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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
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I agree entirely. Most on this forum are so used to being gouged they are just looking for a way to make the licensing workable. Its the frog in the slow-to-the-boil-water syndrome - totally unaware that he should really get out while the going is good.

A lot of the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair is down to the outrageous greed of VMW/EMC.

Lets see:

Have market dominance - check

Have a superior product - check

Have record profits - check

Have new plan to wash all this down the drain - check

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cmangiarelli wrote:

So Hyper-V is free?  Honestly, you've gone to too much trouble to cloud my argument that a conversion to Hyper-V isn't totally free.  As I explained above, there are very real costs associated with a conversion to Hyper-V (or any virtualization technology for that matter).  That is the crux of my argument and your diatribe does little to address it.  Your free argument only works for businesses who have already purchased datacenter licenses or are bound by VL agreements that allow license transferance; not ALL businesses fall into this category.  However, if you are a SMB who relies on OEM licensed servers, then a conversion to Hyper-V will cost you more than "free" as you can't transfer OEM licenses to new hardware (virtualization included).  If you have to buy new OEM licenses or sign a VL with sustainment, these are NOT free.

1.  Hyper-V is absolutely free.

2.  Switching from one virtualization platform to another will obviously involve time and effort.  Whether that is worth it is a decision that any company must consider, but the change in licensing costs can help offset the costs of the conversion effort.

3.  You're trying to muddy the waters with bringing up OEM licenses.  OEM licenses are tied to the physical hardware, NOT the virtualization platform.  Therefore if your current virtualization environment is licensed then you can replace your current virtualization platform with another without having to buy new Windows licenses.  The only catch is that if you've somehow managed to license all of your VMs via OEM licensing you have to use the same physical hardware, but it doesn't prevent you from switching hypervisors.

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Yes mate, that's why greed is Good Smiley Happy

/* Any kind of comment or input would be greatly appreciated */
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> 3.  You're trying to muddy the waters with bringing up OEM licenses.   OEM licenses are

> tied to the physical hardware, NOT the virtualization  platform.  Therefore if your current

> virtualization environment is  licensed then you can replace your current virtualization

> platform with  another without having to buy new Windows licenses.  The only catch is

> that if you've somehow managed to license all of your VMs via OEM  licensing you have

> to use the same physical hardware, but it doesn't  prevent you from switching hypervisors.

At least in Germany, it has been decided in court, that it is not valid to tie OEM licenses to the hardware. That means, you can transfer OEM Windows licenses to new hardware legally.

So you could easily, for example, transfer ALL your VMs from one host onto a different host running a different hypervisor, effectively moving your Windows Datacenter license to the new host. According to Microsoft, you can do this every (minimum) 90 days.

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It is very encouraging to see someone having some success pushing back against the gouging.

wuestenfuchs wrote:

> 3.  You're trying to muddy the waters with bringing up OEM licenses.   OEM licenses are

> tied to the physical hardware, NOT the virtualization  platform.  Therefore if your current

> virtualization environment is  licensed then you can replace your current virtualization

> platform with  another without having to buy new Windows licenses.  The only catch is

> that if you've somehow managed to license all of your VMs via OEM  licensing you have

> to use the same physical hardware, but it doesn't  prevent you from switching hypervisors.

At least in Germany, it has been decided in court, that it is not valid to tie OEM licenses to the hardware. That means, you can transfer OEM Windows licenses to new hardware legally.

So you could easily, for example, transfer ALL your VMs from one host onto a different host running a different hypervisor, effectively moving your Windows Datacenter license to the new host. According to Microsoft, you can do this every (minimum) 90 days.

Perhaps this might inspire those of you with substantial legal departments to engage VMW/EMC about their blatant disregard for S&S entitlements?

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Can I add my 2-penny worth.  We are a small school with just three hosts, and our present licence (Enterprise) allows us 256G per host, 768GB in total.

We are just upgrading our 3 Dell servers after 3 years excellent use, and of course have ordered MUCH more RAM.

If we upgrade to V5, our 6 processor Enterprise Licence will entitle us to 6 x 32GB = 192GB!!  Just 25% of what we were entitiled to?  It's less than we have just ordered on our new servers.

(OK there is a marginal difference between installed RAM and allocated RAM, but we don't have that much 'spare'.)

We're sticking to V4 until VMWare see sense . . .  . or we move to Microsoft.

Bob

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I have just opened a licensing SR with VMware, because the SME I am working for faces the same problem everyone who condensed their resources does.

Small server count (2-3) loaded with ram. We have 2sock 6cores 96gb and 1sock 4cores 48gb. and 3 standard licenses because we were not sure about upgradability of the essential packs.

We just upgraded from 48/24gb to 96/48 because the developers demanded more/bigger VMs and they USE the RAM so in our case its the RAM is really allocated and would count towards the vRAM limit.

