Q: Will VMware vSphere 5.0's new virtual RAM (vRAM) licensing prevent VMs from starting?

A: VMware changed the licensing terms with vSphere 5.0, adding a vRAM capacity entitlement to each vSphere license purchased. With each vSphere license, a certain quantity of vRAM is added to the pool of servers attached to a vCenter Server instance.

However, the vRAM licensing limit is reported to be a "soft limit," also known as an unenforced limit. That means that a vCenter environment can operate with more vRAM assigned to powered-on VMs than is legally allowed. VMs won't be prevented from powering on due to a license violation.

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