Licensing is centralized in vCenter Server.

Licensing is applicable to ESX/ESXi hosts, vCenter Server, and solutions. However, solutions licensing management is specific to the solution. For solutions, licensing can be based on processors, asset instances, virtual machines, and so on. Therefore, the licensing for a solution such as VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager might differ entirely from the licensing of another solution. For information about licensing a specific solution, see the documentation for that solution.

On the VMware Web site, log in to your account page to access the license portal. From the license portal, upgrade your legacy licenses. After you upgrade to vCenter Server and ESX 4.0/ESXi 4.0, use the vSphere Client to assign the upgraded license keys to your assets.