vSphere 5 License Entitlements

A somewhat surprising popular topic at the moment considering the amazing features announced by VMware this week is vSphere 5 Licensing, I have seen a lot of people talking about this and a lot of confusion and misunderstanding of the new licensing model announced by VMware in vSphere 5. Hopefully this post and my script below will help people work out what their v5 License entitlements will be.

vSphere 5 License Overview

vSphere 5.0 will be licensed on a per-processor basis with a vRAM entitlement. Each vSphere 5.0 CPU license (whether deployed to a host or not) will entitle the purchaser to a specific amount of vRAM, or memory configured to virtual machines. The vRAM entitlement can be pooled across a vSphere environment and through linked mode vCenters to enable a true cloud or utility based IT consumption model.

vSphere Advanced is now being removed from the license editions, anyone who currently has licenses for vSphere Advanced – and is active on Subscription and Support – in v4 will automatically be entitled to Enterprise in v5 free of charge, the following vRAM entitlements will be given per license type:

License Type Essentials Essentials Plus Standard Enterprise Enterprise Plus
vRAM Entitlement per license 24GB 24GB 24GB 32GB 48GB

There are a few key things to remember about this:

  • vRAM is pooled per license type to create a pool
  • Make sure all license keys you have purchased are entered into vCenter
  • All Licenses (whether deployed or not) add Pooled vRAM capacity
  • Make sure existing vCenter servers are linked – vRAM licenses are pooled across linked mode vCenters giving a total vRAM per license type.

More information on these changes can be found in the Licensing, Pricing and Packaging white paper here.

License Validator

So as this is mainly a PowerCLI site, how can I help? In the same way I always do, I have written a script to give you not only the current license information but how this will relate to v5 licensing, the script will detail each license type and tell you how much vRAM you will be entitled to and how much you are using.

Remediation

Following the run of this script if you are over on the vRAM then don’t panic! There are things you can do which might mean things will still equal out with your current licenses.

You might want to think about the following steps:

  • Make sure all licenses are loaded into vCenter Server
  • Link vCenter Servers if one vCenter has excess vRAM entitlement
  • Turn off unused VMs
  • Rebalance licenses from undeployed vCenters to the current vCenter
  • Ensure the vRAM configured to VMs is appropriate (right sizing)
  • Rebalance VMs to use other hosts which have available vRAM from hosts with different editions of vSphere

How to use the script

1. Install PowerCLI (If you need some instructions on this then please follow this great blog post)

2. Download the script from the bottom of this post

3. Watch the below video on how to run the script

How to run

Sample Output

Download Sample HTML Output file

Download

Since the release of this post VMware have revised the vRAM entitlements, please see here for the latest figures and script

Not included

This script doesn’t account for linked mode, so make sure you use it against each vCenter and add the vRAM figures (Pooled vRAM Capacity and vRAM Used) together for each vSphere Edition to make sure you entitlements are correct.

This script requires vSphere 4.1 or higher.

This script requires Windows PowerShell V2 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968930)

Update: As of V1.7 I have added log file which will be created in the same folder as the html file, if you have any issues please email the log file and html result to contact(at)virtu-al.net for further help with the results.

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Alan

Alan Renouf has a role of Automation Frameworks Product Manager at VMware responsible for providing the architects and operators of the cloud infrastructure with the toolkits/frameworks and command-line interfaces they require to build a fully automated software-defined datacenter. Alan is a frequent blogger at http://blogs.vmware.com/vipowershell and has a personal blog at http://virtu-al.net. You can follow Alan on twitter as @alanrenouf.

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105 Responses

  1. Ian Cook says:

    ignore me lol my cache got messed up and sent me to this one not the new one ! :)

  2. Ian Cook says:

    Hi, it seems VMware have changed the vRam allocations since this article was written,

    Entitlement by vSphere edition
    – 32GB vRAM for Essentials Kit
    – 32GB vRAM for Essentials Plus Kit
    – 32GB vRAM for Standard
    – 64GB vRAM for Enterprise
    – 96GB vRAM for Enterprise Plus

    Source http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf

    Regards

    Ian

  3. DavidR says:

    Thought you might want to know that the email VMware sent out this morning, announcing new vRAM limits and other changes to vSphere licensing, includes a link to an old version of your LicenseValidator script. The version they link to has the old vRAM entitlements, and will probably have a lot of people upset that their vRAM entitlement is the same as it was originally.

  4. Jesse says:

    @Ed, I just was notified by a VMware employee about those changes, that they will be announced later today!!

  5. donkarnash says:

    Pardon me, I should have provided the details…

    ESXi 4.1 and VC 4.1 on windows 2008 R2 server

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