VMware have released a rather nifty new Windows based vSphere licensing advisory tool (v1.0) which helps users of VMware vSphere 4.0, 4.1 and VI 3.5 easily calculate their vRAM usage and capacity. From the clearly presented information the tool provides they will know how their existing vSphere/VI 3.5 licenses will transfer if upgraded to vSphere 5.0 (assuming they are on support contract) or even if they needed to purchase fresh licenses. As you probably know VMware have announced that with the release of vSphere 5.0 a new per processor with pooled vRAM based licensing model will be used. Any changes in licensing models, however slight, can always lead to confusion which is where this license advisory tool is useful.
I downloaded and ran the Licensing Advisor over the weekend and can report that it is incredibly quick and easy to install. Once installed there isn’t anything to configure apart from entering in the IP/Host name of your vCenter Server. You can add multiple vCenter instances though I should point out that the advisory tool won’t provide ‘Linked Mode’ vCenter vRAM entitlement information.
To show you how easy it is to get the results on the vSphere environment from the licensing advisor tool, below are screen hosts showing you the steps.
Firstly you enter your vCenter Server logon details. As I only have a single vCenter Server environment I don’t need to upload the details of multiple vCenter Servers.
After clicking ‘Log In’ the licensing advisor tool contacts the vCenter Server to find out the relevant information it needs, such as number of ESX/ESXi hosts, existing licensing, memory in use, etc.
Once this has completed, a screen is presented that displays the information on your current licensing (and what this entitles you to in the way of vRAM), the vRAM capacity, the number of VMs and total licenses, to name a few. What this screen provides you with is an indication of what your current vSphere/VI 3.5 licensing would look (eg: amount of vRAM) like if upgraded to vSphere 5.0. You can also add extra vCenter Servers or export this information to a file in CSV format.
You can click on the vCenter Server and it will show details such as how much vRAM would be required for each VM (currently running) along with some other basic VM related information.
As you can see this is a very basic and straightforward tool which will be of definite use for those of you starting to look at upgrading your vSphere/VI 3.5 infrastructure to vSphere 5.0 when it is released.