Datacenter Mar 6, 2020

Update - VMware licensing per core.

On 2 April 2020, VMware will be changing its licensing model—currently based on physical sockets—to a per-core scheme for CPUs with more than 32 physical cores. Since hyper-threading does not affect physical cores, it does not figure into licensing requirements. In this blog you can read about the effects the changeover will have on your business...

Share article

Michael Kind
Team Lead & Senior Sales Consultant VMware Software Solutions EMEA

Although licensing will still be per-socket/CPU in principle, CPUs with more than 32 physical cores will require an additional CPU licence.


VMware will grant existing customers or customers purchasing licences before 30 April 2020 free licences if their VMware solutions are running on systems with more than 32 cores. This change will affect only a few customers, given the CPUs currently available on the market.


Details of the new licensing model.

The new licensing model affects not just vSphere, but all products currently licensed per CPU. These include, for example, vSAN, NSX, CloudFoundation and vRealize Suite, as well as their individual products. Your Bechtle representative will be happy to provide more information.



What does this new model look like in practice?

Under the new model, customers running CPUs with more than 32 physical cores will need an additional licence.


Here are some examples:


Previous licensing model

New licensing model

1 CPU, 28 Cores

1 licence

1 licence (number of cores ≤ 32)

1 CPU, 48 Cores

1 licence

2 licences (number of cores > 32)

2 CPUs, 32 Cores

2 licences

2 licences (number of cores ≤ 32 per CPU)

2 CPUs, 48 Cores

2 licences

4 licences (number of cores > 32 per CPU)


Which customers are affected?

Customers who purchased their licences before 2 April 2020 are not affected. (The new licensing model applies only to licence purchases from 2 April.) It will apply, however, if any existing licences are upgraded/updated to a new major release (such as vSphere 7.0) on or after 2 April. Nevertheless, VMware has planned a transition period during which any customers already running CPUs with more than 32 cores can request free additional licences.


What is the process for customers to follow in this case?

Affected customers must open a ticket in the My VMware Portal and provide the following information:

  • Number of cores per CPU and the number of CPUs affected
  • A list of VMware products needing additional licences, as well as the number of licences now needed
  • Proof of purchase of servers running CPUs with more than 32 cores
  • It may take up to 15 business days to approve and supply licences

Our software specialists will be happy to help you with this process.


Please be aware of the following when requesting free licences:

  • Servers and VMware licences must be purchased before 30 April 2020, 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (US)
  • The My VMware ticket opened to request additional licences must be submitted before 29 January 2021, 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (US). An invoice/documentation proving that servers were purchased before 30 April 2020 must also be submitted
  • The licences affected must be covered by an active Support and Subscription (SnS) agreement
  • Once your free licences have been granted, they will be counted when an existing SnS agreement is renewed. This will result in higher support costs, as you now have more licences requiring support