1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2014 1:48 PM by CL4PTP

    what vSAN License Includes?

    johndoeman1010 Lurker



      i want to purchase 3 servers to create a vSAN Cluster, each server has 2 cpu's. so im buying 6 vSAN Licenses.

      does it includes vSphere and vCenter License or i need  to purchase those also?




        • 1. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
          vThinkBeyondVM Master
          vExpertVMware Employees

          Licensing for Virtual SAN

          When you enable Virtual SAN on a cluster, you must assign the cluster an appropriate Virtual SAN license before the 60-day evaluation period expires.


          License capacity and usage for Virtual SAN


          Similar to vSphere licenses, Virtual SAN licenses also have per CPU capacity. When you assign a Virtual SAN license to a cluster, the amount of license capacity that is used equals the total number of CPUs in the hosts that participate in the cluster. For example, if you have a Virtual SAN cluster that contains 4 hosts with 8 CPUs each, you need to assign the cluster a Virtual SAN license with a minimum capacity of 32 CPUs.


          The license usage of the Virtual SAN cluster is recalculated and updated when:

          • You assign a new license key to the Virtual SAN cluster
          • You add a new host to the Virtual SAN cluster
          • A host is removed from the cluster
          • The total number of CPUs in a cluster changes

          You must maintain the Virtual SAN clusters in compliance with the Virtual SAN licensing model. The total number of CPUs of all hosts in the cluster must not exceed the capacity of the Virtual SAN license that is assigned to the cluster.

          As per me, you need to purchase vCenter/ESXi licenses separately.

          Refer:VMware KB: vSphere 5.5 Virtual SAN requirementshttp://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2058424

          • 2. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
            a.p. Guru
            Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

            Welcome to the Community,


            VSAN is an Add-On/Feature, and has to be license in addition to the vSphere licenses (i.e. vCenter Server and CPU licenses). It however contains a "vSphere Distribute Switch" license, so you don't need to purchase Enterprise Plus licenses for the ESXi hosts. see e.g. http://www.virten.net/2014/03/vmware-virtual-san-licensing-and-pricing/



            • 3. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
              CL4PTP Novice

              We've went through and purchased and applied our VSAN license but when we try to apply our Vsphere license (bring it out of evaluation mode), it won't let us because we are using VDS.  Since it is included with VSAN, why are we receiving this error?

              • 4. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                a.p. Guru
                User ModeratorsvExpertCommunity Warriors

                Do you receive an error message complaining about features being used which are not included in the vSphere license? I'd actually consider this a bug, and suggest that you open a support case with VMware.



                • 5. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                  CL4PTP Novice

                  Yes we are receiving an error message complaining about features. We have opened several tickets but so far it has been 4 frustrating hours of the Licensing and Technical team telling us that VDS isn't included in VSAN.  We are waiting to hear back from the VSAN Sales Lead to confirm that VDS is included with VSAN.  Maybe then we can make some progress.


                  Thanks for the reply and hope.

                  • 6. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                    a.p. Guru
                    vExpertCommunity WarriorsUser Moderators

                    Did you send them the link to VMware Virtual SAN Now Available with shows the VDS in the Pricing an Packing table and also states:

                    "... All editions feature the complete set of Virtual SAN capabilities – data persistency, read/write caching, storage policy based management, etc. – and include the vSphere Distributed Switch..."



                    • 7. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                      CL4PTP Novice

                      Well I'm glad you asked because I wasn't going to bring it up. We were actually told on the phone by a licensing department supervisor that this blog post and another we had found were incorrect.  Our jaws dropped trying to comprehend this response.

                      • 8. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                        CL4PTP Novice

                        I just heard back from VMWare and they are still denying that VSAN comes with VDS even though its very clear from their website that "All editions feature the complete set of Virtual SAN capabilities – data persistency, read/write caching, storage policy based management, etc. – and include the vSphere Distributed Switch. This means that customers can take advantage of simplified network management of vSphere Distributed Switch for their Virtual SAN storage regardless of the underlying vSphere edition they use."


                        I'm not sure how far up the food chain I am going to have to fight to get this taken care of but if there is a better (easier) route to take, I would really appreciate hearing it.  I am open to any suggestions.


                        Thank you

                        • 9. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                          jkoebrunner Enthusiast



                          We had the same problem.VSAN definitely includes the distributed vSwitch (we use Essentials Pluslicense + VSAN + distributed vSwitch).


                          Solution: you have to delete the distributed vSwitch, add the vSphere license (without deleting the distributed vSwitch this would fail if using any other license than Enterprise+),
                          add the VSAN license and reconfigure the distributed vSwitch.


                          BR Johannes

                          • 10. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                            CL4PTP Novice

                            Thanks BR!


                            It looks like VMWare has finally came to its senses but we aren't quite through the mess yet.  In order to comply with VMWare licensing, we had been migrating all of our servers over to the new Vhosts while in the evaluation mode.  So now we have all of our production servers on this cluster that is using VSAN + VDS.  I'm crossing my fingers that there is a bug fix being worked on OR a way for an engineer to do some magic through the CLI to get this corrected.  How disrupting and risky is it going to be to our VSAN Datastore to remove the VDS that our VSAN uses?

                            • 11. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                              jkoebrunner Enthusiast

                              We had to migrate the VMkernel adapters and portgroups from the distributed to a standard vSwitch on each host.

                              Then we deleted the dvSwitch, added the vSphere license, then added the VSAN license and finally recreated the distributed vSwitch.

                              I know this is painful but at the moment I have no other workaround. Open for ideas...

                              • 12. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                                CL4PTP Novice

                                Did you have to take down the whole cluster to do this?  If so, could we just put all 3 hosts in maintenance mode, remove the VDS then re-license and recreate the VDS without having to create the standard vSwitches?  Our managment network is on a standard vSwitch.


                                If you didn't have to take the whole cluster down, were you able to put 1 host at a time into maintenance mode and remove it from the portgroup and place them onto a vSwitch, and then rinse and repeat for the others?


                                Thank you for your help.  You have been the one person I have found that has actually ran into this same issue.  Hopefully this thread can help prevent some of this pain from happening to others.  Who would have thought something as innocuous as the order you apply your licensing could become such a burden.

                                • 13. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                                  jkoebrunner Enthusiast

                                  If you have the possibility to shutdown the whole VSAN cluster, then I would do so (depends if your vCenter is running on VSAN).

                                  If not, then put each host after the other into maintenance mode ("ensure access" mode) and change the VSAN - VMkernel to the Standard vSwitch.

                                  You could also do a live migration of the VSAN VMKernel from the distributed to the standard vswitch - I think there will be only a short network outage when migrating a VMKernel.


                                  Yes I fully agree - this is a stupid bug. It happened once to us, now we know to activate the vSphere license before creating a distributed switch in combination with VSAN.

                                  We also leave the Mgmt and VSAN VMkernels on seperate NICs/vSwitches and not on the distributed vSwitch - but we use 1G NICs.

                                  • 14. Re: what vSAN License Includes?
                                    rstankova Novice
                                    VMware Employees


                                    The workaround in this case is to remove the host from the switch (the VDS shouldn't be in use), assign the license which edition doesn't include the feature VDS e.g. Essential or Essential Plus and add again in the virtual switch - the feature is allowed because of the vSAN configuration. We’re working to fix this behavior and improve the user experience.

                                    Please, let me know if any questions.

                                    Best regards,


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