More on the VMware Fiasco

Thanks to Kristian Nese for the tweet/heads up.  There’s a thread on VMware’s forums that is currently at 49 pages of VMware customers ranting about the eventual huge price increase

I did have someone criticise my pricing of VMware in my last post on the subject.  I chose 4 copies of vSphere 5 Enterprise Plus  to license a 2 CPU server with 192 GB RAM, costing $13,980 to license your virtualisation for that hardware.  The criticism was that I should have used 8 copies of vSphere 5 Standard instead.  That’s kind of tough to do.  Microsoft and VMware mix and match features differently.  For example DRS.  VMware put it in their vSphere package.  Hyper-V does not have DRS but SCVMM 2012 provides it under a different name.  You’ll also find the same is true of Distributed Power Management.  My previous comparison included System Center Management Suite, which by the way provides upgrade rights (like a built-in software assurance).  vSphere 5 Standard does not include DRS or Distributed Power Management.

Many VMware folks fail to remember that ESXi = Hyper-V, vSphere = Hyper-V + System Center (but the MSFT option is cheaper to buy and own).  Hyper-V + System Center is much more than vSphere Standard.

Anyway, to keep people happy … a copy of vSphere Standard costs $995:

Product Microsoft VMware Comment
Virtualisation Free 8 * vSphere 5 Standard Plus $7,960 Hyper-V is included in Windows licensing so it’s free. The Microsoft option is already $7,960 ahead.
Windows for unlimited VMs

2 * Windows Server DC

2 * Windows Server DC

This applies to anyone on any virtualisation platform.

System Center Management Suite DC

vCenter Operations (25 VM pack) * 2


Not a good comparison: MSFT option includes licensing to use all of Microsoft’s System Center products and it’s still around 1/3 cheaper!
Total $11,238 $21,522 Now the MSFT option is only 52% of the cost of the VMware option, but thanks to System Center 2012, MSFT has some of those “critical” virtualisation features like power optimisation and DRS not in this vSphere 5 option.

To be fair, one could monitor that VMware server and it’s VMs using System Center Operations Manager.  Given the density, a SMSD license (as in the VMware option) could be used to limit costs.  However, a 3rd party management pack from Veeam (which looks excellent) or Quest (which I have not seen) would have to be purchased to enable VMware virtualisation monitoring.  Then you could dump vCenter Operations.  I reckon that would cost around $6,200 (including 3rd party management pack), saving around $1,300 from the VMware column.

I got a very interesting email overnight.  The author (thanks by the way) said:

Renata Budko, vp marketing at HyTrust: “With vSphere 5.0 new licensing model, VMware is trying to capture a larger portion of the value, particularly from the customers who are reaping the benefits of virtualization with aggressive consolidation ratios of 10:1 or higher. The new model will put more emphasis on right-sizing the virtual machines and just in time provisioning.”

So here’s the message:

  • VMware are doing you a favour by increasing the cost of virtualisation.  It reinforces the value of their product.  I’m filing that under "Things that make you go hmmm”.
  • VMware are helping you “right-size” your virtualisation hosts by punishing you for “over speccing” your hosts.  That’s so generous of them!  I’m sure the plan wasn’t to hurt your budget and improve their bottom line.  Not at all.

I’ve also read/heard that VMware aren’t concerned about their customers switching to Hyper-V.  Maybe they should read that 49 page thread.  I talked to a few people over the last few days in the VMware market and it sure got them concerned.

Let me finish by saying (again) that VMware do make a great virtualisation product.  I just happen to believe that’s where they stop being great.  Saying you have superior management is easy.  But when your alleged superiority is a virtualisation layer product and a 1990’s style framework of recently acquired products then you’re really stretching it. 

Businesses don’t care all that much about virtualisation.  They care about line of business applications that enable operations and profit generation.  That’s why we have all this talk about cloud and consumerisation of IT. Some little strip of software is of little interest to a CIO/CEO.  But managing that CRM or web sales application, ensuring SLA, rapid provision and flexibility are.  And it’s that layer that Microsoft has everyone beat.  And that’s why I got into Hyper-V back in 2008.

7 thoughts on “More on the VMware Fiasco”

  1. BTW….

    ESXi does not equal Hyper-V. ESXi is a free, low end, single server virtualization platform. The free Microsoft product, Hyper-V server, is a fully functioning High Available Virtualization solution, and only needs the required shared storage and Windows licensing to put together a 5 host node virtualization cluster complete with live migration. And runs Linux systems to boot.

    Michael D Novak
    Microsoft Virtualization Technology Specialist

    1. Actually Michael, with V5 there is no ESX any more. ESXi is the normal hypervisor from now on. You probably should contact the local “compete” guy to get updated notes.

      However, free ESXi != Hyper-V Server. From there on, your points are valid.

    2. Still, the Microsoft solution has quite some bloat having it’s whole windows OS in memory with the graphical interface loaded.
      ESXi has an extremely thin footprint.

      Also, we are talking about ESXi, not ESX, no more linux here.

      I would have hoped that a “Virtualization Technology Specialist” would also have noted and considered that.

      1. And still, that “bloat” has zero impact. Hyper-V has outperformed ESXi in tests. And I’m not worried about fitting Windows on a disk: it’s actually hard to get anything smaller than 146GB these days. In fact, I’m told the HP 146GB disk nearly costs as much as a 300GB disk these days.

  2. I would be careful w/ the SMSD costs. The reason is because while technicall all of the System Center point products are licensed using a Client Server licensing model, only SCCM and SCOP (and I limit the scope of the conversation to these two because of their relevance to virtualization) actually have server licenses. SCVMM, SCDPM, and Opalis don’t have server licenses, they are pretty much licensed purely by Client licenses. The key here is that the SMSD suite is purely as suite of System Center Client licenses (specifically Enterprise Server MLs). In order to use SCCM and SCOP we need the corresponding SCCM and SCOP server licenses (preferably w/ SQL bundled).

  3. I have a bit of a trouble with the table and the statement in general that Hyper-V is for free. It is not. You have to buy Windows OS first which we all know it is not for free. So the table would be more logical if the first line would have the cost of Windows DC and in second line VM licences allready included because of Windows DC and therefore cost 0. I know we still get the same price but I just cant exept everyone repeating after MS that Hyper-V is for free.

    1. Simon, You have to license Windows VMs on VMware and Hyper-V the exact same way. It’s up to you whether you install the host license or not, and enable the Hyper-V role or not. Your point is not valid at all. In fact, if you’re running VMware with Windows VMs, you might want to read a post I have on the way in a few minutes on common licensing mistakes. The BSA might just be on their way to you now 😉

      Why don’t you have a read of:

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