The VMware ESXi software on the Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive (Customer Replaceable Unit (CRU) 42D0545) is not licensed and a license key is not provided. The software will report "evaluation" and will not show a license serial number. If the user wants to continue using the software after the 60-day trial period, then they must take one of the following actions:
Obtain and install an ESXi Standalone Server license from VMware. Steps for obtaining the license are provided in the next section.
Purchase a vSphere license. IBM offers VMware vSphere licenses and subscriptions. To purchase VMware vSphere from IBM, contact your IBM sales representative.
If the user installs VMware vCenter? Server from the VMware vCenter Server DVD or VMware Infrastructure? Management Installer CD, which is included with the USB drive, the software starts in evaluation mode with full VMware vSphere? Enterprise Plus Edition capabilities if using ESXi 4.0, or VMware Infrastructure Enterprise Edition capabilities if you are using ESXi 3.5. The evaluation mode allows the user to use the software for only 60 days.
If the user does not use VMware vCenter, then they will have only ESXi Standard Server features, and can use the software for only 60 days. After the 60-day trial period, the user must obtain and install the ESXi Standalone Server license (offered free from VMware) to continue using the software.
For a comparison of vSphere editions for mid-size and enterprise businesses, see the following URL:
If the user has an account, log in. If the user does not have an account, register and create one. After logging in to the web site, an activation e-mail is sent to the e-mail address associated with the account.
After receiving the activation e-mail, click on the link in the e-mail. The browser is redirected to the activation Web site where an ESXi Standalone Server license key, a list of downloadable binaries, and links to documentation are displayed.
Copy the license key from the Web site and use the VMware vSphere Client to apply it to the host running VMware ESXi.
Use VMware vCenter Server after the trial period
The VMware vCenter Server DVD included in this package comes with a 60-day trial period. If the user plans to use VMware vCenter Server to manage ESXi after the trial period, then they must purchase a separate license for VMware vSphere. To purchase this license, contact your IBM sales representative.
For more information about VMware vCenter Server and the features a vSphere license includes, see the FAQs on the VMware Web site at the following URL:
The VMware ESXi software on the USB key does not contain a license and can only be used for the evaluation period. The user must obtain a license using the steps above to obtain a free license or purchase a vSphere license after the evaluation period.
The VMware vCenter software is also evaluation software. A license must be purchased if the user wants to use the software after the evaluation period. Note: For ESXi 3.5, if the USB key came PRE-INSTALLED in a System x server or blade, then a license is installed and the license serial number will be displayed.