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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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Well Paul as you say it's only a rumor.  I really hope it's not fact because if it is, VMware has shown that it does not understand a thing of what it's customers want and need.

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It's a good step forward though and if it comes to be true then at least it means there is some room for flexibility, I'd welcome the vRam SKU without including a CPU license it's addressing the comodity in use and would be a better way to license into the cloud which is where we see this going. Why buy and license per CPU if this isn't the primary resource for chargeback pricing?

Why not just go vRAM Std, vRAM Ent, vRAM Ent Plus and purchase in blocks of say 50GB?

thoughts?

Paul

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Paul Whyton wrote:

It's a good step forward though and if it comes to be true then at least it means there is some room for flexibility, I'd welcome the vRam SKU without including a CPU license it's addressing the comodity in use and would be a better way to license into the cloud which is where we see this going. Why buy and license per CPU if this isn't the primary resource for chargeback pricing?

Why not just go vRAM Std, vRAM Ent, vRAM Ent Plus and purchase in blocks of say 50GB?

thoughts?

Paul

You've the major snag, and perhaps the biggest point of disconnect between VMWare and the customers. CHARGEBACK. Most user, especially SMB don't chargeback. I have servers to run my company. They are mixed use servers. When you do charback, it's a lot easier to justify a non-budgeted expense for vRAM, because you will be making that expense back.

I still think it's the height of arrogance for VMWare to charge on how I want to use my servers. 

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Well, it started to sound like; I’m cutting my nose in spite of my face, I am going to Microsoft just in spite of VMware, that’ll teach them a lesson. I can see it though that most of what was said is against the new VMware licensing, not the technology we all grew to love, may I add.

* Bear with me I am not patting VMware on the back for the hideous new licencing, just trying a more rounded argument *

For VMware:

VMware’s technologies and tools at this moment in the time of the virtualisation journey are unrivalled. In its price, performance, scalability, granularity, tools, manageability, support, APIs, security - yes I got carried away - not to mention the stability of the ESX Hypervisor. Those don’t come cheap and to be fair should not either given the R&D costs required.  VMware is one of the pioneers of the Cloud OS, many of today’s not so giant commercial Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are basing their services on vSphere. Now VMware or shell I say EMC, knows very well how much money these guys (CSPs) are raking-in each year using their flagship product, and how much they are paying VMware for their licenses? You see where I’m going with this.

Against VMware:

Now when it comes to the SMBs and even the larger organisations the picture starts to sound slightly unfair and yes even this “slightly unfair feeling” alone will have reputation costs and in turn commercial costs by VMware losing some customers, how many? Who knows? But if you read this huge blog you’ll get the feeling that everyone is, quick Smiley Wink

And that is where John’s input (14 Jul) comes in. VMware needs to work out a deal for businesses that might as a result of upgrading to vSphere 5.0 have all-of-a-sudden need to pay, again, almost the same amount of investment in VMware they did in 3.x or 4.x only couple of years ago. This is unlikely and a worst case scenario as many smaller environments may not be that affected by the new licensing. But for some having to pay 50% of that initial investment would alone prompt any financially level-headed IT Manager to start looking for the alternative.  And yes, Hyper-V, with all its shortcomings, financially makes a lot of sense and more so at current financial climates.

Conclusion:

Judging by the way the conventional data centre is going – to the cloud that is – I don’t know if budget holders or VMware are as concerned about this as we, VCP/Es and Systems Admins, are. "I don't care my datacentre is going to the cloud soon anyway, let them worry about it". The core/vRAM licensing costs for CSPs is fair considering their lucrative and ever expanding business trends they can easily absorb this as operational costs. Microsoft did it providing cheaper licensing costs for educational businesses and students, now VMware can do it in reverse the new licensing is only effective for CSP.

Lower and reasonable upgrade costs and deals based on the existing perCPU licensing for SMBs and organisations with internal clouds – if they want to see any of those left - will do more for VMware's brand name, market share and reputation and ultimately their financial position which is great as it is. and feeling “fairly treated” is for the customers.

Instructions provide the steps to do it but you still have to apply your intelect.
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Why do you think its 'fair' for a company that until recently was just saving the planet and your IT resouces by using virtualisation on x86/x86_64 hardware, to suddenly "cash in" on its customer base?

Even if those customers are wealthy - the cloud providers DO have their own licensing terms and hand over part of their revenue!

We are talking only about the stuff the non-cloudy or internal-only cloudy people are buying. And in this space there is simply no room for an overpriced vRAM thing.

