VMware Updates vSphere 5.0 Licensing

I guess 90 support forum pages of customers saying they’re going to dump your product and go to the competition really made an impression on VMware.  Trying to convince the world that VMware making more money from less was a good right-sizing process for their customers didn’t quite have the desired effect.

So VMware has responded:

  • They’ve increased the vRAM entitlements for “all” edition of vSphere.  Don’t plan your party yet (see below).  I don’t see any mention of the free edition being licensed to run more than the previously mentioned 8 GB RAM per physical CPU.
  • They’re not going to force you to buy multiple vSphere licenses for “monster” VMs.  The example they give is the 1 TB VM: 1 vSphere Enterprise Plus license (96 GB RAM now) will be enough for it.  Cos that will positively impact the vast majority of virtualisation customers!
  • Short term spikes in usage won’t be counted.  Instead, they’ll count “calculate a 12-month average of consumed vRAM to rather than tracking the high water mark of vRAM”.  Fair enough, that’s a good improvement.

EDIT: Marcel van den Berg let me know that it’s being blogged that vSphere 5.0 free is being increased to 32 GB.  It’s not on the VMware announcement but it’s on lots of blogs.

OK, let’s recalculate Hyper-V/System Center VS vSphere Standard + vOperations.  Last time with the original v5.0 licensing, Microsoft gave more virtualisation and systems management functionality at 52% of the cost of vSphere Standard + vOperations.  The scenario was a 2U host, with 2 CPUs, 92 GB RAM, with published retail licensing costs (both sides give discounts), and 40-50 VMs.

Product Microsoft VMware Comment
Virtualisation Free (guest licensing covers this cost) 6 * vSphere 5 Standard Plus $5,970 Hyper-V is included in Windows licensing so it’s free. The Microsoft option is already $5,970 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 $19,532 Now the MSFT option is only 57% 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.

Gee, thanks VMware, the comparative cost has improved 5% in your favour, and Hyper-V & System Center Management Suite (all of the Microsoft systems management products) actually has more virtualisation and systems management functionality.  Of course, I could be really mean, and price this up with System Center Essentials instead of System Center Management Suite.  I guess that would reduce the cost of the MSFT option by just over $4,000, and still leave it ahead of vSphere Standard/vOperations on all fronts.

I think it’s time once again to see if you’re still making carriages for horses.

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