Tag Archives: licensing

Support of HP OEM VMware bundles on non HP Hardware

This posting is ~9 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) offers a broad range of OEM VMware software for their HP ProLiant server familiy (VMware Virtualization Software and Client Virtualization with VMware View and VMware ThinApp). A customer can buy HP ProLiant servers and VMware software from HP. This also includes support for hard- and software, which makes it easy in case of support. You only have to call HP and they will do the rest. As you maybe know, I work for a IT solution provider and HP partner. It’s quite common, that a solution which is offered by us, consists of a large set of HP hard- and software. This has benefits for both sides: For us, and the customer, especially from the support perspective. The customer has a multi-vendor solution (HP and VMware), but support is done by HP. The other side of the medal is the financial perspective: The higher the project value, the better the discounts from HP. So it’s quite common that we sell HP OEM VMware licenses and support.

Today a collegue came with an interesting question: What is, if the customer decides to use non-HP equipment? Either because he wants to switch the vendor, or because the price of the HP OEM VMware software is better, than original VMware software. If you buy HP Reseller Option Kit (ROK), you are not entitled to use this software with non-HP server, unless Microsoft Software Assurance is added within 90 days (HP FAQ for Microsoft OEM licensing — Windows Server and SQL Server). We asked HP and we got an answer:

Customers who have purchased non HP platforms and VMware bundles or those planning to move HP’s OEM VMware software from an HP platform to a non HP platform can continue to receive the same level of support for their VMware products through HP services.

This means that you can use HP OEM VMware software on non HP severs. The support is delivered by HP services. This gives customers investment protection if they move on to another vendor. If the support from HP ends after 3, 4 or 5 years, the customer can extent the support or he can purchase support directly from VMware.

I’d like to see the face of the support engineer if you say “Hey HP, I have a problem with vSphere <bla bla> on my brand new Cisco UCS blade. Please help me!” ;)

Please note that these information might change over time. This information is offered “AS IS” with no warranties, and no rights are granted.

vStorage API for Array Integration & vSphere Essentials Plus

This posting is ~9 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

During the installation of a really small vSphere environment, I used the 60 days instand-on license. This allows me to use some fancy vSphere Enterprise Plus feature during the installation. Specifically I use host profiles to configure the ESXi hosts. At the end of the installation process I removed the host profiles and installed the Essentials Plus license. The enviroment consisted of two HP ProLiant DL360 Gen8, a dual-fabric SAN with a HP MSA 2040, two Brocade 300 FC switches, some more stuff and a vSphere Essentials Plus license. The customer and I decided to install VMware vCenter 5.5.0b and ESXi 5.5.

So far I believed that the vSphere Essentials Plus doesn’t supports VAAI, because it’s not part of the license. According to VMware KB1021976 VAAI is only available in the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus license. This underlines the statement on the VMware homepage regarding the comparision of vSphere editions.

While using on the instant-on license, VAAI was certainly used by the hypervisor. Later, after the installation of the Essentials Plus license, I had to deploy a few Windows 2008 R2 VMs and this was incredible fast. Not that I would have expected that the MSA 2040 is a lame snail, but that was so fast that I had to check it. ESXCLI told me, that VAAI is supported. I expected this, becuase the HP MSA 2040 supports VAAI.

# esxcli storage core device vaai status get

naa.600c0ff0001a833d6036cd5202000000
   VAAI Plugin Name:
   ATS Status: supported
   Clone Status: supported
   Zero Status: supported
   Delete Status: unsupported

The vSphere Client told me the same:

vaai_msa2040_datastore_details

Patrick Terlisten/ www.vcloudnine.de/ Creative Commons CC0

During a VM deployment I checked the VAAI stats with ESXTOP

vaai_esxtop_output_cloning

Patrick Terlisten/ www.vcloudnine.de/ Creative Commons CC0

And this I did not expect. You can clearly see that VAAI is utilized – by a Essentials Plus licensed host! I asked on Twitter if anyone has an explanation for this observation, but even Cormac Hogan had no real explanation for this.

A guess on my part is that the function is still activated as long as the host is not rebooted. I had no chance to investigate this more further.

Update

After tweeting about this blog post Markus Löffler wrote:

This confirms my suspicion, that VAAI is gone after a reboot. Too bad. I thought I have cracked the licensing. ;)

Edit 17.11.2014

Manfred Hofer has discovered that VAAI will continue working, even after a reboot! He blogged about his experience: Things you should know (TYSK) – VAAI and Licensing Thanks for sharing this finding!

Edit 20.11.2014

Manfred updates his blog post: Things you should know (TYSK) – VAAI and Licensing. VAAI works in every vSphere license, but the usage is restricted by the EULA. If you’re not using a vSphere Enterprise Plus license, you should disable VAAI (check VMware KB1033665 – Disabling the VAAI functionality in ESXi/ESX). Otherweise you violate the EULA.