HELP! This product is no longer licensed

Update: 31-8-2013

Like a lot of people in the VMware community, I have a home lab. A few reasons to operate a home lab are:

  • To evaluate new products. I do not like to advise products to customers, I have not seen and tried myself.
  • To install and configure products to learn and prepare for certification.
  • To test upgrades and configurations, I don’t want to perform in a production or customer environment.
  • To run nested ESXi severs (I really love that option).

At a certain moment you need to download products from VMware, the other thing is you need license keys. Luckily, you can install and run ESXi and vCenter Server in evaluation mode. That means, during the installation, you can skip the option to provide a license key and after finishing the installation, you can run the product for 60 days.

However, some products (vCloud Director, vCloud Networking and Security and vCenter Chargeback Manager) do need a license key and do not offer the option to run in evaluation mode without a key. After signing up for the evaluation, you will receive the license keys with a fixed expiration date, 60 days in the future.

At the end of 2012, I decided to prepare for the VMware VCP Cloud certification, so I started an evaluation of the Cloud products and downloaded the Exam Blueprint. For some reason the 60 days flew by (unfortunately, it is not always lab time, there is job, a Mrs. and a social life) and I was not prepared to go for the exam and definitely needed some more “Evaluation” time.

20130430-01Figure 1

As far as I know, there is no way of extending the evaluation using the VMware account you used 60 days earlier. My only option was to sign up with another email account and receive license keys for another period of 60 days.

Somehow, I have the feeling this is not the way to go. Also renewing products in your lab costs a lot of time and there’s always a risk that products have reached the 60 days period just when you need them.

Before I can install a vCenter Server, I first need to install a Windows Server. My Microsoft MSDN subscription entitles me to download the installation media and license keys. OK, a MSDN subscription does cost a few bucks, but you can freely download and install a lot of products for evaluation purposes, as long as you pay your subscription. Another nice example is Veeam, vendor of some cool tools for your VMware or Hyper-V environment. Since a few years in the month December, you can pick up a NFR license for 2 CPU and run Veeam B&R.

Years ago, VMware had a similar program called the VMTN program. In November 2011, Mike Laverick started a post on the VMware communities to Bring Back the VMTN program. Almost 18 months later, this post is still getting updates from communities members. The question is, will the VMTN program ever return?

So what is your opinion concerning this topic? As always, I welcome your comments.

See also:

Latest update, per 31-8-2013. Read this contribution by Chris Wahl on the VMTN subscription.

4 Responses to HELP! This product is no longer licensed

  1. Marek.Z says:

    Hi Paul,

    If your corp is VMware Partner, you can get partner licenses for all VMware products from the Partner Central portal. The only downside is that the licenses last for 60 days. When the time passes, you have to download new licenses and apply it to your home lab.


    • Andi says:


      not everyone is working for a VMware Partner – so I would really appreciate a comeback from VMTM…


  2. Michel Keus says:

    Hi Paul, our employer is a VMware Partner and has through it’s partnership a few options like renewable temporary licenses as well as (permanent) NFR licenses. If you need anything in this category just drop me an email.

    Regarding the VMTN for non-Partners, i agree with you that a similar way like Microsoft’s MSDN or TechNet would be very welcome.

    • paulgrevink says:

      Hi Michel,

      Thank you very much for your feedback. I know about benefits for VMware Partners. There also a lot of independent consultants, especially in the Netherlands who don’t have a Partner status. For those people, a program like the Microsoft MSDN program would be really nice.

      Best regards,


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