You must configure a license to use vCenter Server. License keys are required for various vSphere components and features.

To configure licenses, the vSphere Client must be connected to a vCenter Server system.

Required privilege: Global.Settings


If necessary, select Administration > vCenter Server Settings to display the vCenter Server Settings dialog box.


If the vCenter Server system is part of a connected group, select the server you want to configure from the Current vCenter Server drop-down menu.


Select the type of license key to assign to this vCenter Server.

Select Assign an existing license key to this vCenter Server and select a license key from the Product list.

Select Assign a new license key to this vCenter Server, click Enter Key, and enter a vCenter Server license key and an optional label for the key.


To enter ESX 4.0/ESXi 4.0 keys, select Home > Administration > Licensing.


(Optional) Enter the fully qualified domain name or the IP address of a license server and, optionally, a port.

A license server is required if this vCenter Server system manages ESX 3.x/ESXi 3.5 hosts or if you have additional vCenter modules that require a license server.

If you do not specify a port, the default port, 27000, is used.

For example, with the default license server port 27000 on a license server called license, your entry might look like this:

If you do not use the fully qualified domain name or the IP address of the license server, legacy hosts might not be able to resolve the license server host name.


(Optional) Select Reconfigure ESX 3 hosts using license servers to use this server if you want each ESX 3.x/ESXi 3.5 host that you add to the vCenter Server inventory to use the same license server as this vCenter Server system.

The settings on the host are altered by vCenter Server only when the host is added or when the license server used by vCenter Server is changed. If you leave this option unselected, you can either configure another license server for the ESX 3.x/ESXi 3.5 hosts or configure the hosts to use host-based license files.