After being a Presales consultant for a while now. I have to understand licensing and able to explain when asked and one of the most talked and confused topics is always on OEM and Open licenses. Been able to understand them more easily helps me to advise my customer not just in solution but also in terms of compliance not to violate any licensing agreements they have.
Here I must state the disclaimer, purpose of this post is to clarify all the doubts on what have you got confused with and as well as the references from the various vendors so none of this is NOT driven from assumptions. This post will purely refer to all articles stated from official statement and references. This post does not provide any recommendation or advice on what is to choose but provide you an understanding and clarification to choose the correct type of licensing yourself. You should consult your respective consultant on the right type of license to use.
I did some search and here is a document from Microsoft on OEM licenses terms. I would like only highlight two statements which I thought worth taking note of.
OEM Software may NOT be transferred to another machine. Even if the original laptop, PC or Server is no longer in use, or if the software is removed from the original hardware, OEM licenses are tied to the device on which the software is first installed.
- Even if the original laptop, PC or server is no longer in use, or if the software is removed from the original hardware, the OEM licenses are tied to the device on which the software is first installed.
- As long as the license and device remain together, there is no limit to the number of times they may be transferred from one user to another.
- When transferring a PC to a new end user, the software media, manuals (if applicable), and Certificate of Authenticity label should be included. It is also advisable to include the original purchase invoice or receipt. The original end user cannot keep any copies of the software.
- If an OEM license has SA coverage, although the SA coverage may be transferred the underlying OEM license may not.
- If any upgrades have been applied as part of the SA coverage, those upgrades must be removed before reassignment of SA to a new device.
Next, I try to look for VMware licensing document like the one from Microsoft. Instead, I found it uploaded by someone else here (the link is date and updated with my copy) and could not find any directly from VMware. Reading this document which was dated back at 2009, I have highlighted the below:
As referring to the OEM document page 8, Level 1 and Level 2 support will be handled by OEM support and only Level 3 is handled by VMware Support. In short, the customer will log a case with OEM vendor support to support Level 1 and 2 issues and OEM Support will log a case with VMware support for Level 3 issue via TSANET and they will revert back to OEM vendor who will respond back to the customer. The OEM vendor will be fronting the customer and VMware support will revert only to OEM vendor support. Whereas Open (Volume License) License would contain support directly from Original Vendor e.g. customer will log a support case with VMware Support directly however Open (Volume License) are normally higher in cost due to the direct support connection.
Any comments are welcome.
Can I switch from OEM to Open license?
Ye, there is a conversion fee.
Can I switch from Open license to OEM?
Yes, you can.
Can I purchase OEM license but purchase direct VMware support?
No this is not possible. Support is tagged with the actual type of license.
With "A" OEM license, can I buy support from "B" OEM vendor?
This cannot be done. Specific OEM vendor license is tagged to their respective support.
How do VMware OEM Support work?
Refer to this post.
Update 2nd Sept 2015
Update FAQ question.
Update 2nd April 2015
Added FAQ section.
Updated 3rd Mar 2015
Replaced the link to VMware Licensing Benefits document which the referring site is no longer valid.