Advantages to VCPP: Benefits and Licensing

There are a lof of documents and guides within the VMware Cloud Provider Program. One of the most important ones is the Program Guide. You can find that guide here for reference.

In the guide, you will references to the rights, allowances and guidance for compliance. This is essentially the first document providing legal guidance on what a Cloud Provider can do. Compared to the Product Usage Guide, its short, but it is full of information that can help Cloud Providers succeed.

Starting on Page 14, you have the Program Benefits. Covering everything from marketing to services, licenses and support. This section spells out what you get, based on the partner level you are at. The best part, the one that can be used in sales and operational initiatives is in the licenses, services and support section.

NFR: Not For Resale

VMware provides NFR Licenses to partners for testing. Yes, FREE LICENSES so that a partner can built a small duplicate environment. You can use that licensing to test out new VMware solutions or validate VMware software updates with other software/services that you run in your data center.

Want to see if vSAN is a right fit for your? Use the NFR keys. Want to make sure that vSphere 6.7 is compatible with your backup solution? Use the NFR keys. Want free licensing for your engineers to prepare and train for certifications? Use the NFR keys. Just like VCPP Licenses, you get everything in the Cloud Provider portfolio. Well, almost everything. If you want to do NSX testing, you need to have two engineers complete the NSX competencies. No worries, just get through that and onto testing. You’ll be glad you did.

These keys are electronically delivered, no not through They will be sent to the License Administrator as listed on partner central for your company.


Cloud Demonstration Environments: Your New Sales Initiative!

Ok, this one is my favorite. A Cloud Demonstration Environment is a separate environment where you can run a prospective customer, for free. Yes, you can run a prospective customer in an environment that mimics your production environment, without having to pay licensing fees to do so. This give you the runway to work through any issues and help that customer be ready to say yes to YOUR public cloud and managed services.

Each partner level is given an amount they can utilize up to.

  • Partner Level:
    • Professional – 100GB of Reserved RAM
    • Enterprise – 500GB of Reserved RAM
    • Premiere – 2000GB of Reserved RAM

Reserved RAM is similar to how you measure in your production environment. So think of this as the Units that Usage Meter kicks out. Just make sure that your Usage Meter does not exceed the amount listed above for your Partner Level.

There are some caveats, but not bad ones. You have to be in good standing, so make sure you pay your bills. A prospective customer can only run in that environment for a maximum of 90 days. Yeah, ask that customer to go to any other public cloud and request 3 months of free service, see what they say. You also cannot run more than 30 customers in this environment at a time. Now thats not a bad deal. If your sales teams are working on 30 active opportunities in your live environment, business is good. See? not so bad.

So how do you stay compliant with this? You have to run a Usage Meter specifically for this and report that usage to your aggregator each month. Not as part of the monthly report you submit, but tag each customer running in the environment using usage meter make sure to grab the monthly usage and customer monthly usage report to send off to the aggregator. Email it, upload it to your contracts file section, whichever you agree to with the aggregator. This is to cover you, so that there is data to backup the usage in case anyone asks.


Internal Use Licenses

These are a little restricted but yes, you get Internal Use Licenses! This benefit is for Enterprise and Premiere partners only, but its really helpful for handling internal IT workloads. You cannot use these for any backend systems that power or manage your hosting environment. So you can’t use these for vCenter, vROps, NSX, DNS servers, Billing or Provisioning. Basically if the system or service supports or controls anything within your hosting environment, don’t use these keys for those hosts. This is strictly for internal corporate IT workloads. Stick to that and no one should have any issues. We trust you, but please don’t break that trust.


Use of Hosted IT Services by Service Provider (Cloud Provider): Move your Internal IT to OpEX!

This benefit is also for Enterprise and Premiere partners. Sorry pro’s.

If you want to move some (or if you run lean, all) of your internal IT to OpEx licensing, this benefit is for you. See, VCPP is for Cloud Providers but sometimes an IT department wants to utilize this model too. I get it. But that is unfortunately against the EULA. So in this case, we make an exception up to a point.

A Cloud Provider can run some of their internal workloads in their hosting environment but it cannot exceed 10% of the total usage reported or up to 100 points, whichever is greater. So if you are a partner who regularly reports 18,000 points a month, then 1,800 of those points can be attributed to yourself. Essentially, you are your own customer.

The caveats here, you pay at the same rate your customer environment does and you cannot run in a dedicated environment, you have to use the multi-tenant shared environment. This does NOT mean you don’t have to pay for the usage. Those 1,800 points are metered just like everyone else. Just consider this additional management overhead each month.


These are some of my favorite things to talk about. Why? Because they seem to be relatively unknown to a lot of partners and its a great way VMware is helping partners expand their business. So get out there and build your clouds and demo clouds. It’s over, go home. Take advantage of what this program has to offer and build a successful cloud provider business.