ESX 3.x Server and VirtualCenter 2.x Editions
search cancel

ESX 3.x Server and VirtualCenter 2.x Editions


Article ID: 342586


Updated On:


VMware vCenter Server VMware vSphere ESXi


This article provides steps to ensure your licenses are activated according to your current feature needs.


VMware VirtualCenter 2.0.x
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware VirtualCenter 2.5.x
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x


ESX Server 3 Editions
Depending on the edition of VMware Infrastructure software you purchased, you might be entitled to different ESX Server 3 license types. A few editions include limited access to the feature set of ESX Server 3. Certain standard functionality is available only with an optional add‐on license, at additional cost. Other editions include full access to the full feature set of ESX Server 3. For more information on the ESX 3 editions, see VMware Products in VI3.5 Foundation, Standard and Enterprise Editions (1003296) .

The evaluation mode uses the "top-of-the-line" ESX Enterprise edition and thus offers all the features for trial. If you purchase Foundation or Standard edition, some functionality is missing
Note: Licenses from previous releases of ESX Server work with ESX Server 3.5. However, licensing capabilities added to ESX Server 3.5 editions, like VMware Consolidated Backup, are not supported with previous editions of ESX Server. Therefore, software needs to be upgraded to version 3.5 for the license to activate this feature.
VirtualCenter Server Editions

At least one instance of a VirtualCenter license is required for VI Foundation, VI Standard, and VI Enterprise editions. These VirtualCenter editions are available:

  • VirtualCenter Foundation – This edition lets you manage up to three ESX Server hosts. If you need to manage more than three hosts, upgrade to VirtualCenter edition.
  • VirtualCenter – This is an enterprise level edition that lets you manage up to the system maximum number of hosts.
You can convert VirtualCenter Foundation edition to VirtualCenter edition by adding an appropriate license file and switching the editions. The software does not need to be re‐installed.

To change the VirtualCenter edition:
  1. From VirtualCenter, select Administration > VirtualCenter Management Server Configuration.
  2. Click on the down-arrow key to select the correct VirtualCenter Edition.

Two types of FLEXnet licensing are available: Single‐host and Centralized. For VirtualCenter, all licenses must be Centralized.
For more information on activating licenses correctly and obtaining a license file, see Creating a Single Host and Centralized License file in the VI3 License Portal (1005132) .

Additional Information

Creating a Single Host and Centralized License file in the VI3 license portal
Not enough licenses installed in vSphere/Virtual Infrastructure
Connecting an ESX host to VirtualCenter fails with the error: Not enough licenses installed