To work with Veeam Backup & Replication, you must obtain a license key and install it on the backup server. If you do not install the license key, the product will operate in the Veeam Backup & Replication Community (free) Edition. For more information, see Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition.

Veeam licenses Veeam Backup & Replication in two ways: per instance and per socket.

You can use both instance and socket licenses. For more information, see Merging Licenses.


Veeam Backup & Replication consumes licenses only to back up data. Backup restores do not require licenses. You can restore VMs and data no matter how many available licenses you have or how many VMs you are restoring.

Instance Licensing

Veeam Backup & Replication can be licensed by the number of instances. Instances are units (or tokens) that you can use to protect your virtual, physical or cloud-based workloads. For more information, see Veeam Licensing Policy.

You must obtain a license with the total number of instances for workloads that you plan to protect in Veeam Backup & Replication.

Workloads that have been processed in the past 31 days are considered protected. Every protected workload consumes instances from the license scope. The number of instances that a workload requires depends on the workload type and product edition.

This licensing model allows you to obtain a license with a certain number of instances without knowing in advance what types of workloads you plan to protect. When a need arises, you can revoke instances from a protected workload, and reuse them to protect other workloads regardless of the workload type.

Veeam Backup & Replication keeps track of instances consumed by protected workloads. If the number of consumed instances exceeds the license limit, Veeam Backup & Replication displays a warning when you open the Veeam Backup & Replication console. For more information, see Exceeding License Limit.

Consider the following:

  • VM templates are regarded as protected VMs and consume license instances.
  • VMs and NAS shares processed with backup copy and tape jobs are not regarded as protected VMs and NAS shares and do not consume license instances. These types of jobs provide an additional protection level for VMs and NAS shares that are already protected with backup jobs.
  • VMs processed by snapshot-only jobs are regarded as protected VMs and consume license instances. Veeam Backup & Replication will revoke instances from these VMs if you re-add a storage array to the backup infrastructure.

Socket Licensing

With the socket licensing model, Veeam Backup & Replication is licensed by the number of CPU sockets on protected hosts. For more information, see Veeam Licensing Policy.

A license is required for every occupied motherboard socket as reported by the hypervisor API.

License is required only for source hosts — hosts on which VMs that you back up or replicate reside. Target hosts (for replication and migration jobs) do not need to be licensed.

The socket license assignment happens automatically as soon as you start a backup or replication job for VMs on a specific source host. You can revoke licenses from licensed hosts and re-apply them to other objects if needed. For more information, see Revoking License.


If you use a socket license that was obtained for an earlier version of Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam Software adds up to 6 gift (built-in) instances free of charge to your license scope. You can use these instances to protect any type of supported workloads except VMware and Hyper-V VMs — they are covered by the licensed CPU sockets on virtualization hosts.

If the number of licensed sockets is less than 6, you can use the number of instances that equals the number of licensed sockets. For example, if the number of licensed sockets is 5, you can use 5 instances. If the number of licensed sockets is 100, you can use 6 instances.

Note that starting with Veeam Backup & Replication 12, the gift (built-in) instances are disabled if the perpetual license support expiration date is reached.

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