The simple fact (from my point of view) - VMware didn't do the math right and using "load averages" as seen in other threads is doomed to fail.

Up until vSphere 5 the math was simple. Hardware + VMware = amount of cash needed (edition determined how many cores you could get). That was some sort of unfortunate if you wanted the newest processors but not enterprise plus edition. Big cudos for lifting those limits. But imposing us to buy a complete "CPU" license just to increase (v)RAM usage is dead wrong.

In my SR I proposed a vRAM only license for 15 USD / 4 GB RAM - still not optimal I guess. It is a simple equation. 2 standard licenses give me 48 GB RAM, we have double the mount thus need to pay up 12x4=48gb 12x15=180 USD (initial) for our additional vRAM for Server #1 and 90 USD for Server #2 (24gb). That is an amount I would pay and the amount due is 1:1 for upgrade costs. Physical RAM costs + vRAM costs = total amount needed.

We just fear to read "you may not power on this virtual machine because all available vRAM is in use".

another scenario

vRAM for enterprise and enterprise plus edition may cost more (to compensate)

25 for enterprise

40 for enterprise plus per 4 GB

If you want your TB of RAM and you have the required n-way machine you'd probably have a 8x8core machine. 8xCPU 8xEnterprise Plus (48GB) = 384 GB vRAM entitelment remaining 640 GB to complete the TB. Amount cash required 160x40 USD = 6400 USD initial (about 60% recurring). I would say THATS acceptable...

Furthermore if I were VMware I would give existing customers with active SnS all the vRAM only licenses for free because they were entitled in the previous version to more RAM (256 GB per host or so) thus the 8x8 enterprise plus guy would get 8x(256-48)=1664 GB vRAM in the upgrade course.

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My model is dead simple (short version)

You still buy hardware with CPU sockets and the according VMware license (which is still per cpu socket).

But you now must also pay for "allocated" RAM (if you exceed the edition limit). oookay not so nice but well.

The VMware edition prices gets cheaper, because the vRAM price is also edition based.

SnS customers get all vRAM entitlements they are eligable for (256gb per host)

my two cents.

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They in VMWare was in a huge doubts too - if you read carefully, they said

- vRAM limit will not be enforced except in essential.

- So you can have as much vRAM as you want and still run systems, but violating licenses, in theory - you will see a message you must add licenses but you can start your VM-s.

This means that even they in Vmware had a long discussions about new model and the only way for some idiot to push new model forward was to agree do not enforce it. Which indicates a strong opposition to him inside the company - more likely all smart engineers was against new model while few dumb sales was supporting it.

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aroudnev wrote:

- vRAM limit will not be enforced except in essential.

- So you can have as much vRAM as you want and still run systems, but violating licenses, in theory - you will see a message you must add licenses but you can start your VM-s.

This means that even they in Vmware had a long discussions about new model and the only way for some idiot to push new model forward was to agree do not enforce it. Which indicates a strong opposition to him inside the company - more likely all smart engineers was against new model while few dumb sales was supporting it.

I think you're kidding yourself if you don't think this is going to change with a patch sometime after v5 is released.

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aroudnev wrote:

- vRAM limit will not be enforced except in essential.

- So you can have as much vRAM as you want and still run systems, but violating licenses, in theory - you will see a message you must add licenses but you can start your VM-s.

This means that even they in Vmware had a long discussions about new model and the only way for some idiot to push new model forward was to agree do not enforce it. Which indicates a strong opposition to him inside the company - more likely all smart engineers was against new model while few dumb sales was supporting it.

I think they are just being respectful of the mission critical nature of the virtualization,  and it has nothing to do with VMware's internal solidarity on the new model.      The licensed vRAM could appear less than it actually is for a variety of reasons --  for example,   a linked vCenter is down,  or some hosts have been removed from vCenter management due to maintenance or to correct a problem.

I really appreciate VMware  for not implementing license enforcement measures that are likely to cause an outage due to licensing, or a measure such as Software activation that  would  cause operational problems getting a newhost /repair install up quickly,  possibly extending an outage...

Some hosts with unused vRAM arent managed by vCenter for one reason or another a ttimes..

There are a variety of reasons the technical/software  could see the vRAM pool smaller than the unutilized vRAM on the actual licenses.

Unforseen circumstances are possible where it is nice that the software does not do evil things.

We may hate the new model,  but we still have to comply with the law and maintain compliance with the EULAs for vs5 deployments.    Noone's  IT Security/legal department is going to let the organization stay out of legal compliance with the licensing,  anyways;    ignoring warnings from vCenter about non-compliance is not an option,  for an enterprise.

