Take care when splitting and combining VMware vSphere licenses

If you are changing your virtual server IT infrastructure, then you may need to split or combine your VMware vSphere licenses.VMware vSphere - technology image

Photo by Daniel Chen on Unsplash

All vSphere licenses installed in the same VMware server farm must have the same Support Level, i.e. Basic (9×5 business hours) or Production (24×7).

So, if you have different support levels on your VMware vSphere licenses you need to take care when splitting and combining them.

Also, if you have VMware server farms installed in different countries and since vSphere licenses are licensed on a geographic regional basis (depending upon in which country they were purchased), you must take care not to split and combine licenses from different regions.

Of course, before combining license keys ensure that they are for the same release. You may need to upgrade some license keys via your MyVMware portal beforehand.

Also, see our earlier blog about splitting license keys.

Because of the complexity of VMware licensing, the SAM Club helps its Clients maintain their MyVMware licensing portals and maintains a synchronised single pane view of all licensing & support data in their SAM Workbooks.

If you might benefit from The SAM Club’s expertise and assistance with your VMware licenses, support renewals and MyVMware portal please contact us.

Could VMware vSphere ROBO Edition Save You Licensing Costs?

Did you know there’s a VMware option for smaller remote environments/office locations with a local IT Infrastructure? vSphere ROBO Remote Office / Branch Office could help reduce your VMware licensing costs.

VMWare vSphere ROBO blog

ROBO is available in Standard and Advanced Editions. Both Editions provide the vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) and share a common core of features. These include High-Availability, vSphere vMotion, vSphere Storage vMotion, vSphere Data Protection, vSphere Replication, vSphere Fault Tolerance for workloads up to 2 CPUs, and vShield Endpoint for security.

The Advanced Edition builds on the standard feature set adding vSphere Distributed Switch, vSphere Host Profiles, vSphere Auto-Deploy and vSphere Fault Tolerance for workloads up to 4 CPUs. The Advanced Edition may be more appealing for larger, more distributed enterprise environments that need additional automation to deploy and manage remote systems.

A datasheet is available here.

You can also compare the Standard and Advanced Editions here.

ROBO licenses are priced per-virtual machine (per-VM) and sold in packs of 25 licenses. A 25 VM license pack can be shared across multiple locations. For example, five remotes offices each running up to five virtual machines. This approach provides deployment flexibility and helps minimize the cost of smaller infrastructures commonly found at remote offices.

Note, however, that ROBO licensing is limited to a maximum of 25 VMs in one remote site/office location.

vCenter Standard Server (purchased separately) can be used to remotely managing ROBO sites from a central Datacentre. Alternatively, if you wish to manage ROBO installations locally from within your Remote Office/Branch Office then you can do so using vCenter Foundation Edition (purchased separately).

Just as there is a vSAN option for vSphere so there is also a vSAN option for vSphere ROBO Editions.

However, there is no upgrade path to traditional vSAN licenses for ROBO licensing to Virtual SAN Standard or Advanced licensing.

If ROBO provides the features required for your smaller environments and these are currently licensed with vSphere Enterprise Plus, it would be worth completing a cost analysis exercise to see how the price of purchasing ROBO compares to the renewal costs for the current licenses…….or you might be able to re-deploy the vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses used in your Remote Offices.

Also see our previous blog about being VMware compliant regarding Country of Use vs Country of Purchase.

Do you use VMware vCenter Foundation?

If you use VMware vCenter Foundation – this tip could be useful. VMware released an update to VMware vSphere 6.5 in July 2017. vSphere 6.5 Update 1 provided some general updates and enhancements, including all the security and bug fixes that were part of 6.0 U3; removing some of the concerns that customers had about upgrading. You can read more about the update here.

SAM Club VMware vCenter Foundation tip

VMware also announced that the number of nodes that vCenter Foundation Edition can manage was increased from 3 to 4.

This is a minor improvement, but may be useful with smaller environments where an extra node could make a big difference.

However, please note that when adding on a further node, you may potentially have to purchase a new vSphere license and a Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter license.

Further information about this announcement from VMware can be found here.

Note : The Essentials Edition of vCenter is still limited to 3 nodes and ESX Essentials or Essentials Plus, can only be managed by vCenter Essentials due to technical limitations.

If you need any assistance with reviewing your VMware or Microsoft licensing, please get in touch with us info@thesamclub.co.uk

Is it too early to upgrade to VMware vSphere 6.7?

