vFabric production licensing requires a license key. A license key is an alphanumeric sequence of 25 characters that encodes details of the associated product, the license expiration date, the license capacity, and other information.
What type of licensing you get and how you activate it depends on whether you purchased your vFabric product(s) standalone or as part of a vFabric Suite package (Standard or Advanced).
If you purchase a vFabric component individually, rather than as part of a vFabric Suite Standard or Advanced package, you install license keys locally, on one or more physical or virtual machines. Local licensing does not involve integration with vCenter and the vFabric License Server. It allows you to install and run the product on physical as well as virtual machines.
To license a vFabric product on an individual basis, refer to the documentation for that product. Each product implements licensing in a slightly different way. To check the validity of a license key, see Check the Validity of an Existing License Key.
vFabric Suite Standard and vFabric Suite Advanced packages are licensed on a per-VM and average-usage basis, exclusively for virtual and cloud environments.
Each licensed VM can run any or all vFabric software components. Thus licensing is tied to VMs, rather than to component installations. One license unit covers one virtual machine with a maximum of two VCPUs. For example, if you plan to install one or more components on one VM with four VCPUs, you need two license units for that VM.
You obtain a pool of licenses that you activate by adding only one license key to vCenter Server through the vSphere client. Rather than installing a license key on each VM, you register one license key with vCenter that represents the number of license units that you have purchased. See Activate vFabric Suite Licenses.
To check the validity of a license key, see Check the Validity of an Existing License Key.
The production license is a V8 license that is perpetual for a particular version and package of vFabric Suite. If you do not install a license, your component installation defaults to an evaluation license, which is valid for 60 days after you first start the component. The license includes VMware support for all vFabric products in your vFabric Suite Standard or vFabric Suite Advanced package.