I took a minute to read the licensing guide for vSphere 5 and I'm still trying to pull my jaw off the floor. VMware has completely screwed their customers this time. Why?
What I used to be able to do with 2 CPU licenses now takes 4. Incredible.
BL460c G7 with 2 sockets and 192G of memory = 2 vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses
DL585 G7 with 4 sockets and 256G of memory = 4 vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses
BL460c G7 with 2 sockets and 192G of memory = 4 vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses
BL585 G7 with 4 sockets and 256G of memory = 6 vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses
So it's almost as if VMware is putting a penalty on density and encouraging users to buy hardware with more sockets rather than less.
I get that the vRAM entitlements are for what you use, not necessarily what you have, but who buys memory and doesn't use it?
Forget the hoopla about a VM with 1 TB of memory. Who in their right mind would deploy that using the new license model? It would take 22 licenses to accommodate! You could go out and buy the physical box for way less than that today, from any hardware vendor.
Anyone else completely shocked by this move?
Hi all --
We're not going to lock or delete this thread -- that's not how our community rolls here. However, I'm finding it really difficult to navigate and answer individual posts with everything jammed into one single thread here.
Please go ahead and make new threads in this forum and I think we can start to advance the discussion better. (Here's the link: http://communities.vmware.com/post!input.jspa?containerType=14&container=4328)
Some of the things I'd love to talk about:
I also acknowledge there will likely be some things we won't come to agreement on, but I want to make sure we at least are talking. (Also talk to your VMware or partner reps please.)
Don't worry, this thread will stay around and keep plenty of visibility. At some point in the future (a few weeks?) I would like to lock it just so newbies don't stumble in and start on the end of it again - it will be a better experience for them (more likely to get their questions answered) if they start a new thread.
I also realize some of you responded to me directly and I haven't had a chance to respond back. However, my wife is looking for me to come home to dinner so I will try to respond and keep some threads going either later today or tomorrow. Also I think my colleagues Alberto and Eric will pop by.
Message was edited by: JohnTroyer to clarify first few sentences and add the start a discussion link
While anything is possible, MS stated at TechEd 2011 there were no plans to change the datacenter OS licensing model. Example MS licensing costs are:
Windows Server Datacenter (per-socket) $3,000
Systems Center Suite Datacenter (per-socket) $1,000
These licenses include unlimited VM rights for MS operating systems, the Systems Center suite provides the vCenter like management of Hyper-V and 3 years of software assurance. Throw in a few Operations Manager server licenses, and you have a complete MS solution, about $10K per dual-socket server. If you are a heavy MS shop, it's likely you already have these datacenter licenses. MS has a lot of different tiers of licensing for different organizations, so these prices are just a ROM based on my recent dicussions with MS.
Since there's no official Hyper-V 3.0 specs yet, it's hard to know what the new features will be, beyond rumors and milestone builds. I suspect the feature set maybe 'good enough' for a lot of users, and could be very cheap depending on an organization's existing enterprise agreement. Of course vSphere 4 and 5 have many technical advantages/features that you can bet won't be in Hyper-V 3.0, but many organizations may not need them or feel they are worth the additional $$.
I know a relatively big local firm uses XenServer for their XenDesktop servers and everything else is on vSphere, because XenServer is basically free with XenDesktop. Same can be pretty much said of Hyper-V with the right licenses..so the CIO and budget guys will really need a strong case for spending the additional $$ on VMware.
I'm a bit slow in getting to this and seeing the new licensing model. I have to say that I am utterly shocked at what is being done. This is the behaviour of a business that appears to believe it has a monopoly.
I can only come to the conclusion that VMware has now saturated the market with product and there is limited growth left, particualry in the non-cloud space. So how do they make more money under these circumsatnces? Change the licensing model and make everyone pay more for what they are already using.
This is going to cause me to have to re-think what I advise my customers to do. It takes the situation from a no-brainer to select VMware to have to do some serious justification, especially when there viable alternatives, particularly in the SMB arena with less sophisticated requirements.
Lets hope the sleeping giant that is Microsoft wakes up and puts some competition back into this arena.
This is going to casue many organisations to think hard before they move to 5:-(
Interesting question from a customer, are they able to get a refund on their recently renewed support, as the new product is not usable anymore so therefore the idea of free upgrades is pointless?
