Virtualization Pro

May 22 2009   3:25PM GMT

VMware vSphere is available: Now what do you do?

Texiwill Edward Haletky Profile: Texiwill

So now that vSphere is available, how do you get your own copy and upgrade existing licenses? Hopefully, you have already checked if your Service and Support has been properly upgraded or existed prior to May 21, 2009. If so then you are in good shape.

Get your license keys:

  1. Log in to your VMware Account by going to, clicking on Account, then clicking on Manage Product Licenses.
  2. Select your product, ‘VMware Infrastructure 3’ from the drop down menu for Server & Datacenter Products.
  3. Once you go to vSphere licenses, your VI3 licenses no longer exist, so be sure you get the proper number of VI3 licenses that you need for the time being.
  4. In the upper right will be a ‘vSphere Licenses’ button to click. Click on that button or clock on Go To: ‘VMware vSphere’. Either will work.
  5. Here is where you can divide your licenses so you have the proper number of CPUs per host. If for example you have 12 licenses and 6 2 CPU hosts, you can create 6 2 CPU licenses.

If you make too many vSphere licenses and need more VI3 licenses you can also use the ‘Downgrade Licenses’ link to do so.

That is all there is to it. VMware vSphere uses a license key instead of a license file. Once you have migrated your licenses to vSphere and divided them appropriately you can record the license keys for future use. No need to download a license file or anything like that.

Get the software:

Getting vSphere 4 is much easier than getting the licensing but there is still a gotcha. The steps are follows:

  1. Go to the VMware download page.
  2. Click ‘Download’ for VMware vSphere 4.
  3. Expand the level of your license. I.e. if your level is Standard you will expand the ‘Download VMware vSphere 4 Standard’ link. If your level is Enterprise you will expand the ‘Download VMware vSphere 4 Enterprise’ link.
  4. Click on the link for your choice of install, ESX 4 or ESXi 4 (I usually get both).
  5. Read the EULA carefully and accept it as you desire.
  6. Download pretty much everything from the resultant download page. VMware has added a Download Manager that I found very useful indeed.
  7. Go back and click on the link for VMware vCenter Server 4 as well as for VMware Consolidated Backup and repeat the process you used for ESX 4 and/or ESXi 4.

I usually download all four ESX, ESXi, VMware vCenter Server 4, and VMware Consolidated Backup. Once that is done you are now ready to reinstall.

Upgrade vs. Reinstall

I leave that to you. Hopefully these steps will aid you in upgrading your vSphere licenses and getting the software. Many people are doing this at this moment so occassionally the VMware site will either not display everything properly or be temporarily out of service. Be patient as it will come back very soon.

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