The consumed vRAM is equal to the total amount of memory that is provisioned on powered-on virtual machines.
For example, suppose that the vRAM pool for vSphere Standard contains 320GB of vRAM. On the ESXi 5.0 hosts that are licensed with vSphere Standard, you create and power on 50 virtual machines each with 4GB of configured memory. The total amount of memory that is provisioned on the new virtual machines is 200GB, and the amount of vRAM that is consumed from the vRAM pool for vSphere Standard is 200GB.
Soft enforcing exists on how vRAM is consumed across virtual machines that run on ESXi 5.0 hosts. The amount of vRAM that you use for powered-on virtual machines on an ESXi 5.0 host can exceed the vRAM entitlement of the vSphere 5.0 licenses key that is assigned to the host. Till the total amount of vRAM that you use for virtual machines is equal or less then the maximum amount of pooled vRAM for a license edition, ESXi 5.0 hosts are in compliance.
For example, suppose that the pool for vSphere Enterprise contains 300GB of vRAM. You provision 340GB of memory for the powered-on virtual machines that run on ESXi 5.0 hosts that are licensed with vSphere Enterprise. As a result, the consumed vRAM for the powered-on virtual machines is 340GB and the vRAM pool for vSphere Enterprise is out of compliance.
An alarm triggers on vCenter Server when the amount of vRAM that powered-on virtual machines consume exceeds the pooled vRAM for a vSphere license edition. See the figure below
To avoid exceeding the maximum amount of pooled vRAM for a vSphere license edition, you can use the license reporting function in vCenter Server to track the license use of vSphere 5.0 products. Using the license reporting function in vCenter Server, you can also set custom thresholds to receive notifications when the consumed vRAM for a vSphere 5.0 product exceeds a certain limit as shown below