Challenges of VMware Licensing

A Solution Overview

VMware was one of the first companies to successfully offer virtualization software for the Intel x86 architecture. After its beginning in 1998, VMware has grown to become a leader in datacenter and cloud infrastructure virtualization technology. Virtualization – the ability to run multiple operating systems and applications on the same server at the same time – is at the core of all VMware offerings. VMware Solutions allow the virtualization of an entire datacenter including virtualized networking, storage and security; VMware also provides technologies to deploy virtualized desktops and applications.

The Challenge: Understanding VMware Licensing

VMware presents significant licensing challenges as they employ many licensing metrics. Some products are licensed per processor, some by virtual machine, and others by operating system instance. Other products are licensed by named or concurrent user, or by device. And in addition, there are several desktop and server products that are free to download, and do not require a license.

  • Can you accurately discover and inventory VMware vSphere® and VMware vCenter™ datacenter server products and their associated license keys?
  • Do you have visibility into VMware licensing key assignments across servers and can you detect if license keys are overused or under used, resulting in either non-compliant use or over spending?
  • How do you manage the different VMware licensing types, including device, processor, and operating system instance models?
  • Can you easily manage the product use rights acquired through the VMware Enterprising Purchasing Program (EPP) and Volume Purchasing Program (VPP)? These VMware licensing agreements require licenses to be used for devices in the country where the license was purchased. Can you scope the license in such way that only devices from a specific location or set of locations can consume it?

The solution: VMware license optimization

Flexera Software provides the FlexNet Manager for VMware solution to enable enterprise customers to efficiently manage and optimize VMware licensing. The solution allows organizations to:

  • Automate discovery and inventory for the vSphere and vCenter datacenter server products.
  • Determine an accurate license position and minimize license consumption to reduce ongoing software costs and provide the fastest return on investment.
  • Provide visibility into license key assignments across servers and detect if license keys are overused, which could cause an organization to be out of VMware license compliance and subject to a software audit.
  • Compare actual server capacity against assigned capacity to find underused license keys that may uncover over purchasing of VMware products.