Again: Our increase in license cost for our 2way vSphere Standard box with 96 GB RAM and about 80 GB is really soon going to be needed (thats why we put more in?!) the license only allows us to use 48 GB ? come on! We have to buy 2 more standard lics just to be in compliance with their new vRAM sh*t. Whats new in the Standard Ed. that is worth double the cash? (The standby box has 48 GB RAM and 1 socket, also not-compliant in v5).

I repeat an earlier post: I would be fine with a vRAM only license, even one that is tied to edition level and needs SnS. And if you take 15/25/40 USD for Std/Ent/EntPlus for each 4 GB vRAM you need more you end up with a price tag that's affordable.

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If VMware were to offer vRAM (or pRAM) packs they should never be tied to a vSphere edition and SnS should never be required.

If it's tied to an edition you lose flexibility.

If you have to pay SnS for RAM your SnS will increase whenever you have to purchase more RAM.  I don't want to know what this means in 2 years or 5.  And I don't see VMware upgrading RAM packs if covered by SnS.  It's just not practical and not having a decent roadmap wreaks havoc with planning.

BTW in Essentials (Plus) the vRAM pool is enforced.  Wouldn't it be fun that due to some bug all of a sudden this would apply to Standard and higher editions as well?  Suddenly VM's don't want to power up due to licensing reasons.  Even Microsoft isn't boneheaded enough to risk that.

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Even if/when VMware up the caps on vRAM this still takes away features such as memory over commitment.  Would a pRAM model not be a better way forward?    Having to right size VM's or go back and reduce vRAM on existing VM's is wrong.  We give memory based on application recommendations and always know this will be more than required.   Licensing on physical memory makes more sense.

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Any restriction on RAM less than restrictions per host already in pleace for vSphere 4.1 will give less than what customers have already purchased and paid for.

When having to stick with the evil anyway I agree that licensing by pRAM would be better than vRAM - and it should be the actually used pRAM in a pool just like vRAM is done today. That way the overcommitt/balooning/compression features of VMware makes sense again.

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SeanLeyne wrote:

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.

I also think de-coupling the capacity from the features would be a much more elegant solution than what they came up with on their first pass. It simply isn't intuitive.

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Any more news re: licencing?  I received a carefully worded email from VMware this morning thanking me for my feedback and stating that there will be some changes and an announcement would be made some time this week....  I know about the rumoured changes from a few days ago, but does anyone have anything more tangible?

Cheers

JD

JD CompTIA A+ Network+ vmware VCP 3-6
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Justin Devereaux wrote:

Any more news re: licencing?  I received a carefully worded email from VMware this morning thanking me for my feedback and stating that there will be some changes and an announcement would be made some time this week....  I know about the rumoured changes from a few days ago, but does anyone have anything more tangible?

Cheers

JD

At August 4 there will be a webinar for VMware Partners with details on changes in the licensing based on customer and partner feedback. No details on the exact changes but I guess the posting about higher entitlements and the limit of 96GB per VM are correct. 

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Surely VMware will think again about the licencing strategy, as many of the customers are not happy. I hope they will give some good news in future to their customers.

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SeanLeyne wrote:

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.

I partially agree with this comment, but I think even Sean's post doesn't go far enough. One of the elements of VMware's licensing structure I always appreciated was the simplicity. Introducing any sort of virtual capacity into the licensing scheme makes it more complicated. Basically, VMware is asking the customers to do more work or be charged more money. Either way, the TCO goes up. Even if VMware doubles the vRAM capacity of each license, the principle remains problematic, and I still plan to push back on it until we get something more compatible with our existing license structure. Back-of-the-envelope calculations showed us paying roughly 3x the cost we paid for vSphere 4. With the vRAM entitlement doubled, we'd still be paying 1.5x.

A 50% price increase is still not acceptable, especially when it increases the cost of our existing environment. Basically, VMware is still trying to slip in a gigantic price increase, just a smaller one than before.

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Paul Whyton wrote:

Why not just go vRAM Std, vRAM Ent, vRAM Ent Plus and purchase in blocks of say 50GB?


Because vRAM is not about feature set.

Don't confuse the fact that the different product levels will likely have different initial allocations. That is a marketing/product positioning issue.

vRAM is about my ability to host VM of the size that I need to.  If I am running Enterprise+, I should not be paying a premium to add more capacity over some one running Enterprise!  I have already paid a premium for the feature set, after than the amount of vRAM I need is purely a function of my usage.

After all, under v4 I could have a E+ host with 128GB of RAM or a host with 1TB of RAM and VMware didn't care.

Now that they are seeing that Moore's law is working against their capitalist needs, they are changing their licensing model to capture more $$$*.

