VMware New Per-CPU Licensing Model Announced

VMware has announced their new  Licensing model on February 3, 2020, from April 2, 2020, all per-CPU licensed products will be limited to 32 physical cores per CPU license. Most of the new 64-core processors will require the purchase of 2 CPU licenses for each processor going forward and this change affects all per-CPU licensed products, including vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and Enterprise PKS, to name a few.

Sinc new CPUs are coming with more cores per socket, most of the customers are purchasing a few ESXi hosts to meet their computing demands. They have to buy more cores.

Why VMware Introducing this New Model?

According to VMware:

“VMware is working to align our product offerings to industry standard licensing models and projected changes in the hardware market. We cannot continue pricing on a per-CPU basis, where CPUs could have unlimited core counts. The 32-core limit is designed to minimize customer impact given current core counts generally used in the industry, and by the majority of our customers.”

What Happens to the Current CPUs with More than 32 Cores Licenses

According to the VMware announcement, any licenses purchased before April 30, 2020, for use on CPUs containing more than 32 cores “will be eligible for additional free per-CPU licenses to cover the cores on those CPUs.” The main point to take away is that if you are using CPUs with more than 32 cores today, nothing changes immediately. VMware has no plans to force you to buy additional licenses to support your existing deployments.

How To Obtain Additional Licenses for Currently Deployed CPUs with More than 32-Cores?

You can get the additional license by contacting your VMware Partner Reseller or VMware sales representative. Also, a customer can contact VMware Support to raise a ticket in My VMware.  Note the following points in regard to your request for additional CPU licenses query.

  • Servers and VMware licenses must be purchased before 11:59 pm PST U.S. April 30, 2020.
  • The request for additional licenses must be submitted before 11:59 pm PST U.S. on January 29, 2021. Proof of server purchase prior to April 30, 2020 will be required.
  • Customers must be on active VMware support (SnS) contracts at the time of the request for additional licenses.
  • Note that customers will be charged for Service and Support on the additional free licenses at the time the customer’s Service and Support contract for the existing licenses renews.

VMware announcement on the same can be viewed here: Update to VMware’s per-CPU Pricing Model

Also, please see the following VMware KB for access to a PowerShell script for calculating licensing requirements for existing deployments under the new policy: Counting CPU licenses needed under new VMware licensing policy (77098)