VMWare are one of the biggest virtualization and cloud vendors within the software market. Initially founded in 1998 in California, USA, it was sold to EMC Corporation in 2004. VMWare software can run on a number of different platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS, and VMWare’s enterprise software hypervisors for servers run on server hardware without the need for any additional operating systems or software.
As VMWare are a huge software vendor, with their software installed in most organisations, the ITAM Review thought it was about time we did a licensing quick guide. Please note, that this is a basic quick guide, with the aim of helping you understand how to license VMWare products. We are not expecting you to be VMWare Licensing experts by the end of this guide.
VMWare provide a large library of different products that have different licensing metrics. We have listed the major products below, along with their licensing metric. The licensing metric will be explained later on in this guide.
Data Centre Virtualization and Cloud Infrastructure
|vCloud Suite||PER PROCESSOR|
|vSphere with Operations Management||PER PROCESSOR|
|Virtual SAN||PER PROCESSOR|
|vCentre Site Recovery Manager||PER VIRTUAL MACHINE|
|EVO:RAIL||PER PROCESSOR or through existing vSphere licenses|
|vCentre Server||PER APP INSTANCE|
|Integrated OpenStack||FREE FOR vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus customers|
Data Centre and Cloud Management
|vRealize Suite||PER OSI|
|vRealize Operations Insight||PER PROCESSOR|
|vRealize Operations||PER PROCESSOR|
|vRealize Automation||PER VM or PER DESKTOP|
|vRealize Log Insight||PER OSI or PER PROCESSOR|
|vRealize Code Stream||PER OSI or PER PROCESSOR|
|vRealize Orchestrator||PER OSI or PER PROCESSOR|
|vRealize Hyperic||PER OSI or PER PROCESSOR|
Desktop and Application Virtualization
|Workspace Suite||NAMED USER|
|Horizon 6||NAMED USER or CONCURRENT USER|
|Horizon FLEX||PER DEVICE|
|App Volumes||CONCURRENT USER|
|User Environment Management||NAMED USER or CONCURRENT USER|
|Horizon Application Management Bundle||PER PROCESSOR|
|Content Collaboration Bundle||PER USER (perpetual or subscription)|
|ThinApp||NAMED USER or PER DEVICE|
|vRealize Operations for Horizon||NAMED USER or CONCURRENT USER|
Applications and Data platform
|Pivotal App Suite||PER PHYSICAL OR VIRTUAL CORE|
|Pivotal GemFire||PER PHYSICAL OR VIRTUAL CORE|
|Pivotal RabbitMQ||PER PHYSICAL OR VIRTUAL CORE|
|Pivotal tc Server||PER PHYSICAL OR VIRTUAL CORE|
|Compliance Checker for PCI||FREE|
|Compliance Checker for vSphere||FREE|
PER PROCESSOR – a single, physical chip that houses a central processing unit that can execute computer programs.
PER VIRTUAL MACHINE (VM) – software containers that can run its own operating system and execute applications like a physical machine. If a customer purchases a license like VMware vSphere as a part of VMware View Enterprise, VMware Horizon View Standard, VMware Horizon Advanced, VMware Horizon Enterprise, VMware Horizon Suite, or VMware Horizon for Linux, the following restrictions apply:
You may only use VMware vSphere Desktop for up to the total number of Concurrent Users or Named Users in the Horizon Editions or which the customer has paid the applicable license fees.
The use of VMware vSphere Desktop is limited to hosting Desktop Virtual Machines, Terminal Services Sessions, remote desktop services host and running VMware products which are included in VMware View Enterprise, VMware Horizon Suite, VMware Horizon Editions, VMware Horizon for Linux or third party connection brokers and desktop management and monitoring tools.
OSI (Operating System Instance) – single installation of an operating system on a non-virtualized physical server or Virtual Machine.
PER APP INSTANCE – relates to software that is installed on either a single physical server or Virtual Machine or on a cluster of multiple physical servers or Virtual Machines working together and accessible by a single network address and has its data stored in a single database.
NAMED USER – License is locked to a specific user. User can use the VMWare software on any machines, as long as it is they using the software via their user account or user credentials.
CONCURRENT USER – relates to the total number of users accessing or using the Software at any given time to maintain an Active Connection to their workspace or desktop through an endpoint device.
PER DEVICE – License is locked to a specific device. Can only be re-used if it is completely removed from said device. The number of users using the software is irrelevant, as long as they only use it on the licensed device.
PER PHYSICAL CORE – see ‘PER PROCESSOR’.
PER VIRTUAL CORE – see ‘PER VIRTUAL MACHINE’.
FREE – Licenses that is free to use for existing and new VMWare customers.
PERPETUAL LICENSING – User owns the license. No subscription period but no free upgrades once the support and maintenance ends. User can use the license/software at any time in the future, as long as they still have proof of entitlement.
SUBSCRIPTION LICENSING – Licenses that are purchased on a pro-rata basis. The user never actually owns a license; they are simply ‘renting’ one for the period of the agreement (usually 3 years). Regular updates are provided from VMWare to customers via a cloud based SaaS.
VMWare License Procurement
VMWare offers a Volume Purchasing Program, also known as VPP. The VPP is an agreement that ultimately helps users get bulk licenses for less money. This is a two-year agreement that allows customers to use a number of special features from VMWare, including an online portal to help manage a VPP membership.
In order for your organisation to enter the VPP then we would suggest contacting VMWare who will be able to advise you on the best licensing agreements for your infrastructure and environment.
Managing VMWare Licenses
Customers of VMWare can manage VMWare licenses through the vendor’s own portal and technologies. Organisations with SAM Tools also have the added bonus of being able to manage VMWare licenses and installs through the SAM Tool, thus providing them with more data and information allowing them to control and manage their VMWare estate effectively.
Within VMWare itself, the following permission types are supported.
|Global Licenses||If you have global permission at the root folder, you can view and modify all licenses in the vCenter Server inventory. This permission includes other vCenter Server systems in a Linked Mode group.|
|Read-only||If you have read-only permission on a host, the vCenter Server displays the first and last five characters of the license key assigned to the host, the features present in the license, and the expiration date for the license.|
As mentioned previously, you can also manage VMWare licenses through SAM Technologies. There are a number of leading SAM Technology providers that provide a sophisticated and mature VMWare license and usage management function within their solution. It is important when considering VMWare licenses and picking a SAM tool that you make sure that the SAM technology has the capabilities to discover all instances of VMWare products; on both the datacentre, virtual and desktop environments.
We hope that you have found this guide to be useful and we hope that we have explained some of the VMWare licensing and product metrics. We appreciate that it takes years to become an expert in software licensing, so we wanted to provide a quick guide to VMWare licensing, and by no means expect you to be an expert!
If you have any questions or comments on this guide, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.