vSphere provides centralized a license management and reporting system that you can use to manage licenses for
ESXi hosts, vCenter Server systems, vSAN clusters, and solutions. Solutions are products that integrate with vSphere such as VMware Site Recovery Manager, vCloud Networking and Security, vRealize Operations Manager, and others.
Licensing Terminology and Definitions The licensing system in vSphere uses specific terminology and definitions to refer to different licensing-related objects.
The License Service in vSphere 6.5 In vSphere 6.5, the License Service is part of the Platform Services Controller. The License Service delivers centralized license management and reporting functionality to vSphere and to products that integrate with vSphere.
Licensing for Environments with vCenter Server Systems 6.0 and Later, and 5.5 If your vSphere 6.0 or later environment consists of vCenter Server 6.0 or later, and 5.5 systems, consider the differences in the license management and reporting between vSphere 6.0 and later, and vSphere 5.5.
Licensing for Products in vSphere ESXi hosts, vCenter Server, and vSAN clusters are licensed differently. To apply their licensing models correctly, you must understand how the associated assets consume license capacity. You must also understand how the evaluation period for each product works, what happens when a product license expires, and so on.
Suite Licensing Suite products combine multiple components to provide a certain set of capabilities. Suite products have a single license that you can assign to all suite components. When participating in a suite, suite components have different licensing models than their standalone versions. Examples of suite products are vCloud Suite and vSphere with Operations Management.
Managing Licenses To license an asset in vSphere, you must assign it a license that holds an appropriate product license key. You can use the license management functionality in the vSphere Web Client to license multiple assets at a time from a central place. Assets are vCenter Server systems, hosts, vSAN clusters, and solutions.
Viewing Licensing Information You can view the licensing state of the vSphere environment from a central place by using the license management functionality in the vSphere Web Client. You can view the licenses that are available in vSphere, current license assignments and usage, available license capacity, licensed features in use, and so on.
Generating Reports for License Use in the vSphere Web Client You can track the license use of your vSphere environment by generating reports for the license use of assets for a certain time period. Assets are hosts, vCenter Server systems, vSAN clusters, and solutions.
Importing License Keys Data from My VMware With vSphere 6.5 and later, VMware starts offering the Import My VMware License Key Data feature that you can use to import license keys and license key data from My VMware to your vSphere environment.