We recently published a blog about End of Life for vSphere 5.5 and why it might be time to upgrade to vSphere 6.5. However, the latest version, vSphere 6.7, was released in April 2018.

SAM Club Vmware tips vSphere 6.7

Further information on vSphere 6.7 can be found here.

Michael Adams. Sr. Director for vSphere asks the question: vSphere 6.7 or 6.5 – What Should I Deploy? The article is focused on the business and IT objectives and making the right decision for your organisation: read it here.

Point 2 in Adams article asks if the feature set and value in the 6.7 product release makes sense in your environment? There are a lot of new features which can be viewed here to help with your decision process.

VMware vSphere 6.7 what's new

Another factor to consider is the lifecycle plan for vSphere. We discussed in a previous blog that End of General Support for vSphere 5.5 is happening on 19th September 2018 with vSphere 6.0 being supported until 12th March 2020.

Currently VMware vSphere 6.5 and 6.7 both have the same End of General Support dates, namely 15th November 2021.

See the official VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix for more information on the support deadline for each product.

So, if you have decided to upgrade, you now need to look at – How? There is another great blog from Nigel Hickey who is a Technical Marketing Engineer, working for VMware R&D in the Cloud Platform Business Unit, which can be found here. This takes you through the Why, How, Planning and Upgrade Considerations.

If you need any assistance with reviewing your VMware licensing, please get in touch with us info@thesamclub.co.uk

You may also be interested in some of our other VMware blog posts:

Is it time to upgrade to VMware vSphere 6.5

Have you come across a VMware Audit?

Splitting a VMware vSphere license

VMware Country of Use versus Country of Purchase

Is it time to upgrade to VMware vSphere 6.5?

Why upgrade to vSphere 6.5

VMware vSphere 5.5 End of General Support is fast approaching. From the 19th September 2018 general support will no longer be available, so it’s time to start thinking about upgrading to vSphere 6.5. There is an option to purchase extended support on a per year basis up to 19th September 2020, but now is the time to start reviewing your VMware infrastructure.

If you are considering upgrading your vSphere environment, here is a good resource to help you through the process: Upgrading to vSphere 6.5

This detailed e-book is specifically designed for vSphere administrators and takes you through three phases of upgrade. Pre-upgrade, upgrade and post upgrade; offering some useful interactive tools such as YouTube videos, tutorials and documents to download. If you are short on time there is a key resources list at the beginning of each section to scan through.

This handy infographic from VMware gives the Top 10 reasons to upgrade to vSphere 6.5.

Infographic vSphere 6.5

vSphere 6.7 has also recently been released which our next blog article in a few days will focus on.

You may be interested in other recent VMware articles we have published:

At The SAM Club, we work with our clients to ensure their software estate is licensed properly. If you would like more information or an internal review of your VMware estate then please contact us at info@thesamclub.co.uk

August 2016 Newsletter

An update on The SAM Club and the type of work we have been completing over the past two months.

New Releases information:
More information on Windows Server 2016
SQL Server 2016 released 1st June 2016
SharePoint Server 2016 released 4th May 2016
Project Server 2016 released 5th May 2016

News you can use section with information on:
Citrix offering customers the ability to run Windows 10 in Azure
Skype for Business – FAQ on PSTN Calling
MPSA Enterprise Advantage and what this means for you
Information on the new Visual Studio MSDN Portal
Plus more…

Special Offers from Veritas, VMware and Autodesk
August 2016 Newsletter digital

January 2016 Newsletter

Includes news on The SAM Club, licensing news on Microsoft, VMware and Citrix.

Articles on The SAM Club partnership with Snow Software and the new licensing rules for Windows 2016

Tips & Tricks: Did you know that the MPSA Licensing Manual contains the following on copies for training/evaluation and backup?

Breaking News:  Microsoft have announced they are changing their minimum Enterprise Agreement (EA) seat count from 250 to 500 effective 1st July 2016.

Jan 2016 Newsletter digital

April 2015 Newsletter

Includes New Software Release information on WMware vSphere 6, Skype for Business, Windows Server 2016, Visual Studio 2015, Symantec BackupExec 15. 

Articles on reselling your redundant Microsoft Licenses, Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 end of support information.

Tips & Tricks:  Office Licensing and the difference between Office Standard & Office Pro PlusNewsletter April 2015 – digital