SuperSpike
Contributor
Contributor

vSphere 5 Licensing

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.

Today

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

Tomorrow

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?

@Virtual_EZ
0 Kudos
1,980 Replies
admin
Immortal
Immortal

Hi all,

Thank you for all the honest opinions and real world scenarios. I've forwarded them to the licensing team.

1. We published a blog post from explaining a bit more about the rationale and the customer data we based it on.

http://blogs.vmware.com/rethinkit/2011/07/understanding-the-vsphere-5-vram-licensing-model.html

2. One of our tech marketing guys (@alanrenouf on Twitter) released another tool that surveys your existing vRAM usage and calculates how many licenses you'll need -- it's a little easier to use and nicer looking that the other scripts out there. A more formal tool is coming.

http://www.virtu-al.net/2011/07/14/vsphere-5-license-entitlements/

I'd recommend posting your results -- from that tool or others -- over on this thread

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1790456

or in a separate thread. The model was designed around the real-world scenarios that you're posting here - much better place to start than theoreticals.

3. We are finding that the majority of our customers do NOT have to buy additional vSphere 5 licenses. It looks like a number of people in this thread are in the segment that DO have to buy additional licenses. That's always painful whether you're big or small.

However, once you have your real-world numbers from the calculator, especially if they're not what you wanted, I'd encourage you to talk to your sales team (VMware or partner), partner business manager (if you're a partner), or other channels you have available back to VMware. That's the way real-world information can flow up the chain. We want to make this work for you. We want to make it a no brainer to upgrade to vSphere 5, because it rocks and we're proud of it.

Then start a new thread and discuss your licensing report, your opinion on the vRAM levels and if they reflect current real-world practice, or what design changes this license change will encourage. (As I said before, it's really hard to address things inside this thread, so please repeat youself in a new thread and let's start from there.)

Also if you do have specific questions about scenarios or upgrades, feel free to ask them here as well.

John

0 Kudos
WessexFan
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Thanks for touching base John. Me, along with a ton of my colleagues here make our living engineering and administering VMware. It's nice to give us a tool to measure our future relationship.

VCP5-DCV, CCNA Data Center
0 Kudos
brainslice
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Gabriel Chapman wrote:

honestly its only a matter of time before the larger storage vendors start integrating the hypervisor into their storage stacks and moving back to the mini/mainframe model of virtualization, at least thats what I would do if I was IBM/HP/Dell why not develop your own hypervisor, or go open source, integrate it with your storage/switching and provide fully virtualized frames to the customer

EMC is already doing this with the vmax in the labs, its only a matter of time before it comes to market.

On that note.....

I'm using Hitachi LPAR right now on a "ComputeBlade 2000" system.

It has some distinct advantages for certain workloads.

And, the virtualization licensing is far less than vSphere 4.1, never mind 5.

0 Kudos
Gabriel_Chapman
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

@John:

Thank you for your response, its good to see that the top brass are taking this issue seriously.

That said, so far I'm just not seeing what VMWare as a whole is seeing. From my experiences, and from the other users/customers I have spoken with (who are fully aware of how the new licesning model works) the new licensing model will end up costing us more. Given the technological advances with Nehelam and in the future Sandy Bridge, a dual socket with 128GB of RAM is becoming the entry level host system. With your new licensing scheme once you breach 75% utilization, the vTax penalty rears its ugly head and you are penalized for utilizing what you have put in place.


2 sockets, 24 cores and 256GB of RAM results in a significant cost increase if you want to utilize what you are buying, otherwise, the only machine anyone with Ent+ would buy would be a dual socket with 96GB RAM which is good for what? 20:1 compression if you're really agressive, but more like 12:1 or 15:1. Yet all of your software advances allow us to put more and more VM's on a given host. VAAI has allowed us to move well past the 15 VM's per datastore, VMFS5 moves even further, yet the new licensing doesnt make economic sense for me to build hosts that can hold 30 or 40 VM's. even though for years thats what we all have wanted to do and in fact were pushed by your sales and engineering teams to do.

As many have pointed out, for years we have been aksed to push the envelope when it came to scaling-up, only to now be penalized for doing so. Lets face it, CPU has never been the chokepoint in vmware environments, its always been memory. Dual sockets with 16 cores is the norm now, not the exception. Average utilization across many organization (the reason we all virtualized in the first place) is around 6-12% of CPU, it was the memory we were concerned about. VMWare did a great job of managing that memory, but now, even when "right sized" our hosts are essentially locked to 96GB of memory utilzation, leaving all that extra memory sitting wasted.


I dont want to get 50% utilization from my hardware, I want 90%, its the sole reason I virtualized in the first place. I just don't get it, and if you can't sell me (and the vast majority of your end users in the trenches) on this new scheme, how do you expect us to sell our CFO's/ CEO's/CIO's on VMWare as a platform?

Ex Gladio Equitas
0 Kudos
WessexFan
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Great post. Please take it to heart.

VCP5-DCV, CCNA Data Center
0 Kudos
sergeadam
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well said. I may stick with 4.1 until EOL. New licenses will be downgraded. I'm now keeping a constant look at Hyper-V. The switch will happen.

