This FAQs document provides information for existing VMware customers who are interested in learning about the new Per Virtual Machine (VM) licensing model that was announced on July 13, 2010 for specific vCenter products.


Per VM Pricing and Licensing for Select vCenter Products

What is VMware announcing?

Because cloud management requires greater flexibility, licensing models for cloud management products need to be adapted to better match how customers use those products. Starting on September 1, 2010, several existing VMware vCenter products, including vCenter AppSpeed , vCenter Chargeback and vCenter Site Recovery Manager, will begin to be sold and licensed on a per virtual machine basis. vCenter CapacityIQ will move to a per virtual machine licensing model in late 2010 or early 2011. These products will transition from the existing per processor licensing model.

Why is VMware changing its management products to a per VM licensing model?

Cloud makes applications location and hardware independent, changing the traditional model of one application to one server. In the cloud, management software maps to the virtual machine rather than the underlying processor. This makes per VM the ideal metric for the cloud: cloud management requires a flexible licensing model that matches how customers will manage resources that are abstracted from the underlying hardware.

What products will transition to per VM and when will the per VM licenses be available for purchase?

VMware vCenter AppSpeed, vCenter Chargeback and vCenter Site Recovery Manager will be available per VM beginning 9/1/2010. vCenter CapacityIQ per VM licenses will be available starting in late 2010 or early 2011.

How long can I continue to buy per processor licenses?

If you have purchased per processor licenses and wish to continue with this model, you will also be able to continue purchasing per processor licenses through December 15, 2010. However, after December 15, 2010, you will only be able to buy per VM licenses for vCenter AppSpeed, CapacityIQ, Chargeback and Site Recovery Manager.

Can I continue using my existing per processor licenses?

Yes. You can continue to use the per processor licenses you already own. You can continue to renew VMware Support and Subscription (SnS) for the per processor licenses using the same renewal terms as when you initially purchased the products.

Is vSphere or vCenter Server licensing affected by the per VM change?

No. VMware vSphere (all editions and kits), vCenter Server and vCenter Server Heartbeat will continue to be under their current licensing models. VMware is moving to per VM for the vCenter family as there as pricing for managed objects is a well-established model for management software. Based on market response and the evolution of cloud computing, VMware may consider a per VM offering for vSphere in the future.

If I have per processor licenses, will I be able to trade them in for per VM licenses?

Yes. If you own per processor licenses for vCenter AppSpeed, CapacityIQ, Chargeback or Site Recovery Manager, you will be eligible to exchange those licenses for per VM licenses. 

What is the benefit of converting to per VM licenses?

Per VM is the ideal metric for the cloud: cloud management requires a flexible licensing model that matches how you manage resources that are abstracted from the underlying hardware. Per VM licensing gives you the flexibility to apply the right amount of management to each VM, and have the management capability follow the VM without worrying about whether the hardware is licensed appropriately. 

I want to convert my licenses. What is the process?

To initiate a conversion request, you should complete a Customer Service Request.

When you submit your request, please provide:

  • The primary license administrator’s name a e-mail address
  • Products that you would like to convert to per VM
  • The contract or order numbers, if known
  • License keys, if available

Alternatively, or if you have additional questions, call 877-4VMWARE and choose licensing support. (Or visit the Phone page for international phone numbers.)

Note that VMware will only accept requests from the primary license administrator. Once you have submitted a request online, you will be given a case number. You will be contacted by a conversion specialist within one business day to start the conversion process.

Is there any cost for the license conversion?

No. There is no cost to convert per processor to per VM licenses.

When I convert per processor licenses, how many per VM licenses will I receive?

Information about conversion ratios can be found here

Do I need to deactivate my per processor licenses before using new per VM licenses?

The converted licenses will deactivated during the conversion process. When you submit a conversion request, VMware Customer Support will provide instructions on the conversion process.

I want to buy additional per VM licenses. How much will new per VM licenses cost?

Effective September 1, 2010, you will be able to begin buying per VM licenses. These products will be sold in packs of 25 virtual machine licenses. This is a more cost-effective way for customers to implement the management products since it eliminates the need to license them on a per processor basis. See current pricing.

How will I know how many per VM licenses I need?

Reporting in vCenter Server will allow you to see the total number of virtual machines deployed and managed by a specific vCenter product. 

Can I split a per VM license pack and use it across multiple sites?

Yes. Per VM license packs can be split or combined through the VMware licensing portal.

What criteria will be used to determine if a VM requires a management license for a specific product?

A license will be required for each managed VM – this is based on the number of VMs that the specific product is managing and is detailed in the product EULA (End User License Agreement). The table below summarizes how managed VMs are measured for each product.


Managed VM Definition

vCenter Site Recovery Manager

Any VM that is part of a SRM protection group, regardless of power state (defined as a “Protected VM”)

vCenter AppSpeed

Any powered-on VM that is actively monitored by AppSpeed

vCenter CapacityIQ

Any powered-on VM managed by CapacityIQ

vCenter Chargeback

Any powered-on VM in a Chargeback hierarchy

How do I know if I have enough licenses and am in compliance?

A quick glance at the vCenter License Reporting Manager screen (depicted below) will help you determine if you are in compliance. As displayed in the screen shot below, the licensing manager in vCenter Server 4.1 will provide information on both the “Average Usage” (the average maximum number of VMs) and the “Current License Capacity”, as well as the “% Average Usage,” which represents the percentage of licenses consumed. Additionally, you will receive an alert in vCenter Server if the “Average Usage” exceeds the “Current License Capacity.”


What do I do if I receive an alert that I have exceeded my license capacity?

Contact your reseller or VMware representative to discuss your licensing requirements.

What are the product requirements for using per VM licenses?

Per VM licensing is only supported by AppSpeed 1.5, Chargeback 1.5 and Site Recovery Manager 4.1 or newer versions of those products. CapacityIQ will require the upcoming release or a newer version to support the per VM licensing. These versions work with either per VM or per processor license keys. Earlier versions of these products cannot be used with per VM license keys.

License keys are managed through vCenter Server. vCenter Server 4.1 or later is required to support per VM licenses. It will also support per processor licenses for all products. vCenter Server 4.0 and earlier versions will not accept per VM license keys for the products mentioned above


Can I use per processor and per VM licenses at the same time?

You cannot combine per VM and per processor licenses for a single product in the same instance of vCenter Server.

However, you can use per processor licenses for one product and per VM licenses for a different product, even within the same instance of vCenter Server.


Does this also apply to Site Recovery Manager in Bi-Directional or Shared Recovery Mode?

Yes. If you use one instance of Site Recovery Manager to protect multiple sites – in either bi-directional or shared recovery mode – all sites must use the same license type. If you convert one site to per VM licensing, all other sites connected to that instance will need to be converted as well.

Can I convert per VM licenses to per processor licenses?

No. Once you install per VM licenses, you cannot convert those back to per processor licenses.