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With this option for instance;

VMware vSphere 4 Advanced for 1 processor (Max 12 cores per processor) + Gold (12x5) 1 Year Support

Does VMware want to say that you can use; You can only use it ona a server that has 1 CPU with 12 cores ? (actually I dont know any CPU that has 12 core, do you ?)


You can split those cores into CPU's for instance you can use this licence to control 6 physical hosts that has 1 CPU each and all of them are Dual Core ?

Also lets say that we bought the licence and that 1 year has finished. Do we need to buy a licence again or we need to buy licence if we want support ?

And also (I am really confused :/ ) what if our physical hosts has 2 CPU's ?

Also if we should buy a ESX licence for each of the hosts do we have to buy also a vSphere licence for that physical host ?

Thanks for your answers :)

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  • 1
    Have you tried asking your friendly VMware salesweasel? – womble Jan 2 '10 at 1:00
  • AMD have the 12-core "Magny-Cours" processors on the road-map for release this year. – petertonoli Jan 2 '10 at 1:07

For my sins I know VMWare licensing a bit too well.

Basically the license in question will enable a single physical CPU with up to 12 logical cores (and yes, there are 8, 12, 16 and 24 core single CPUs in various stages of readiness as we speak).

If you had a single AMD Magny-Cours chip you'd need one license, if you had a dual-processor Xeon 55xx based server you'd need two licences and if you had a quad Xeon 75xx server you'd need 4 or more licences.

CPU licenses are perpetual but effectively carry no/low support cover, if you buy support you may wish to renew it after the indicated cover length.

And on a per host basis all you need is the required number of CPU licenses plus any support you want. Of course you may also want the VCenter license and support to centrally manage your hosts to make full use of clustering etc.

Hope this helps, feel free to come back with any other questions.


Firstly, you should get in contact with a VMWare rep to get the definitive answer on licensing as well as reading this whitepaper

Now, that that is out of the way i'll address the questions in order

  1. The best way of thinking about this is to to think of it this way, when they say processor, think socket. So with that license you could enable one proccessor (socket) for use with vSphere product suite. No there isn't a cpu with 12 cores - yet but it gives you the ability to upgrade to new hardware as it progresses. Also they probably count a 4 core hyperthreaded Proccessor as 8 cores, but you would have to talk to a VMWare rep to confirm.

  2. No, the one year limit is for support only. You would only have to renew the support contract at the end of the year.

  3. If your physical host has two CPU's you will only be able to use one of them. ESX will still install and run just fine though.

  4. vSphere is just a branding of their package of products. You should be able to buy additional ESX only licenses to add more hosts.

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