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VMware Licensing Programs

VMware vSphere is licensed based on the number of processors on the physical host. Customers can purchase and deploy or redeploy any mix of servers, as required.

Each processor in a socket may contain multiple cores. VMware customers may deploy VMware vSphere on physical processors that contain up to six processing cores at no additional charge. VMware vSphere Advanced and VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus editions provide an expanded core entitlement and allow customers to deploy on processors that contain up to 12 processing cores.

Support Offerings
VMware Support offerings are mandatory when purchasing vSphere 4 and vCenter Server. Support can be purchased for an initial period of 1, 2 or 3 years and is renewable. There are two levels of support available, Basic and Production.
  • Basic.Support for non-critical applications and platforms that require support during normal business hours only. Includes product updates and upgrades.
  • Production.Global support available 24x7 for your production environments where fast response times for critical issues are required. Includes product updates and upgrades.

See the VMware comparison matrix for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is a multi-core processor?
    Intel and AMD have announced new x86 processors that combine multiple independent central processing units ("cores") on a single silicon chip. These processors, generally referred to as multi-core processors, offer increased performance compared to conventional processor designs. Multi-core processors also reduce heat dissipation, a benefit referred to as "higher performance per watt."
  • What benefits should VMware customers expect to see from multi-core processors?
    Published performance benchmarks for multi-core systems show significant gains over single-core systems. Each processor core provides a dedicated CPU for one or more virtual machines, increasing the scalability of the VMware virtual infrastructure and offering even more fine-grained resource isolation. Server consolidation in virtual machines particularly benefits from the naturally partitioned processing capacity provided by additional cores. Intel has recently advertised that quad-core systems improve performance by approximately 50% over similar dual-core processors.
  • Which VMware products does this affect?
    This policy affects products licensed on a per-processor basis. For example vSphere Standard, vSphere Advanced, etc.
  • How does this policy affect my licensing costs on servers with less than 6 cores per processor?
    When upgrading your hardware to multi-core technology, you do not need to pay additional licensing fees for a processor with up to 6-cores per processor. For example, if you purchase a two-socket server with each socket populated with a 6-core processor, you need to purchase only two processor licenses of VMware vSphere or related products for that server.
  • How does this policy affect my licensing costs on servers with 8-cores per processor?
    When upgrading your hardware to a server with 8-cores per processor you may upgrade your license or purchase a new license for VMware vSphere Advanced or Enterprise Plus that allows you to deploy the applicable software on up to 12-cores per processor.
  • Does this policy apply to all future multi-core systems?
    In other words, what happens when greater than 12-core chips are available? This policy applies only to VMware software editions that define processors as having 6 cores per processor or as having 12 cores per processor. VMware will revisit its licensing policies as x86 processors with a greater number of cores become available.