Clarification regarding no of vms per subscription

Latest response


We run vmware servers with Linux guests


"Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions are sold on a socket-pair or virtual-instance basis, depending on what makes the most sense to count. They are stackable, so you can use them like building blocks. For example, 1 subscription covers a socket–pair or 2 virtual instances. 2 subscriptions cover 2 socket–pairs or 4 virtual instances."

Does this mean I only need one subscription for 2 vms, or does this only apply to redhat servers running vms?

Best Regards

Dean Scothern



You're best bet is to contact your RH sales rep. As it differs depending on your setup. I know at one point they wanted us to buy further licenses if we planned to use our current 4 seat server license in a load-balanced (more than one multi-socket esx host) configuration. The RH sales people are very good at determining the best pricing for your requirements.


Each physical server needs a subscription.
Whether it is a RHEL server or a ESX server running Linux guest.

If you have one ESX cluster with two nodes. If each node has a 2 guest subscription per node, you are allowed to run 4 guest is the cluster without checking how much guests run per node. The total number of guests must match the total number of allowed guests.

Only one exception: If you want to use "unlimited" guests per nodes then all nodes in the ESX clusters need to have the "unlimited" guests subscription.

Guests with RHEL 5.4 or higher do not need a subscription.

Kind regards,

Jan Gerrit Kootstra

I'm sorry I'm now more confused. Lets take a logical extreme: Assume I have 10000 esx servers and I want to run 1 rhel 6 vm. Do I need ~ 10000 licences or ~ 1? (I'm assuming I have DRS running and the vm gets bounced from physical box to physical box as part of load balancing).


I this case you should take a subscription for the VM, not one for the ESX box.

Then 1 is enough.

Subscriptions with guests are for small hypervisor clusters with many guests.

Few Linux guests on very large hypervisor clusters, a per "server" subscription for each VM becomes cheaper.

Kind regards,

Jan Gerrit

Adding to my comment, The 10000 esx servers are most likely quite substantial and would therefore need a more costly licence, as opposed to the 1 vm.

Thanks, thats a relief. So I'm assuming that the 2vm item in the note1 above, covers the situation where the host os is redhat?

Ok, I've got enough info to go on. Thanks.