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How to get the free version of vSphere Hypervisor

A colleague today asked me how to get the free version of vSphere hypervisor and what was the limitation of the product. Off the top of my head long way back I remembered it was just requesting the number of licences you would like to use and then you would get those. The process is pretty much the same but I thought I would share the process of obtaining those licences.

Getting the Licence
  • Go to http://my.vmware.com and if you already have an "My VMware" account then use those details to log in otherwise create one and it is free of charge to do it
  • Once you have logged in head to the top right of the page and hover across "Products" and select "Trial and Free Products"
  • On the Trial page scroll right down towards the end until you see "Download Free Products" header. Under that you should see a link for "vSphere Hypervisor (64 bit)", click on that.
  • It should now take you to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.0 Download Center and you should see a button to click to "Register"
  • Fill in details about yourself in the mandatory fields and scroll down the page
  • Make sure you tick the box to accept the agreement and click "Continue"
  • You should now see a under "License Information" a license key for you to use on your esxi host

To view your licence that you have you would just need to go through the first four steps above again and you should see your licence instead of the "Register" button.

Applying Licence to your host

Below I will describe how to apply the licence to a vSphere 6.0 Update 2 which includes the new host client UI.
  • Log on to your host via https://HostnameOrIP/UI using your root account
  •  Click on "Manage" on the left hand side of the menu for your host
  • Click on "Licensing" tab
  • Click on "Assign license"
  • Enter the license key that you  have obtained and select "Check license"
  •  If the key is valid you would see the screen below and you would click "Assign license"
  • You should now see your licence key applied and has no expiration date

Limitation of free vSphere Hypervisor 

As you can see once you apply the licence the feature you only get is "up to 8-way virtual SMP" and nothing else but at least it appears that there is no restriction on memory and phyiscal CPU

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