How Do I Get VMware vSphere Licenses For My Home Lab/Test Environment?

I was talking to several colleagues recently who mentioned it was a real pain having to rebuild his home lab vCentre environment every sixty days.

They did not know that VMware offer NFR (not for resale) licenses, which are available if the company you work for is a VMware Partner.

VMware provides partners with access to a number of VMware software products to enable a successful VMware virtualization practice. Not for Resale (NFR) software is available to partners for product demonstration and training purposes only. One year of subscription services is included with NFR software as long as the partner remains in good standing within the parameters of the VMware Partner Program.

How Does My Company Receive NFR?

NFR licenses are automatically delivered by VMware to the headquarter location upon membership progression (such as Registered to Professional or Professional to Enterprise) and release of new products. Licenses that are provided as part of the NFR offering are delivered to the License Administrator via ESD (Electronic Software Distribution) or to the primary contact if a license administrator has not been identified

Before we move on, a little disclaimer, I don’t know what criteria VMware use to accept or validate requests for NFR licenses, nor do I know any hacks or cracks to gain free VMware licenses.

To put forward a case for NFR licenses you have to register for VMware Partner Central by entering the company you work for and having these details validated by a representative from your company.

Once logged into VMware Partner Central, select ‘Partner University’ from the top menu bar

From the left hand side select ‘Contact Us’
On the right hand side select ‘Submit a Case Now’
Under Reason select Question/Inquiry
Under Issue Category select Benefit / Entitlement
Under Issue Type select Not for Resale Licenses (NFR)
You will need to enter a subject and explain the reasons/business case for the request for any extra NFR licenses.

My experience submitting cases via Partner Central has been extremely positive, normally you receive a response within 24 hours and an answer within 48 hours.

3 thoughts on “How Do I Get VMware vSphere Licenses For My Home Lab/Test Environment?

  1. Hi, Thanks a lot for your post. It’s a very good idea! Do you know if we can be registred as NFR if we are an independant freelance? Thanks a lot

    1. Hi Matthieu, I believe you can register for a Partner account at any level, however you might not meet the required level for competency, as these often need two or more people with a VCP or VTSP.

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