Serge Adam

Senior Network Engineer

170 University Ave, Suite 800

Toronto, ON M5H 3B3

Tel: (416) 365-1563 x229

Cell: (416) 388-2686

email: serge.adam@platinumlegal.ca

web: www.platinumlegal.ca

Warning: The information contained in this message is privileged, confidential, and intended only for the use of the designated recipient(s) named above. Any unauthorized use or disclosure is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately

0 Kudos
twindude
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

@Gabriel

Thanks great points!

Even right-sizing VMs still hurt on cost and when you throw in all the DR systems setting idled, it’s going to get expensive there is no way around it!

I'm interested in how vBlock UCS plays a role in this now, the flexible Cisco B230 M1 caps out at 256Gb, M2 512gb, so that’s one ESXi host so 2-3 per cluster and the vRAM Cost vs VM ratio will still not work out at 40:1 (M1 - 6gigs per VM with one host - not to mention the risk and having to have other systems with these spec for HA (vmotion/DRS))! Take SharePoint and SQL deployments (core business apps) cost will sky rocket!

You will have exceptions but the exception shouldn't become your license norm!

@John

Can someone help me understand this better.. maybe i'm missing something.......?

UCS Blade Comparsions - look at the memory numbers - how can you justify buying this and doubling up on cost with VMware?

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10280/prod_models_comparison.html

0 Kudos
devilz666
Contributor
Contributor

3. We are finding that the majority of our customers do NOT have to buy additional vSphere 5 licenses. It looks like a number of people in this thread are in the segment that DO have to buy additional licenses. That's always painful whether you're big or small.

Funny, seems like most of the customs that make you the MOST money in licenses will have to buy more licenses

Maybe the essentials buyers who run 5 or 6 vms in total might not need more vram, but hey, if your happy selling to those customers and loosing the customers that usually buy the $50,000+ licenses then go for it...

I've already seen you loose a $70,000+ sale already due to vram issues, As you said... That's always painful whether you're big or small.

0 Kudos
AlbertWT
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Serge, let us know how you go if somehow you decide to migfate the VM into Hyper-V, I'm just curious and would love to know if it is worthwhile to move from ESXi into Hyper-V

/* Any kind of comment or input would be greatly appreciated */
0 Kudos
AlbertWT
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi Devil,

Yes you are right, in this case VMware is seems to filter the current market so that only the loyal big shop and deep pocket customers can stay with VMware and let the smaller shop migrate or use cloud computing somewhere else. So we have to embrace the hidden agenda behind all of this licensing scheme.

/* Any kind of comment or input would be greatly appreciated */
0 Kudos
wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

sergeadam wrote:

New licenses will be downgraded.

Yeah, about that... downgraded licences fall under vRAM rules.

0 Kudos
mikeyes
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

shaofis wrote:

Anyone who falls for the "Use our Tool" I feel sorry for.

I don't know how anyone else runs things.. but when I go through and purchase new hardware for my environment I don't count up my current number of VMs... I anticipate my future requirements.

I hope someone at VMWare is actually listening... Flexibility is what made virtualization so prolific... this new licensing model is anything but flexible. And telling everyone to check their current usage is bull crap... because it doesn't take into consideration their already invested resources.

I for one am very annoyed... shame on me for getting scammed into a new 3 year SNS renewal just recently.

Amen

0 Kudos
mikeyes
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Why does the amount of vRAM I am consuming right this second matter?  Why should I ignore available owned server capacity that I might need to use tomorrow?  If I own Ent+ I have unlimited access to my pRAM.  This means I can use everything I own.  If the v5 license will limit access to hardware I already own why should I ignore that just because I am not using that hardware today?

Lets try this.  Download VMware's vRAM tool.  Estimate how long your existing hardware will last without any increase in hardware capacity.  Now take that time period and calculate the max quantity of servers you will ever attain during this period.  Include all test environments that might be built as short term virtual servers.  Build all of those servers and bring them online.  NOW run VMware's vRAM tool and calculate whether you will need to purchase additional licenses.

Telling us that we will be ok if we are not actually consuming more vRAM that we own v5 equivalent licenses for is short sighted.  If the hardware is owned by the customer now they might want to eventually use it.  When the time comes to use hardware that they already own and already have powered on, the last thing they will want to do is pay VMware again for the ability.

Since the current model is unlimited vRAM, hardware configurations were based on this unlimited license model.  If the model changes in the middle of hardware replacement and restricts access to hardware owned by the customer then the possibility of wanting to access that hardware will be there even if it is not used today.  This is why most customers are looking at their total pRAM rather than their usage right now.

If VMware had protected all existing customer licenses that were under maintenance and allowed those licenses even in v5 to continue with unlimited access to vRAM this would have softened the blow.  This would have allowed existing customers with existing hardware to finish using that hardware (all of it).  Only new purchases would be affected and customers could shape their hardware to match the license model at the time of purchase.

0 Kudos
briandatamatter
Contributor
Contributor

So if we take the advice and right size our VMs and then buy *just enough* licensing to cover that. How do we continue to be ;

  • agile
  • cost efficient

Taken from ;

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/cloud/VMware_Business_Agility_and_the_True_Economics_of_Cloud_Comput...

