop on SRM and the new per-vm licensing.

Immediate info

You will be able to continue using your per-processor licensing, and purchase more of it, until December 15th of this year.  After that time you will only be able to purchase per-vm licenses.  You can use only one or the other – meaning per-vm or per-proc.  So you can start using the per-vm licenses now, or wait.

Background Info

  • You purchase in 25 protected VM packages.
  • You can, in the license portal change a 25 protected VM package into something else like a 10 and 15 protected VM packages.
  • You could than put one of those on the protected site, and the other on the recovery site.
  • You can also use Linked Mode with VC and install the entire 25 pack on the protected site, and it would use the licenses as necessary on the recovery site.
  • Protected VM means a VM inside of a protection group.  It can be powered up, or not, it doesn't matter.
  • Failback doesn't need new licenses.  For failback you can reuse existing licenses.  This is confirmed in the EULA.
  • If you have unexpected growth, and protects additional VM's, past the 25 they own, they will still be protected and able to do a failover, but they will be alerted that are out of licenses.
  • You add the license as you have in the past.  No change.
  • You can use the Licensing Reporting Manager (new with 4.1) to report on license usage.
  • You cannot mix old style licenses with the new per-vm licenses.  One or the other must be used.

You can find out more info here.

How to install and use

The instructions below will help you get going with per-vm licenses.

You need to be in the Licensing applet from the vSphere Client home screen.   Also do you see the Licensing Reporting Manager icon?  It is new from vSphere 4.1.

Enter the Licensing app, and you will see a license screen with a per-proc license in use.

 Now in the top right corner you ned to select the Manage Licenses option.

Once selected, you will see the Add License Keys option.  You should see a screen like the one shown below.

You should copy and paste your new license to the appropriate box above.  It will than look like the screen below. 


You can use the Add License button to add your licenses.  

In the screen below you will see what happens after you use the add button.

Note that this license code allows for protecting 40 VM's.  Use the Next button to continue.

Once you press the Next button, you should select the Solutions tab.  SRM is a solution and thus shown on that tab.

On the screen shot above, you can see how the selected license is for 63 CPU's which is what I was using before I started to do this per-VM thing.  You can select the option that is per-VM option and you will see a small change in the Action column.  See below for an example.

With that green check mark, we can now continue by using the Next button.  Also, note the information about the license that is available near the bottom of the dialog. 

You will now see the old CPU license being removed.  This is acceptable since we are changing from one license system to the new per-vm system.

 Use the Next button to continue.

You will have an option to confirm your changes now.

Notice at the bottom of the screen you can see the change from per-proc to per-vm?

Now if you look into the  Licensing app you will see a change.

Notice how there is no CPU's used, but there is 1 VM protected?  Just what we wanted to see.

The Licensing app is real time.  However, the Licensing Reporting Manager is not.  It does have a delay, and it is generally around 40 minutes.

We can check the Licensing Reporting Manager to see what our license usage is, and it should show our new way of licensing SRM.  



I hope you now know enough about per-vm licensing so that you are comfortable, and you have some screen shots to help you get it going.  If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them for me!