Here is my real world example of why this new licensing model is so frustrating and not “fair”.
After running several years on a large number of legacy hosts of the quad socket dual/quad core generations with 64GB to 128GB “pRAM”, we undertook a huge virtualization consolidation project while continuing our P2V consolidation; as well as new VM builds. Starting late last year, we spent a ton of money upgrading to new hardware of the quad socket 12-core generation and I had to struggle to justify to management why we had to essentially double the price of the already pricey servers in order to max out the RAM to 512GB. On top of that, we had to upgrade some ENT to ENT+ licenses and purchase new ENT+ licenses to accommodate the new hosts.
Part of the reason we maxed out the RAM was for obvious reasons, to get to a higher VM density. Another reason I wanted hosts fully populated with RAM was the age old battle with right sizing all VM requests to within a few 100MB. It is time consuming and getting old and we don’t do internal chargeback so there is no incentive to my internal consumers to want to downsize their VMs, plus my time is not worth haggling over an extra 1GB of RAM. Having extra RAM available on the hosts allows a little fudge factor in VM sizing, HA events etc.
Then I'm blindsided by this new licensing scheme (keep in mind, we have a VMware account team that never mentioned this as an upcoming change) and do some quick math; and realize, I’m going to have to approach management yet again and tell them we need to double the licensing cost of the new servers to continue running in the configuration that up until now was our go forward platform for the next year or two. Imagine what they’re going to think when I tell them I need at least 8CPUs ENT+ licensing per 4CPU host I have (minimum); I’m still confused by that; and yes, I understand pooling etc.
Management already thinks VMware is expensive and wants to look at cheaper alternatives. I design, build and maintain our environment everyday so I know the value and flexibility VMware brings; but management sees a high price tag first and everything else second or third.
Below is a simplified but representative version of a subset of our upgraded environment.
10 hosts, 4 Socket 12 core, 512GB RAM each.
150 VMs per host x 2.5 GB avg “vRAM” per VM gives roughly 375GB allocated “vRAM” per host.
This leaves about 130GB RAM per host for HA events, growth, what have you.
vSphere 4 licensing model is 4CPU ENT+ per host or 40CPU ENT+ for the represented sub-environment.
vSphere 5 licensing model is 8CPU ENT+ per host or 80CPU ENT+ for the represented sub-environment to allow for similar “vRAM” allocation per host.
So my licensing cost doubled; after justifying double RAM, and upgraded/new licensing to get to this point; and now having to justify double licensing cost less than a year later; I don’t think management is going to buy it. I’m going to be forced into looking at alternatives to move to once our vSphere 4 environment becomes EOL which is a bummer because vSphere 5 has some cool new features and I’d like to continue using VMware, but reality is our environment is rocking on vSphere 4 right now and I have a couple years to look at alternative and emerging technologies.
This new licensing scheme feels too much like VMware thinks they’re hosting my VMs and they’re going to tell me I have to right-size every VM in my environment to try and manage to an artificially low allocated vRAM licensing model. And if I don't, I have to pay more.
I thought this was “My Cloud”. We bought the storage, we bought the servers, we pay for the power and cooling, and we pay the salaries to run it. If I want to spend some extra money on RAM to make the internal sizing debate easier (again, internal, no chargeback) and waste less of everyone’s time in my organization, I should be entitled to do that.
So what’s VMware answer? Right size your VMs. Well, that might be easy in a small environment where the VMware admin is probably the server admin for each of the VMs, and he’s probably installed the applications on all the VMs and he knows the requirements, dependencies, users etc.
In a large Enterprise environment, it’s not that easy. I’m not the VMs’ SA, I can’t possibly know all the intricacies of several hundred applications (x multiple environments), dependencies and users. Plus, there is no magic button to press and right-size 100’s or 1000’s of VMs. And even if there was that button, the process IS DISRUPTIVE and we have to battle to take a test/dev system offline.