Also,

http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/transplace.html

talks about "Deploys VMware Platform as Foundation for Sustainable Growth, Platform Helps Transplace Keep Costs Down while Increasing Flexibility and Capacity"

This ;

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/key_features_vsphere.pdf

mentions;

  • "higher utilization"
  • "Ram over-commitment"

I suppose all these points can be scrapped now ?

0 Kudos
cdu
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

We are one of the biggest customer in West Canada and we have about 200 enterprise and 150 standard licenses. We started with small servers with 16/32 G ram many years ago so we have enough license to cover capacity growth even for the next 3 years.

However, I still don't like the new licensing model, when I talked to managers, oracle team, storage teams and architectures, etc. everyone is shocked. We may stay with 4.x until EOL and meantime, we'll look at other products to possiblly replace VMware or at least part of them.

I just don't trust VMware anymore. Hopefully in 3 years, other solutions will catch up and we will eventually have choices.

0 Kudos
mikeyes
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Also remember that many SMB companies operate on a yearly budget and might only get a chance to spend big IT money once a year.  They must purchase equipment that will grow with them for that year.

If I buy a server now with 2 CPU and 128GB of pRAM it would be foolish to only purchase VMware licensing that would allow me to use 96GB of that RAM.  If during that year cycle I needed access to the extra pRAM (even if it were for a few hours to bring a dev box online) I would be unable to do so without spending more money.  SMB managers have to purchase hardware that will cover them during this cycle and will last them until they are able to shop again.

0 Kudos
sergeadam
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Guess my eval of hyper-v just moved up my list a few notches.

Serge Adam

Senior Network Engineer

170 University Ave, Suite 800

Toronto, ON M5H 3B3

Tel: (416) 365-1563 x229

Cell: (416) 388-2686

email: serge.adam@platinumlegal.ca

web: www.platinumlegal.ca

Warning: The information contained in this message is privileged, confidential, and intended only for the use of the designated recipient(s) named above. Any unauthorized use or disclosure is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately

0 Kudos
Rumple
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Here's a great example of vmware losing business. 

We spec'd out a CISCO UCS environment for a customer...4xpCPU and 512GB of RAM per Blade x 4...they expected to have a RAM utilization of about 768GB across the farm (each system UTILIZING 50% of the RAM...in real numbers I expect them to be closer to ALLOCATING closer to 1TB through oversubscription...

When we priced it out, the cost was about 64k for vmware licensing.

Today, we had the re-quote with the new licensing model...

We based it on an HA model where we have room for a single host failure without issue, which means only allocating 1.5TB of RAM across the farm (since they have RAM heavy apps, hence the 512GB Servers)

Their vmware licensing now costs them 16 CPU for the hardware@ 64k...plus they need to license the additional 768GB of RAM = 16 CPU Licenses...

Total cost is 128k for licensing.

Guess what I got told I could do with my vmware licenses...

Thanks vmware...you lost yourself 64k...and now they are going to sit on the project until Hyper-V 3 comes around in 6 months..

(or just go smaller blades and go physical) since its cheaper for them to be physical and pay the extra power then it is just to licensing your F'n software...

0 Kudos
wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Mark Hodges wrote:

Here's a great example of vmware losing business. 

We spec'd out a CISCO UCS environment for a customer...4xpCPU and 512GB of RAM per Blade x 4...they expected to have a RAM utilization of about 768GB across the farm (each system UTILIZING 50% of the RAM...in real numbers I expect them to be closer to ALLOCATING closer to 1TB through oversubscription...

When we priced it out, the cost was about 64k for vmware licensing.

Today, we had the re-quote with the new licensing model...

We based it on an HA model where we have room for a single host failure without issue, which means only allocating 1.5TB of RAM across the farm (since they have RAM heavy apps, hence the 512GB Servers)

Their vmware licensing now costs them 16 CPU for the hardware@ 64k...plus they need to license the additional 768GB of RAM = 16 CPU Licenses...

Total cost is 128k for licensing.

Guess what I got told I could do with my vmware licenses...

Thanks vmware...you lost yourself 64k...and now they are going to sit on the project until Hyper-V 3 comes around in 6 months..

(or just go smaller blades and go physical) since its cheaper for them to be physical and pay the extra power then it is just to licensing your F'n software...

The best part is that with XenServer 6, that would only be $20k (not sure about Hyper-V licencing numbers), so you're looking at basically spending >6x the amount of money for vSphere 5, vSphere 4 is already expensive enough as it is.

If anything I'd expect VMWare to respond to XenServer and Hyper-V's features catching up by making their pricing more reasonable, not less!

0 Kudos
jgezels
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Rumple

Indeed the exact same situation here, we need to buy 11 extra enterprise plus lics, just to be able to keep on running as we do now without any extra benefits (which make sense to management). We were also planning to heavily invest into extra lics for our SAP environment but rest assure we will start looking for a migration path to another HyperVisor because it would mean instead of 50K, more than 150K lics......

Well exit VMware and wait for Hyper-V 3 to move ..

0 Kudos