After the 60-day evaluation period expires, you are no longer able to perform some operations in vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi. If you want to continue to have full use of ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server operations, you must acquire a license.

Without a license, you are able to perform some operations, but you cannot power on or reset your virtual machines. All hosts are disconnected from the vCenter Server system if the evaluation period expires before you assign a license to the vCenter Server system. Any single ESX/ESXi host is disconnected from the vCenter Server system if the ESX/ESXi evaluation period expires before you assign a license to the host.

When you switch your vCenter Server system and ESX from evaluation mode to licensed mode, consider the following:

If a vCenter Server system is managing VMware Infrastructure 3 hosts (for example, ESX 3.x or ESXi 3.5), the vCenter Server system must have access to a license server. You can download the VMware License Server from the VMware Web site.

To license vCenter Server, you must apply a vCenter Server license key.

To license ESX/ESXi, you must apply a vSphere license key.

When you assign a license to a machine on which a VMware vSphere component is installed, the license must be compatible with all resources and features that you configure during the evaluation period.

For example, suppose you add 10 ESX hosts to the vCenter Server system inventory during the evaluation period. After the evaluation period expires, you try to assign an edition license that limits the number of hosts that can be managed by a vCenter Server system. The assignment operation fails because the edition allows a vCenter Server system to manage fewer than 10 hosts. To correct this issue, you can upgrade your license key to a higher edition or you can remove hosts from the inventory.

As another example, if you configure a cluster of ESX hosts to use Fault Tolerance and DRS during the evaluation period, you can only assign a license that allows the use of those features. Hence, the assignment of a higher edition license succeeds. To assign a lower edition license, you must first disable Fault Tolerance and DRS.