After all, 2-3 years ago a CPU had 4 cores, today you can buy a CPU with 12 cores (or 10 cores/20 threads).  Later this year, you will be able to buy a CPU with 16 cores.  All the while, the price of VMware per socket was changed that much.  So, they are getting less $$$ for the benefits they are giving their clients.

* please don't not read this as an endorsement of the change.  Personally, I think VMware is fighting against the current.  There are very few vendors in the computer market who haven't had to reduce their pricing/margins over the years or have had to live with the fact that people are able to do more with the software than they could before due to improvements in computer/CPU design.

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Q: I have received an alert from VMware vCenter that I have exceeded the available pooled vRAM, but the product did not prevent me from deploying a new virtual machine. What is going on?

A: Only vSphere Essentials and Essentials Plus implement hard enforcement of vRAM capacity. VMware vCenter Server Standard will not prevent you from exceeding the available vRAM capacity; it will only signal that the licensing of the environment is out of compliance. VMware licensing policy is that customers should buy licenses in advance of use, so we recommend monitoring the vRAM consumption and extending the available pooled vRAM capacity before exceeding it. In this example, to become compliant you should immediately add enough vSphere licenses to cover the high watermark of consumed vRAM capacity.

So I guess it is up to us to go out there and buy more licenses to be compliant or not Smiley Wink ... if you had sized the servers right it is more likely that you won´t.

My two cents anyway.

Rgds,

J.

My Company http://www.jmgvirtualconsulting.com

My Blog http://www.josemariagonzalez.es

My Virtualization Web TV Show http://www.virtualizacion.tv

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I think that we will not see migrations to V5 in the next 2 years at all (a very - very little), and it will be exact answer to the new model. After Vmware will see drop in sales, they can rethink but it will be too late.

Show me ANY reason why I would like to migrate to this new Vmware5 with this new dumb licensing model? V4.0 (and 4.1) works pretty well, have all features required next 2 - 3 years, and has a smart licensing allowing necessary growth. V5 has licensing which prohibits any growth at all, and have a very few unnecessary (for most users) features - just bells and whistles, not real features (I notice only 2 interesting things in the whole announcenemn). So people can stay with V4 next few years and if licensing will not change, migrate to other vendors then (who will be extremelly happy and for sure will offer special deals for such migrations).

>> We may hate the new model, but we still have to comply with the law and maintain compliance with the EULAs for vs5 deployments.

From: Dracolith<mailto:communities-emailer@vmware.com>

To: Alexei Roudnev<mailto:Alexei_Roudnev@exigengroup.com>

Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2011 3:06 PM

Subject: New message: "vSphere 5 Licensing"

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Absolutely. I can understand per-core licensing, I can understand pRAM licensing, even if it stay the same as today and require much more money gto go with modern not-covered-yet systems (> 6 cores or > 256 GB pRAM). This is is well understandable and not prohibit Virtualization.

vRAM model prohibits virtualization in the long term. The only case when uit may work is cloud provider but then they should license vRAM only and nothing more (no hosts not cpu no cores). It will never work for small businesses or middle size enterprises.

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YOu are not correct. VMware already proposed vRAM model for cloud providers - and they ALREADY lost these providers (most if not all use XEN but not VMware - maybe, 5 - 10% of all clouds are VMware based; and now guess, why? - http://www.cloudbzz.com/vmware-should-run-a-cloud-or-stop-charging-for-the-hypervisor-or-both/ )

If they continue the same way, they will lost entreprise and small business customers, too.

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The developers in VMware believe that it all was a mistake and should be changed; but who really listen to engineers when you have so many (smart) sales?

And anyway, it is ALREADY TOO LATE - the HUGE harm is already DONE.

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Open a SupportRequest for Licensing Issues get escalated and explain.

Or evaluate HyperV and XEN because they catch up.

If VMware wants to be like Titanic they shall be.

I for one would like to stay with vAnything but not for 200 to 300% increase in licensing costs.

And I changed my mind about vRAM or pRAM licensing whatever. Some poster after me has it right. RAM should never be tied to SnS or Edition Level, because we already PAID for being at that level. What's okay is that per vCore licensing. You should get amount of Cores like currently allowed for your edition, and you should be able to add cores in the same manner. Standard means 6 cores for a standard license price. So if you happen to upgrade your AMD box or move to a newer denser INTEL box you must add licenses. And all of a sudden - this makes sense again and would be accepted by large customer base. More power (does not matter scale-out or scale-up) more licensing costs.

I'm so tired of all this crap. I just want to upgrade, be on a version that gets fixes first et all.

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