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  • 1.  Moving to a higher license level

    Posted Feb 05, 2020 11:07 PM

    My company has a number of different VMWare licenses for different environments, from Essentials all the way up to Enterprise Plus.

    We are currently decommissioning one environment that is running vCenter/vSphere Standard, and I would like to decommission an instance of vCenter/vSphere Essentials Plus and move that environment to the now unused Standard licenses. Both instances are currently under VMWare support.

    Is there any way to do this that doesn't involve moving the hosts to standalone, nuking the vCenter server, changing the host licenses to standard, building a new vCenter server on the standard license and adding the hosts to the new vCenter server? I've read that in times past, you could join Essentials plus hosts to a standard vCenter server, or vice versa, but now, it won't let you do it, and I believe that trying to upgrade any license will fail due to mismatches between the host and vCenter license levels.

  • 2.  RE: Moving to a higher license level
    Best Answer

    Posted Feb 06, 2020 08:00 AM

    There is NO NEED FOR REINSTALLING.  You can up and downgrade the license keys and function level in runtime and without downtime. As long as youre not using vDS a ESXi also can join to a different vCenter if needed.


    - If you have functions enabled like FT you cant apply a Essentials Plus. First you have to unconfigure FT and other higher stuff like DRS and so on.

    - During downgrade you always get  a small warning/hint that some functionality might be loosing

    - There is a chicken and egg problem when dealing with vCenter Essentials. This vCenter knows that only ESXi Essentials is allowed and drop all others within seconds. So after applying a new lic to this vCenter you have to connect directly to ESXi to apply the right licenses and than you can reconnect the Hosts again.  This is not happend if you switch during Eval period... just when switching real licenses



  • 3.  RE: Moving to a higher license level

    Posted Feb 11, 2020 10:55 PM

    Thanks for the input - that worked well, although I think it would be even better/easier if VMWare were to build a grace period in, even if it was just an hour, where an essentials host could be connected to a standard vCenter instance or vice versa, rather than the immediate disconnect.