A production VM has to go through change control, validation, scheduling etc. Is it really worth it to me to do all that over 1 or 2 GB of vRAM over-allocation on a VM? I don’t think so; but let’s say I do win the battle and get an app owner to let me take 2GB away. In a week when they perceive a slowness issue, they right away say “hey, we just removed 2GB of RAM from this VM so that must be the problem”. Then management gets involved, I have to add the vRAM back (even though I know it’s not the issue), the app is still slow, then the real reason for the slowness is discovered; and it wasn’t the RAM. But hey, do you think they’re going to say OK, take the RAM back now. Heck no, they want to keep it just in case; and by now the application availability team is involved so they get what they want; heck they might even get more then they originally had as part of a SIP they came up with.
So now we’ve wasted hours of multiple people’s time (not to mention lost productivity) to end up back at the same point we were; but the monetary value of the time and productivity wasted far exceeds the value of the RAM we DID NOT end up saving.
So what’s my answer to this problem, Max out the RAM on hosts, allow a reasonable buffer of “vRAM” allocation per VM and be done with it. That’s not to say I grossly over-allocate vRAM to my VMs. Most of them are within 1GB of “right-size”; but when we’re talking 150+ VM’s per host you can see the buffer amounts to at least couple extra CPUs worth of ENT+ per host under the new model.
And we haven’t even addressed the VMs that are over-sized by say 6GB or more. I know it; but in order to get the app team to join the new frontier of virtualization and put their tier 1 app on VMware, they MUST have 8GB RAM, or 16GB, or... allocated to their VM because their vendor or consultant says so. Again, this is why having hosts with a lot of pRAM comes in handy because there are always some VMs like this in any environment; but the number is higher in an Enterprise environment.
Until there is a NON-DISRUPTIVE way to manage “vRAM” allocations to an allocated “vRAM” licensing model, this new model is NOT “fair” to me at all…
I don’t think the people at VMware that are in charge of licensing have a clue what it is like to run an Enterprise class infrastructure in a internal only, non-chargeback PRODUCTION scenario...
If VMware wants to go to a vRAM model, I think it needs to be either:
1 – based on vRAM Utilized (Not Allocated); remember this is “My Cloud”. If I want to over-size a little and I have the pRAM to do it; then so be it.
2 – based on a more realistic vRAM/CPU allocation if they want to stick to the allocated model. Face it, 48GB/CPU in an Enterprise+ environment with the processors of today is not much. I had a better GB/Core ratio on my 6 year old hardware. I would hope VMware would not only meet 6 year old GB/Core ratios, but exceed it under an allocated model; knowing the OS’s and applications are becoming more RAM intensive than those of 6 years ago…
Like many others have said already; we have MS Datacenter licenses already in order to run a lot of our VMs on ESX (trust me, that’s a whole other hurdle trying to explain every year why we are renewing support for MS and VMware on the same hardware). If VMware doesn’t get this new licensing model figured out, Hyper-V and other offerings aren’t that hard for us to start exploring; and we have plenty of time before vSphere 4 EOLs to do it.
I want to demonstrate you how these licence modifications are killing my whole infrastructure plans.
For now we have 10 DELL R710 ESX servers . these servers have 2 CPU sockets and 144 GB RAM.
There are some special VM which needs more than 4 vCPU’s. Because of that we have bought 5 enterprise and 5 enterprise plus (up to 8vCPUs) licence. The cluster is configured to survive 1 hostserver failure. This means, that every server has 36 GB RAM free.
Now, as descriped in the white paper of vsphere 5, we are not able to combine or share the vRAM of different vsphere versions.
In our case this will end up in 2 different vRAM pools:
1 Pool Enterprise plus
5 servers, 10 licences
10x48 GB vRAM space = 480 GB RAM
5x144 GB RAM = 720 GB available RAM in hostservers
MATH: 720 GB (max) – 180 GB (HA / ESX spare) – 480 GB (vRAM space) = 60 GB unavailable RAM
1 Pool Enterprise
5 servers, 10 licences
10x32 GB vRAM space = 320 GB RAM
5x144 GB RAM = 720 GB available RAM in hostservers
MATH: 720 GB (max) – 180 GB (HA /ESX spare) – 320 GB (vRAM space) = 220 GB unavailable RAM
->37% of non spare space is unusable
Now, we have more or less the same amount of vms running on each hostserver, independent of the running licence.
This is really bad, there is no other way to upgrade all enterprise licences to enterprise plus and buy 3 additional licences to provide the same production level.
