Jun 28, 2018

How to Move VMware Licenses to the Public Cloud

Although VMware became famous for leading Virtualization technology, Public Clouds leaders like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform have since established market ownership.

But, if you own VMware licenses, it’s possible – and advisable in many cases for optimized Cloud Software Asset Management, to extend or migrate your existing infrastructure and take advantage of the benefits that Public Cloud offers. In this article, we’ll cover which rules you should apply while migrating your workloads to the Cloud.

How to move your VMware to the cloud

Unlike Microsoft server application license, VMware does not provide license mobility and you cannot assign your own VMware licenses to a Public Cloud (shared infrastructure). Moving VMware workloads can only be done through a dedicated infrastructure such as IBM Cloud (see below) and Rackspace bare metal products.

The table below describes the current Cloud VMware offering across Public Cloud catalog:

IBM Cloud

(VMware Cloud Providers)


BYOL policy is applicable for VMware Customers looking to deploy their licensed software* on IBM Cloud bare metal server (dedicate infrastructure). All program details are available in FAQ about BYOL and licensing.  Additionally, existing on-premises infrastructure can be extended using IBM Cloud virtual machines and managed through the Web Client UI.

*This Policy is applicable to Cloud Foundation instances (V1.8 and later), vCenter Server and vSphere instances (V2.0 and later).



(VMware Cloud Providers)

VMware technology is also hosted on AWS (via VMware Cloud on AWS). Even if you are not allowed to assign your licenses to this infrastructure, you can get a 25% discount if you own vSphere, vSAN and NSX products and want to use the same technology in “VMware Cloud on AWS”.

Even if this product does not permit a BYOL policy, it can provide a 25% discount if you have vSphere, vSAN and NSX products and want to run them in VMware Cloud on AWS. All program details are available under the Hybrid Loyality Program.



Oracle Cloud

Google Cloud



Although your investment will not be recognized with these Cloud Vendor, you will still have the possibility to run your existing VMware image there for backup purposes. In fact, these clouds won’t support VM mobility between On-premises and Cloud, and as a non-qualified "VMware Cloud Providers", these environments will be "isolated" from your local infrastructure which means, that you will not be able to manage these backup VMs through your VMware Web Client (end user portal).

These Clouds will mostly be used for replication or migration scenarios, and other specific VMware application such as Horizon Cloud on Azure (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). These solutions are cost effective since we VMware licenses are no longer required (see Oracle Ravello Cloud Service).


Questions about cloud software asset management?

Our Cloud licensing team can support your VMware cloud migration process. Talk to our expert cloud team.

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Related materials on KnowledgePlus

  • Licensing of IBM Server Products on Public Clouds
  • Licensing of Oracle Server Products on Public Clouds
  • Licensing of Microsoft Server Products on Public Clouds

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Topics: Cloud