9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2018 12:23 PM by patrickds

    Licensing for server at DR site

    Frosticle Novice

      Not 100% sure of my terminology as I am new at all this, so please bear with me!

      At our HQ we have a solitary VMware server running ESXi 4.0.0 and we are using vCenter and vSphere 4.0 license (2xCPU).

      So far so good.

      At our DR site we are running the free ESXi 4.0.0

      The DR site is not a "hot" (live) site, apart from occasional (once or twice a year) testing where we restore from backups to test them and so on.

      We use Veeam backup software, and because their software doesn't allow direct restore to free ESXi hosts, the restore process is two-stage: (1) restore from backup to temporary disk space; then copy VM disk files to ESXi and boot them

      I'm wondering whether I can install my VMware licenses for our live server to the DR server, given that apart from occasional testing, they would never be used at the same time.

      This would enable the restore process to go direct from backup media to the licensed ESXi host, rather than the 2-stage process.

      Q. what does VMware allow me to do with my licences in respect of a DR scenario?

        • 1. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
          NuggetGTR Expert
          VMware EmployeesvExpert

          You can use the license at the DR only if its not being used at the HQ. cant be used on both at the same time being a live site or not(this is generally the case with licenses but if someone has actually read through the eula and interpreted it then please correct me)


          Are your vm's sitting on iscsi or san or local?


          if they are sitting on some type of shared storage you could set up a sync to a storage offsite then it would be just a case of firing up the DR ESX server and apply the license, re connect the vms or what not but you could script most if not all of it with powercli if needed.


          Ive used SAN replication before it replicated every night and incase of DR, but a SAN is expensive as is let alone needing 2


          Still do backups but just another option which would be allot faster to recover without spending anymore coin.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
            AntonVZhbankov Guru

            I discussed this question with VMware.

            You can use same licenses (don't need to buy new) for remote site if there is no load on remote ESX, and they're just waiting if something happens.


            With Veeam you can use Replication instead of restoring from backups.


            MCSA, MCTS, VCP, VMware vExpert '2009


            • 3. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
              J1mbo Virtuoso

              As an aside, DoubleTake might be worth a look as an alternative to storage layer replication, since it does a fair bit of compression.  Unfortunately it's not that cheap though.



              Please award points to any useful answer.

              • 4. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
                Frosticle Novice

                Thanks NuggetGTR,


                >> Are your vm's sitting on iscsi or san or local?


                At the moment both the HQ "live" site and the DR "stand by" site are using local storage.  We plan to add an extra VMware server at each site over the next 12 months, and then change them over to use a SAN so we can get the benefits of vMotion and so on.


                On the roadmap for the future are plans to increase bandwidth between HQ and DR so that we can run Veeam Replication, at which point we will look again at the licensing to see whether we need 2 x licences for DR (although one of the other replies indicates that if the servers are only for DR and don't carry any other operational load then we won't need extra licenses).

                • 5. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
                  Frosticle Novice

                  Thanks Anton,


                  That's the answer I was hoping to get.  The ESXi server at our DR will be purely for disaster recovery purposes and will carry no operational load at any other time.  The only "live" server at the DR site is a physical domain controller that I installed there, so its not on the ESXi server.


                  Re: Veeam Replication ... we're gradually working towards that.  We do have fibre links to the DR site, but currently only have a 2MBit/sec bandwidth.  We'd have to step that up quite a bit I think and that's not in the budget yet. 


                  So I have been using initially Veeam VM Copies of our servers.  Now that I know I can license the DR ESXi server, I will switch to VM Backup instead, which will speed up the backup recovery processes heaps.


                  Thanks all for your input!

                  • 6. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
                    trg1 Novice



                    This is excellent news!  It sounds like Frosticle and I are going through many of the same issues right now, and this information will simplify how we proceed.


                    Thanks for your help!

                    • 7. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
                      Ryan_Veino Novice
                      VMware EmployeesvExpert

                      I do not believe this is correct and I cannot find it on any legal paperwork from VMware to validate it.


                      From: VMware vSphere End User License Agreement | United States


                      2.1 Scope of License.

                      Subject to the terms and conditions of this EULA, VMware grants You, during the License Term, a non-exclusive, non-transferable License to use the Software, in executable code form only, within the Territory, for Your internal operations in accordance with (a) the Documentation; (b) the License Type for which You have paid the applicable fees; (c) other applicable limitations set forth in the Order. The License to the Software is limited to the quantities specified in each applicable Order.

                      Obviously this means if the site is warm/hot (with or without workloads) you have to license it to leverage SRM or manage it with vCenter.


                      If the site is cold, you can use the “free” license for vSphere to license the hosts but no vCenter or SRM.

                      • 8. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
                        Rupe Lurker
                        VMware Employees

                        The highlighted answer as correct is incorrect.  See Bold Text from Per 9.1 B of the vSphere EULA.     https://www.vmware.com/download/eula/esx_server.html

                        (b)  Additional License Terms:

                        VMware grants you a nonexclusive, nontransferable license, without rights to sublicense, to install or have installed a single instance of the Software and each Licensed Additional Module on a single Server, unless permitted to have multiple instances on a single Server or to have multiple instances on multiple Servers by the payment of applicable license fees (whether such fees are based on a per Processor, a per Virtual Machine, a per user or any other VMware approved licensing model); (ii) use the Software and each Licensed Additional Module solely for information processing and computing purposes, including the hosting of computer application-based services from a Virtual Machine and provision of such services via an internal or external network, provided such services may not consist of services to a third party that provide primarily computing or processing power (such as utility computing or grid computing) or any computer application-based service that is traded, rented, leased or sold on a Virtual Machine basis; and (iii) use and reproduce the VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client Software or VMware WebAccess (in object code form only) for the purposes of installation and operation on an unlimited number of your own internal computers or terminals solely for the purpose of accessing the Server on which the Software is installed.

                        Notwithstanding the above, at all times you shall have a valid license for each instance of the Software on any Installed Server regardless of its power state or purpose.  For clarification, this includes any and all Servers that may only be temporarily installed with the Software for disaster recovery readiness testing, in the case of an actual disaster or data center migration. Copies of the Software boot media that are made for backup or disaster recovery purposes do not require separate licenses so long as they are not associated with a Server in a way that allows that Server to boot ESX or ESXi from that image; however when such a bootable association is made, said Server constitutes an Installed Server which would require a valid license for the Software.

                        Blade server license limitation.  You may license this software package as part of a license pack or bundle (a "Blade Server License Pack") for installation and operation on a Blade Server.  If you acquired the Software as part of a Blade Server License Pack, you may only install and operate the Server Software on a Blade Server and you may not transfer, install or use the Server Software on Servers in a rack-mounted server configuration or on any other Servers.  In addition, a Blade Server License Pack must be installed and operated on blades that are plugged into a single chassis.

                        • 9. Re: Licensing for server at DR site
                          patrickds Expert

                          What kind of license do you have anyway?

                          An Essentials kit would give you Vcenter + 3 hosts for a couple of hundred $ or €, more than enough for what you want on both sites.