VMware NSX licensing

How does VMware license VMware NSX?

VMware NSX licensing model, as well as any licensing, may seem complicated. VMware NSX licensing, like standard vSphere is associated with the number of physical processors and does not depend on the number of cores, threads, memory or physical servers. A physical processor corresponds to a socket.

* Note: vCenter and ESXI servers require a separate license.


Price of one processor (socket): $1000

1 server – 2 sockets, 14 cores per socket, 512GB of RAM – $2000

1 server – 2 sockets, 20 cores per socket, 1TB RAM – $2000

2 servers – 4 sockets, 18 cores per socket, 1TB RAM – $4000

We can see that only the number of sockets defines the final price.

How to check how many processors are used?

The license status can be checked within the NSX Manager (Home ->Network & Security -> NSX Home). vCenter does not display correct status (Home-> Administration-> Licenses) because it always displays zero usage.

NSX Manager:


VMware NSX license types

The VMware NSX licensing model went through modifications from version 6.4.1+ and the VMware NSX licensing instead of the previous 3 types is now categorized into 5 types. With the classic VMware licensing model, VMware also offers a model for partners in cloud business in the form of vCAN programs (VMware Cloud Provider Program).

VMware NSX 6.2.x, 6.3.x, 6.4.x

Older versions of VMware NSX licensing include 3 models depending on user needs.

* Support and subscription are included for all models.

NSX Standard Edition

Basic license for companies that need agility. The model price is approx. $1900 per processor.

NSX Advanced Edition

This licensing model together with basic includes a security part and VMware NSX Micro-segmentation, Distributed Firewall (DFW), VPN Options (IPSec, SSL, L2 VPN), NSX Load Balancing and more. The model’s price is approx. $4,500 per processor.

NSX Enterprise Edition

For companies that need VMware NSX over multiple domains, i.e use of multiple VMware vCenter instances. The model’s price is approx. $6,900 per processor.

VMware NSX 6.4.1+

The new VMware NSX licensing model has been active since 5.6.2018 and includes 5 models.

* Support and subscription are included for all models.

NSX Data Center Standard

It’s completely the same as the NSX Standard Edition.

NSX Data Center Professional

Includes Micro-segmentation and VPN solutions. The price of the model is approx. $4200 per processor.

NSX Data Center Advanced

The same model as the NSX Enterprise Edition. Some features include Cross vCenter Networking & Security, Hardware VTEP (OVSDB) with L2 Bridging, Universal Distributed Logical Switching (X-VC), Universal Distributed Logical Router (X-VC) and NAT64.

NSX Data Center Enterprise Plus

The licensed model is optimized for companies that need the most advanced NSX data center functions, including vRealize Network Insight to monitor network traffic, security operations, and NSX Hybrid Connect. The model’s price is approx. $7800 per processor.

NSX Data Center for Remote Office Branch Office

For companies that have a head office and would like to virtualize regional offices. The model’s price is approx. $9500 per processor.

More info on VMware NSX datasheet.

vCAN (VMware Cloud Provider Program)

VMware NSX licensing model supports the vCAN program which includes over 4000 VMware partners that offer public and hybrid cloud services and allows monthly subscription where payment is made depending on consumption. Ideal for partners offering services such as IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (platform as a service), cloud service providers (CSPs), application service providers (ASPs) and Internet service providers (ISPs).

How is the vCAN license paid?

Payments are made according to the “Pay as you go” model (pay for how much you spend). A virtual machine is installed on the infrastructure – vCloud Usage Meter that monitors consumed resources and sends reports to VMware. Partners receive licenses upfront. There is no additional cost for the delivery of licenses, but as noted, the payment is made monthly.

Consumption can be monitored via virtual machines, vCenter, and how much memory is reserved. It depends on the products used and it is not possible to estimate the required number of licenses in advance. The subscription model works on the model of consumed points. Model is very similar to the mobile operators, where the user always pays the minimum number of points, regardless of how many resources user spends. If a user spends more points than he has in contract, the user pays the difference to the excess of points used. Each plan is contracted for 12 months.

The licensing model is divided into three categories:

Professional Level

The basic licensing model where the user has 360 points available.

Enterprise Level

For partners offering hybrid cloud solutions based on multiple VMware products. The partner must have a strong technical background and have 3600 points. There are additional discounts on licenses and marketing benefits.

Premier Level

The highest level of vCAN program in which the partner has 18000 points available. For partners who have focused their business needs for the delivery of virtual solutions and have multiple VMware products.

How to apply

1. Access the VMware network partner.

2. Select a service provider

3. Accept rights and obligations

4. Sign the contract with your local VMware partner.

More details about the program:

VMware cloud provider program guide

VSSP program guide