The following is the list of configurations and parameters that impact Enterprise Edition license allocation:

  • Bandwidth mode licensing

  • Per-App mode licensing

  • Bare-metal server licensing

  • Public cloud licensing

  • Azure cloud licensing

Bandwidth Mode Licensing

Bandwidth mode licensing is used to restrict the use of bandwidth on SEs. Using this licensing method, the number of datapath processes on SEs is restricted. The SEs no longer require a separate bandwidth-based license to enable the bandwidth mode. When the bandwidth mode is enabled on the SEs, the bandwidth is consumed from the central pool of licenses, which is the capacity of the Service Units license.

  • 1 Gbps bandwidth mode is no longer available.

  • Per-App mode is not supported on SE Groups when the Bandwidth mode is enabled.

Bandwidth Mode

Consumed License of Service Units

Number of Datapath Processes

25 Mbps



200 Mbps



Per-App Mode Licensing

In the Per-App mode licensing, only two virtual services are supported per SE.

The key points regarding Per-app Mode licensing are as follows:

  • It is not supported for SEs enabled with the Bandwidth Mode.

  • It is not supported by the Azure Marketplace.

  • It cannot be used to host DNS Virtual Services (both standalone DNS and GSLB).

  • 0.25 Service Units license is required to license one core of load balancing license.

    • For an SE VM with eight physical cores, two Service Units licenses are required for the load balancing.

  • For SNI or EVH shared virtual services, Per-App is limited to only one parent and one child virtual service.

Bare-Metal Server Licensing

The following are the key points regarding Bare-Metal server licensing:

  • The socket license is no longer available.

  • When you upgrade a bare-metal server, one socket license gets converted to five Service Unit licenses.

  • Bare-metal servers are also licensed following the Service units.

  • The number of Service Unit licenses consumed by a bare-metal server depends on the following:

    • the number of sockets associated with the bare-metal server

    • the number of cores associated with each socket

  • Calculating Service Units license for various bare-metal servers based on their configuration:

    • For 16 cores, dual-socket, bare-metal server (16 cores on each socket), the following is applicable:

      • For each socket, and five licenses are required, as up to 20 cores, five Service Units licenses are required for one socket.

    • After the limit of 20 cores per socket, one Service Units license for every four additional cores is required.

      • For a bare-metal server configured with 24 cores, six Service Units licenses are required.

      • For a bare-metal server configured with 28 cores, seven Service Units licenses are required.

        • For a dual-socket, 28 core bare-metal servers, and 14 Service Units licenses are required.

Public Cloud Licensing

The following are the key points regarding the public cloud licensing for the SEs:

  • 1 Gbps bandwidth SKU is no longer available.

  • Hyper-threaded vCPUs are not accounted for licensing, regardless of the ecosystems.

  • Ability to define custom number of datapath processes (number of cores used for load balancing). It allows for cost-effective use of larger instances in a public cloud.

  • You can change bandwidth configuration in SE Group even when it has SEs in it.

    • SE might have to be rebooted for the bandwidth configuration to take effect.

  • The restrictions based on the instance flavor has been removed.

Azure Marketplace Licensing

The Enterprise Edition license impacts the Azure Marketplace licensing or Azure pay-as-you-go (Azure PAYG) licensing in the following ways:

  • 1 Gbps bandwidth SKU is not supported.

  • Supported license types are as follows:

    • 25 Mbps bandwidth license

    • 200 Mbps bandwidth license

  • Existing SEs on 1 Gbps SKU will continue to be billed following the older SKU.

  • The bandwidth restriction for the SEs is removed.

  • New SEs creation with 1 Gbps SKU is not supported.

  • Instance-level restriction is removed. Any instance type can be used to deploy an NSX Advanced Load Balancer Controller.

For the PAYG licenses, the recommended sizes for an NSX Advanced Load Balancer SE are as follows:

License Unit

Maximum vCPU Allowed for Service Engine

Recommended VM Sizes

Other Allowed VM Sizes

25 Mbps


F2s_V2, DS2_v3

Any VM <= 2 vCPUs

200 Mbps


F4s_v2, DS4_v3

Any VM <= 4 vCPUs

For more information on PAYG licenses, see Azure Pay-as-you-go (Azure PAYG) section in the VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer Installation Guide.

Updating an Existing License

Updating an existing license follows the same process as adding a new license. When a license file has the same license ID (with an updated limit and expiration date), uploading this license file will update the existing entry.

Upgrading to Enterprise Edition

All the previously deployed licenses are converted to equivalent Service unit-based licenses when an NSX Advanced Load Balancer Controller is upgraded.

The points to consider while upgrading to an Enterprise Edition license are as follows:

  • The number of licenses consumed will be based on the number of SE_DPs running and not the number of cores on the SE.

  • SEs associated with the Controller before the upgrade will continue to work. After the upgrade, all previous license types will be migrated to Service Units licenses. The number of consumed Enterprise Edition licenses is based on the number of SE_DPs running on the SEs and not on the number of cores on the SEs. Modification of the number of datapath processes for the SE is supported.

  • A 1 Gbps bandwidth license is no longer available.

  • The Enterprise Edition license supports a 10% buffer, over and above the licensed resources on the Controller. This 10% buffer is relative to the Service Units license available on the Controller. It is recommended to use the buffer allowance temporarily and for emergency requirements like a scale-out event.

    • For a Controller with 20 Service Units licenses, the effective Service Units after adding the buffer allowance is 22 Service Units (20 + 2).

Impacts on Service Engine Group

For SE groups, all the existing Enterprise_18 edition licenses are migrated to the Enterprise Edition license. All the existing license types are migrated to the Service Units licenses, except for pay-as-you-go (Azure marketplace).

A 1 Gbps bandwidth is set to unlimited, and the corresponding number of SE_DPs is set to 4. The 25 Mbps bandwidth and 200 Mbps bandwidth licenses are not migrated.

Impact on Cloud Objects

The default licensing tier for the NSX Advanced Load Balancer Controller cluster is updated to Enterprise.

Migration of Service Engines using 1 Gbps Bandwidth

One unit of 1 Gbps bandwidth license is converted to four units of Service Units licenses.

The following are applicable to the SE groups on which the SEs (with 1 Gbps bandwidth license) are running.

  • The bandwidth mode is set to unlimited.

  • Bandwidth restriction is removed.

  • SE is set to consume only four Service Units licenses, as the value of the max_se_dp setting on the SE Group is set to 4. The number of cores used for load balancing is set to 4. Therefore, a maximum of four Service Units licenses are used.

  • 1 Gbps license is no longer available.