Licensing VMware SRM 5.0

Had a small issue with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.0 today when performing a real failover of a single VM with a customer of mine. Nothing big, just using one VM one protection group, showing them that a failover would work. After recovery went fine, I started the reprotection and ran into a licensing error: “Not enough licenses”.

SRM

This customer had bought a 25 VM license pack and received one license key for this. I had entered this key in vCenter on site-A but I hadn’t entered this on site-B, because I was under the impression that in a Linked-Clone scenario the license could be used by both sites.

Digging through the admin guide I found the following:

SRM requires a license key that specifies the maximum number of protected virtual machines at a site. Larger licenses are often required when protecting large numbers of virtual machines.
–       Install keys at one site to enable failover.
–       Install keys at both sites to enable bidirectional operation including reprotection.
If your SRM Servers are connected with linked vCenter Servers, the SRM servers can share the same license key

I have always read this like: “Install the license key at one site and the other site knows about the key and will “share” the license”. While testing this at first install I never noticed this was an incorrect ‘translation’ because VMware SRM runs in evaluation mode if you don’t enter a license. After entering the 25VM license in site-A, the eval mode in site-B never complained when testing failover and reprotecting. But today the evaluation period had ended and when reprotecting the recovery plan, I did get the license error. I solved it by entering the same license key on site-B as I had used on site-A.

SRM

My conclusion: When using SRM 5 in a linked mode scenario, you should re-use the same license key on both sites.

My question to you: Would you agree different wording in this part of the admin guide could have made things more clear or did this just got lost in my translation? Let me know in the comments.