Lately many questions about VMware Site Recovery Manager Licensing has been raising up specially ones related to VMware vSphere Essential, vSphere Essential Plus, and other acceleration kits. Getting answer to these were always a hassle to find till I found this magical document with answers to many of these. You can find the document at: Site Recovery Manager Pricing Licensing FAQ – Q409.pdf
I have decided to post the questions & answers of this document on my blog due to their importance & the huge demand for them, where this document is not well indexed online & quite hard to find. You can download the document above & use it offline, or look online below for the answer you require (The documents have points I have not included as they seemed well-known to me):
Q: Is Site Recovery Manager included with VMware vSphere?
A: Site Recovery Manager is not included as part of any VMware vSphere editions. Note that Site Recovery Manager does require a supported version of VMware vSphere or VMware Infrastructure.
Q: Will customers receive Site Recovery Manager as part of their Support & Subscription for VMware vSphere or VMware Infrastructure?
A: No, Site Recovery Manager requires an additional purchase.
Q: What is the price of Site Recovery Manager?
A: Site Recovery Manager is priced per-processor for servers that are running virtual machines protected by Site Recovery Manager. Note that Site Recovery Manager is priced in 1-processor increments. Please note licensing Site Recovery Manager per-processor is coming to end & will be priced per VM very soon. Please contact VMware or a VMware reseller for what Site Recovery Manager will cost for your environment.
Q: How is ‘processor’ defined and how are multi-core processors treated for licensing purposes?
A: Site Recovery Manager uses the same definition of processor and has the same policies regarding multi-core processors as VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus and the other vCenter products. Please refer to the VMware licensing policy guides for more information. Note from previous question, that per processor licensing schema might be replaced by per VM Schema soon.
Q: What editions and versions of VMware vSphere and/or VMware Infrastructure are compatible with Site Recovery Manager?
A: Site Recovery Manager can be used to protect hosts running either VMware vSphere or VMware Infrastructure. For the specific versions of ESX and ESXi which are supported by Site Recovery Manager, please refer to the Compatibility Matrix (link below). Site Recovery Manager does not require that all licenses of VMware vSphere and/or VMware Infrastructure associated with a Site Recovery Manager deployment be the same edition. Site Recovery Manager is supported with VMware Infrastructure Foundation, Standard, and Enterprise only. It is supported with vSphere Standard, Advanced, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus only—it is not supported with vSphere Essentials nor vSphere Essentials Plus. Please see the Compatibility Matrix at:
http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/srm_pubs.html for specific versions that are supported.
Note that some of the functionality of Site Recovery Manager is impacted by which edition is being used. The most significant example is that without an edition that provides VMotion and Distributed Resource Scheduler, resource pools (which Site Recovery Manager uses to determine where virtual machines are started up during recovery) cannot include more than one ESX server. For the latest information, please see the Compatibility Matrix at
Q: Which editions of vCenter Server are compatible with Site Recovery Manager?
A: Site Recovery Manager is supported with vCenter Server Standard and vCenter Server Foundation only. Please see the Compatibility Matrix at http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/srm_pubs.html for specific versions that are supported. Note that each version of Site Recovery Manager requires a specific version of vCenter Server.
Q: Do I need to purchase Site Recovery Manager licenses for both the protected and recovery sites?
A: Site Recovery Manager licenses need to be purchased for all of the processors in each server that is running virtual machines protected by Site Recovery Manager. In the case where protection is in a single direction only, Site Recovery Manager licenses only need to be purchased for the servers at the protected site. In the case where protection is bidirectional, Site Recovery Manager licenses need to be purchased for the protected servers at both sites. See the examples above for more information.
Q: Do I need to purchase VMware vSphere licenses for both the protected and recovery sites?
A: VMware vSphere licenses are required for any server where VMware vSphere is installed, regardless of whether that host is at a protected site or a recovery site and regardless of whether a server is running or powered down at the recovery site. Site Recovery Manager requires having at least one licensed VMware vSphere (or compatible VMware Infrastructure) server at both the protected and recovery site.
Q: Do I need to have the same number of processors licensed for VMware vSphere and/or VMware Infrastructure at the both sites?
A: Site Recovery Manager does not require that the same number of hosts be licensed for VMware vSphere and/or VMware Infrastructure at protected and recovery sites.
Q: How are licensing requirements affected by features like VMotion, VMware High Availability (HA), and VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)?
A: Site Recovery Manager is licensed per-processor, but features like VMotion, HA, and DRS can change the server on which protected virtual machines may be running at a given moment in time. To maintain license compliance, VMware recommends that users license Site Recovery Manager for all VMware ESX servers in a VMware cluster where HA or DRS are enabled, and that they also license Site Recovery Manager for all ESX servers to which protected virtual machines could be migrated using VMotion. As a best practice, customers may choose to place virtual machines protected by Site Recovery Manager into different clusters from virtual machines that are not protected with Site Recovery Manager.
Q: After failover, what are the license requirements for the recovery site including for failback?
A: VMware vSphere and/or VMware Infrastructure licenses are required for the servers at the recovery site as described above. If, after failover is performed from Site A to Site B, new recovery plans are created to enable failback from Site B to Site A, Site Recovery Manager licenses are required for the servers running the virtual machines at Site B that are protected by those plans. The licenses originally used at Site A can be used at Site B for this purpose as long as the licenses are no longer in use at Site A.
Q: What type of licenses are used by Site Recovery Manager?
A: Site Recovery Manager 4.0 uses the same 25-character serial number license key system as is used for vSphere and vCenter Server. Site Recovery Manager 1.0 used flexlm licenses.
Q: If I’m using the shared recovery sites feature, do I need extra licenses at the shared recovery site?
A: Site Recovery Manager licenses are only required for servers running protected VMs. In a shared recovery site scenario, where multiple protected sites are configured to failover into a shared recovery site, the Site Recovery Manager licenses are only required at those protected sites. The shared recovery site does not require any additional Site Recovery Manager licenses in order to protect those sites.
Q: What license file keys does Site Recovery Manager use?
A: Site Recovery Manager 4.0 uses the new 25-character serial number license key system that’s been implemented with the release of vSphere 4 and vCenter Server 4. Since the product no longer uses FlexLM licensing, there are no longer any license file keys. We have simplified the licensing model to make it easier to manage VMware products.
Note that Site Recovery Manager 1.0 used the “FlexLM” licensing model and had two license file entries:
• A per-site license key (SRM_PROD) that must be available at each site where the Site Recovery Manager service is installed. This license key is included with every purchase of Site Recovery Manager capacity licenses.
• A capacity license key (SRM_PROTECTED_HOST) for the number of host processor’s that the customer has paid to protect with Site Recovery Manager.
Q: Will current Site Recovery Manager 1.x customers be entitled to Site Recovery Manager 4?
A: Site Recovery Manager 1.x customers with a current Support and Subscription contract for Site Recovery Manager will receive licenses for Site Recovery Manager 4 at no additional charge through their subscription entitlement. For bundles that contain Site Recovery Manager, customers with current Support and Subscription contracts for those bundles are entitled to new versions and new licenses based on the Subscription entitlement for the individual products in the bundle.
Q: How can a customer who purchased a Site Recovery Manager bundle that included VMware Infrastructure Enterprise upgrade to vSphere Enterprise Plus?
A: Upgrades can be purchased for bundles that included Site Recovery Manager and VMware infrastructure Enterprise. Contact VMware or a VMware reseller for details.