vSphere 5.x: License Error and Upgrade

Decided to write a post on this as I receive just too times the questions from different customers due to the confusion.

Say if you are using a free edition of the vSphere Hypervisor or you are on any purhcased editions of vSphere, and you like to licensed it or upgrade to the next edition.  Now you have the new license key what do you do?

This is the most asked question:
1. Do I need to reinstall the ESXi server applying a new license key?
Answer is No.  You just need to either go to the Hypervisor via the vSphere client, select the host and on the right under the Configuration Tab and choose Licensed Features.  Click on Edit and enter your serial key.  Alternative if  you have a vCenter, just select Home>Administration>Licensing and choose Manage vSphere Licenses.  The features of the edition you have purchased or licensed will be activated and shown.



2. Can vSphere 5.0 serial keys work in vSphere 5.1?
Answer is Yes.  All vSphere 5.0 keys will still work in all vSphere 5.x.  This has been the same for vSphere 4.0 on vSphere 4.1.  The keys should work on all level build but not a version build change.

3. The serial key is valid but not working.
I have also encounter this problem on entering vSphere 5.x keys into a vSphere 5.1 either via vCenter or direct to the ESXi server, you receive this error.
Notice the Product: Unlicensed was displayed.  Apparently this is a valid license.  So what have gone wrong this case?

Many customer receive their license in soft copy via their email attached as PDF, often users copy and paste from the PDF files and this is the problem.

In PDF, sometimes '0' are converted to 'O', '1' are to '|'.  This will results in invalid of serial key.
The best thing to do here is copy and paste the serial key to a notepad in Windows or a text editor to see what characters are actually copied.  Second, change all the 'O' to '0'.  There are no 'O' in VMware serial keys they are all zeros.


Yet another operation problem solved.
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