If there is no change in the new licence policy we need to search for another solution and one thing is clear, we will never come back…
What the hell are VMware doing with their licencing? I really hope someone out there understands it, because to me it seems like they’ve just willingly given a lot of users reason to consider using Hyper-V purely because of cost. 32GB per cpu for an enterprise licence? Are they mad? With most ESX hosts, dual CPUs are more than enough – the contention usually happens around memory, so most people max the RAM where possible; it’s a shame they won’t be able to do this any more without paying through the nose for licences that they didn’t originally need. How does this fit in with a software support contract, where you pay extra to get upgrade assurance but then find out you have to pay *again* just to run the new version on the same hardware? Thankfully it won’t affect us too much (though we will need to either upgrade to Enterprise Plus or get a couple of extra enterprise licences as some of our dual CPU hosts have more than 64GB on them), but I’m glad we don’t run any 256GB blades....
Today I’m going to be having a close look at both the overall cost and feature set of Hyper-V, as I think Microsoft may have just become a lot more competitive thanks to VMware giving an incentive to existing users to change their choice of virtualisation provider.
Nice one VMware - give my regards to Novell on the way out.
But, Vmware has put an back door in her VRAM license:
"Only vSphere Essentials and Essentials Plus implement hard
enforcement of vRAM capacity."
At page 11 http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf Whatever they mean
I am a VCP from 2.5 days, and I have been singing the praises ever since. This licencing seems just plain wrong, and rather than VMWare wanting a piece of the pie, they have deided they want the whole damn pie, the pie tin and the oven its cooked in. Up until now its all been about how many servers you can get running on a box, now its about how much money you can afford to give VMWare, and how many servers they will allow you to run.
I've done the maths, the same as everyone else, and its not pretty, why should I have to go back to my resseller begging for special terms, or my boss explaining we had the rug pulled from under us. I have a feeling we are going to go, to a two tier operation. VMWare tier one servers, and HyperV tier two.
Trouble is once I get a good setup for HyperV or Xen, I'll probably bring everything across. VMware may make some money from this, but not as much as they would of done if they let VMware grow and become ubiquitous, up until now VMWare has been a no brainer!
Yeah, I'm slightly concerned about the whole VCP thing - I'm a VCP3/4 and was thinking of going for the VCAP-DCA (and of course the VCP5), but if VMware are going to press ahead with this stupid licensing system, then I would imagine a VCP certification will be about as valuable as a Novell one in the coming years. Think I might hold off on the VCP5 and learn some Hyper-V in the meantime...
This is really ridicoulus...
We have 2x R610, 2 CPU, Quad Core, 64 GB RAM each.
CPU are about 30% busy, RAM is more like 80%, so we tought of upgrading with more RAM... which is not possible with vSphere 5... without extra money. (using Enterprise)...
VMware: This new lic model is just a FAIL....
This is just going to play in to other vendor’s hands. Does anyone think VMware really understands their own licensing model and the potential to lose revenue; they are just going to price themselves out of the market place long term as there are other options available which may not be as good yet, but are far more cost effective.
Sounds similar to us, we use R710s with dual 6-core CPUs and 64GB each - we have upgraded a couple to 72/80GB and now we'll need to get more licences (or upgrade to enterprise plus) as we're running Enterprise at the moment. The whole argument of "physical RAM is not the same as vRAM" is crap - you don't buy extra physical RAM unless you need to use it, which we do.
Sort it out VMware, or lose customers to Hyper-V. I bet Microsoft are over the moon, nothing they can do to Hyper-V would convince most VMware users to make the change, but instead VMware has done it for them.
There are BMWs and Mercedes in the market and there are Kia and Hyundi as well..
If you want to start comparing VMware to a BMW then how about this? You go buy yourself a really nice $40,000-$50,000 BMW but uufortunately, do to licensing restrictions, you can't go past 2nd gear unless you purchase a second engine.
You can talk about BMW's and Mercedes all you want but when the bean counters who know nothing about VMware start seeing request buy 4CPU worth of licensing to go into a 2 CPU blade, they are not going to agree that this is fair.
The only this new licensing scam is fair is if you have a 4 socket server and plan on limiting it to 128GB's of RAM and are planning on purchasing Enterprise or Enterprise Plus.