License error connecting ESXi server to vCenter

Yesterday I was connecting up an ESXi Virtual Host which has been running in standalone mode for a while to vCenter. The host has recently been upgraded to a VSphere 4 Essentials Plus License.

When trying to setup the connection so the host could be managed by the vCenter server I received the following error message:

1License not available to perform the operation.
3The vSphere 4 Essentials Plus license For Host myhostname does not include VMotion. Upgrade the license.

This was a bit perplexing, as I don’t need vMotion on this setup and didn’t think it was necessary to have it installed.

The solution came with a bit of help from a page on the Dutch VMWare Users Group site, helpfully translated with Google:

  1. Open vSphere Client and connect to the virtual host.
  2. Go to the “configuration” tab for the host and choose “Networking” from the left hand side of the tab.
  3. Select the vSwitch with the VMkernel Port (usually vSwitch0) and click on Properties.
  4. In the vSwitch properties window select the Management Network and click on Edit.
  5. On the “General” tab of the Management Network window, untick the “VMotion” checkbox.
  6. OK everything and try to link to the vCenter server again.