I'm not sure why Essentials is any different...   I suppose the assumption is if you   have only 3 hosts,  you are less likely to have a host  not managed by the vCenter in any circumstance;  or rather,  since the kit is a closed system,   by definition all hosts must be managed by the vCenter for that kit.

I wonder if Essentials' enforcement is  that VMs won't start,  or if vCenter just stops managing the hosts.

I would be concerned about what happens if there is a vCenter outage, and vCenter needs to be reinstalled from scratch in an Essentials environment.

Will each of the hosts suddenly revert to a lower vRAM limit,  not accounting for pooled memory from the other hosts?

Possibly resulting in VMs unable to start

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I believe the 'non-enforcment' of the license is really just for the

essential kit. Since the licensing PDF clearly states that up to 4.1

there were no real checks enforced but with 5.x will be.

So we have "being non-complient" as a no-go for serious business

continuity.

Having top up investments in virtualisation in the range of 100-600%

more also a no-go.

Having at least two competetive alternatives that may or may not serve

well.

an last but not least

Having invested in hardware gear, spoken to management, calculated with

the old licensing model and simply feel betrayed and ripped off.

hmm.

The whole mess smells like class action suit if this is going live the

way it is written today.

They idea about vRAM and that VMware wants (not needs) another revenue

stream is understandable, but not very clever. In my opinion they are

abusing their market position. There are (exotic) systems that really

only work good with VMware not with Xen/Parallels/Hyper-V/whatever ...

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ClueShell wrote:

I believe the 'non-enforcment' of the license is really just for the

essential kit. Since the licensing PDF clearly states that up to 4.1

there were no real checks enforced but with 5.x will be.

I believe you have it backwards.     The  Vsphere5 pricing whitepaper indicates

there is no technical enforcement of  vRAM licensing   in vSphere5

Except for  Essentials and  Standalone hosts.

The implications for environments that have standalone hosts

(Standard licensed or otherwise)  not managed by vCenter have not

been discussed!

I am really concerned about this,  for my organization's secondary

site,  which, for  cost and management overhead reasons probably

won't have any vCenter  to manage two hosts  with 256GB RAM each,

using local storage.

This would mean that at the secondary sites the  backup servers'

vRAM entitlements cannot be used on the primary server VMs.

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Ok now this is just ridiculous. Those vRAM limits must have ben chosen on a dice roll. Even by today's standard, they are unimaginably low. Imagine the mess it will be in 2 years, when most servers ship with 64GB of RAM on an entry-level server.

I am working with a small web development company, we just started using ESXi 4.1 to consolidate our different test/prod servers and I was thrilled to learn about vSphere 5. We have one host with 32 GB of RAM and now I learn I will only be able to use 8 of it? Even with an Essential license, we would still be limited to 24 GB of our 32 GB. How stupid is that?

No way. Unless VMware listens to its community and takes a step back on this licensing non-sense, we will, most probably like many other small businesses, be off to another solution made by a less greedy company.

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Actually with an Essentials license you could use 144 GB RAM.  Your vRAM pool is 6 x 24 GB whether you use a 1 single socket server or 3 dual socket servers.  In your case this would not appear to be too big of a problem.

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VMware - Go back to the drawing board and if necessary do a "per core"

license. Where current customers get 12 core lics per socket license

they own.

That would

a) allow me to use my previous generation server that is still doing

well but has 2 sockets with 2 cores to be used again for virtualisation.

b) is still simple to license because oh well YOU KNOW how many cores

you have

c) only enable the cores that are licensed (and in the case of

hyper-threading please only the real cores)

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From what I understand, we would have to buy two Essentials kit to use our full 32GB, no? vRAM can be pooled but the license still states a 24GB limit per CPU, and we only have a one CPU. We couldn't go over the 24GB limit in this situation, right?

But even though, we would still (of course) prefer to continue with the free hypervisior, given that we have no need for all the fancy tools of vCenter; we only have one server after all. For our use, a $499 price tag seems a bit steep.

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Well if this is true! then it shows they are listening to what we have been asking for. I've put almost the same figures to my VMware Business account manager and our Distribution Manager. Let us hope this is the major turn around that we are hoping for:

http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/vmware-changes-vram-licensing-on-vsphere-5-after-customer-feedback-...

regards

Paul

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Paul Whyton wrote:

...Let us hope this is the major turn around that we are hoping for:

http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/vmware-changes-vram-licensing-on-vsphere-5-after-customer-feedback-...

If the details of Gabe posting are true, then it is an improvement but it is still not enough.

If you need more vRAM you should not need to buy a full product license -- product license should be about feature set, not about capacity.

A separate vRAM SKU is required, one that is not tied to product level and not subject to SnS.

Let's not let VMware off the hook and settle for only half a solution.

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I agree. If they are going for a vRam license they need to allow you to grow it without paying every year for support you might not need.

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