If you are looking for a way to run multiple virtual machines on a single physical server, you might have heard of ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor that is part of VMware's vSphere suite. ESXi allows you to create and manage virtual machines with high performance and efficiency, making it ideal for enterprise and cloud environments.
However, to use ESXi, you need a license key that unlocks its features and functions. A license key is a code that you enter in the vSphere Client or the ESXi web interface to activate your product. Depending on the edition and version of ESXi that you are using, a license key can cost from $495 to $6,995 per CPU.
That's quite expensive, especially if you are just testing or learning ESXi for personal or educational purposes. Fortunately, there is a way to get an ESXi key for free. In this article, we will show you how to get an ESXi key for free and how to use it to license your ESXi host.
The easiest way to get an ESXi key for free is to sign up for a VMware evaluation program. VMware offers a 60-day free trial for most of its products, including ESXi. During the trial period, you can access all the features and functions of ESXi without any limitations.
To get an ESXi key for free, follow these steps:
Go to the VMware evaluation page and click on the \"Register\" button.
Fill in the registration form with your personal and professional details. You will need a valid email address to receive your ESXi key.
After submitting the form, you will receive an email from VMware with your ESXi key and a link to download the ESXi ISO file.
Download the ESXi ISO file and burn it to a CD or USB drive.
Boot your server from the CD or USB drive and follow the installation wizard to install ESXi on your server.
After the installation is complete, open a web browser and go to https:///ui. Log in with the default credentials (root and no password).
Go to the \"Manage\" tab and click on \"Licensing\". Enter your ESXi key in the \"Assign license\" field and click on \"Check license\".
Your ESXi host is now licensed with your free ESXi key. You can start creating and managing virtual machines on your host.
The Limitations of Getting an ESXi Key for Free
While getting an ESXi key for free is a great way to try out ESXi without spending any money, it also comes with some limitations that you should be aware of. Here are some of them:
Your free ESXi key is valid only for 60 days. After that, you will need to purchase a license key or request another evaluation key from VMware.
Your free ESXi key is only for personal or educational use. You cannot use it for commercial or production purposes.
Your free ESXi key does not include support or updates from VMware. You will need to rely on online resources or community forums for troubleshooting or assistance.
Your free ESXi key does not allow you to use some advanced features of vSphere, such as vMotion, High Availability, Distributed Resource Scheduler, etc. You will need a paid license key to access these features.
ESXi is a powerful and versatile hypervisor that allows you to run multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. However, it also requires a license key that can be quite expensive depending on the edition and version that you are using.
If you want to get an ESXi key for free, you can sign up for a VMware evaluation program and get a 60-day free trial of ESXi. This will allow you to access all the features and functions of ESXi without any limitations. However, you should also be aware of the limitations of getting an ESXi key for free, such as the expiration date, the usage restrictions, the lack of support and updates, and the missing advanced features.
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