In vSphere 7.0, the License Service is part of the vSphere environment. The License Service delivers centralized license management and reporting functionality to vSphere and to products that integrate with vSphere.

You can use the License Service with newly installed vSphere 6.0 and later environments. You can also use the License Service with environments that are upgraded from vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.0 and later. For details about upgrading the license management in vCenter Server 5.x to the License Service in vSphere 6.0 and later, see the vSphere Upgrade guide.

The License Service provides an inventory of licenses in the vSphere environment, and manages the license assignments for ESXi hosts, vCenter Server systems, and clusters with enabled vSAN. The License Service also manages the license assignments for products that integrate with vSphere, such as vRealize Operations Manager, and VMware Site Recovery Manager.

If your vSphere environment has several vCenter Server systems that are joined in Enhanced Linked Mode, the licensing inventory is replicated across all linked vCenter Server systems. This way, the licensing data for each asset and all available licenses are replicated across all linked vCenter Server systems. Each individual vCenter Server system contains a copy of that data and licenses for all linked vCenter Server systems.

Note: Licensing data is replicated across multiple linked vCenter Server systems on a 10-minute interval.

For example, suppose that your environment consists of eight vCenter Server systems that are joined in Enhanced Linked Mode, and every vCenter Server system has 10 hosts connected to it. The License Service stores information about the license assignments and uses for all eight vCenter Server systems, and the 80 hosts that are connected to those systems. With the License Service, you can manage the licensing for all eight vCenter Server systems and the 80 hosts that are connected to them through the vSphere Client.