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
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1,980 Replies
ragmon
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

JDLangdon wrote:

While you might think you cannot be held responsible, there are CEO's  out there who will decide it's cheaper to start scaling out then it is  to scale up.  When that happens, these same CEO's will look at hardware  vendors and remember how they were encouraged in the past and by whom.   That's when you'll see companies not only seriously consider switching  their software provider, but also switching their hardware providers.

I agree that you probably were only trying to save your customers money but now they are going to end up paying a lot more to utilize what they previously purchased.

This is where the vendors need to get on board and make VMware aware that these new changes are no acceptable.

Disclaimer: I work for HP and my comments are based completely on my own opinion

I agree. The pressure on VMware to reconsider its licensing policy should come not only from VMware customers, but from VMware's partners as well.

I'm not sure if you're aware of the fact that the company I work for, HP, has already demonstrated strong commitment to its customers before. When Oracle decided to dump the Intel Itanium platform, HP filed a lawsuit accusing Oracle of breaching contracts and making the demand on behalf of its customers for continued support for the platform. HP said "We will protect our customers and the significant investments they have made”. The results have yet to be determined!

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FREDYz
Contributor
Contributor

We have enviroments of vSphere clusters in several Datacenters and choosed to standarise everything under vSphere and control of a single vCenter. Now for some places I am considering use Linux KVM because besides it being mature already, it has similar features like vMotion, Storage vMotion, very good performance, page sharing, etc... with NO caps on the amount or memory you can consolidate in a single physical server.

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davide_delta
Contributor
Contributor

Just to see the number of my proposal...

Using as a parameter VMware Store and 1 Year of Basic support.

Increasing vSphere License by 30% and using this vRAM entitlement:

24GB - vSphere Hypervisor

24GB - 1CPU for Essentials Kit
48GB - 1CPU for Essentials Plus Kit

32GB - 1CPU for Standard
96GB - 1CPU for Enteprise
192GB - 1CPU for Enteprise Plus

Single vSphere Licenses:

Ent+ 1Y B - 1 CPU - 4230$ [48GB vRAM] 88.1$ x GB --> 5500$ [192GB vRAM] 28.6$ x GB
Ent 1Y B - 1 CPU - 3480$ [32GB vRAM] 108.8$ x GB --> 4520$ [96GB vRAM] 47.1$ x GB
Std 1Y B - 1 CPU - 1270$ [24GB vRAM] 52.9$ x GB --> 1650$ [32GB vRAM] 51.6$ x GB

vC Fnd - 2040$ [3 hosts]
vC Std - 6040$ [unlimited hosts]

KITS

NOTE: vCenter Standard is included and its costs remain the same 6040$.

Ent+ 1Y B - 6 CPU - vC Std - 31940$ [288GB vRAM] 89.9$ x GB --> 39710$ [1152GB vRAM] 29.2$ x GB
Ent 1Y B - 6 CPU - vC Std - 21530$ [192GB vRAM] 80.7$ x GB --> 26180$ [576GB vRAM] 35.0$ x GB
Std 1Y B - 8 CPU - vC Std - 15200$ [192GB vRAM] 47.7$ x GB --> 17950$ [256GB vRAM] 46.5$ x GB

Essential KITS

NOTE: vCenter for Essential is included but I've considered a cost of 0$.

Ess+ 1Y B - 6 CPU - vC Ess - 4320$ [144GB vRAM] 30.0$ x GB --> 5620$ [288GB vRAM] 19.5$ x GB
Ess 1Y s - 6 CPU - vC Ess - 560$ [144GB vRAM] 3.9$ x GB


30% increase in list price of single license for new license, is a way to
pay new features and a way to give actual customer with sns contracts a
good reason to have those contracts!

I'm sure this is not perfect, but I want to share my view ...

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JustinL3
Contributor
Contributor

rjb2 wrote:

Wayne wrote:

It isn't just you.  We just purchased ten dual-socket servers with 192GB RAM each (enterprise license level) and we'll need to triple our license count to be able to use all available RAM if allocated by VMs.   Ridiculous if this is true.

If you have the Enterprise version, you are in the very worst position. Your cost for vRAM is more than 2X the cost of those who purchased Standard, and 23% higher than Plus. This is illogical and very painful for those of us who bought Enterprise. And has anyone looked at the cost of upgrading to Plus.....wait until you see the premium that you will pay to do that.

VersionvRAM per CPUPer GB vRAM
Standard24$                  41.63
Enterprise32$                  89.84
Enterprise Plus48$                  72.81

The entitlements are clearly messed up; something like this would have made a bit more sense.

VersionvRAM per CPUPer GB vRAM
Standard24$                  41.63
Enterprise64$                  44.92
Enterprise Plus96$                  36.41

This is an interesting calculation that I had not personally done yet.  Not only are the current entitlements low from the perspective of today’s hardware capabilities, but as you have shown above, they are low from an economies of scale perspective as well.  Usually if I'm going to be paying more money for something, I'm going to expect more features and lower unit cost; in this case vRAM entitlements (since that is the new licensing metric).

Also, I think it's important for VMware to remember that vSphere is the foundation for a lot of their other products.  I can personally say that we were excited to look at vCD once it was able to do linked cloning (which it can now) because it might make sense for test/dev self-provisioning and isolation (similar to lab-manager, but with the potential to be used for production system provisioning as well).  But since the vSphere foundation to vCD is becoming so expensive, test/dev will no longer work on vSphere for us and we will start looking at putting test/dev on other technologies, so do we really need vCD now?  Please note VMware, our test/dev environment is at least as big as out production environment.  If we don’t look at vCD in test/dev, do you think we’re going to look at it in prod?

We were evaluating vCOPS because as densities increase on physical servers, a tool that learns your environment and helps point out and predict performance problems would help us to manage the increased densities.  But the new vSphere model doesn't promote high density servers anymore; I mean come on, do you really think I'm going to have performance problems running 64 VMs on a 48 core server with no memory over-commitment because I can only use 192GB of RAM (VMware's math 192GB vRAM entitlement/3GB avg VM vRAM per their customer study)?  Even if I get management to approve 8 ENT+ licenses for that same host, using VMware’s math, I would only be running 128 VMs on that host and still not have any memory over-commit.  To some of you who haven't done it yet, that might sound high, but I can tell you that it's not.  I've tested 160+ VMs on a host already.  So, am I really going to need to look at vCOPS if my hosts aren't going to maximized?

We were evaluating vCM because our VMware environment has surpassed our physical environment on some OSs and is gaining ground on others.  Centralized configuration management and policy enforcement capabilities of vCM across OSs and platforms are intriguing.  And although you don’t have to be running vSphere to use vCM, do you think we’re going to want to purchase vCM from the company that just forced us to start evaluating a move for our test/dev systems to a competing technology?

Whoever was in charge of this decision doesn’t have a good understanding of its impact to not only vSphere sales, but VMware’s other products as well.  They should be costing vSphere at compelling levels so some of their other products make more sense for their customers to implement.

Instead, they’re pricing their foundation product, vSphere, at levels that are upsetting their customers and having them look at other avenues.  I’ve never run a big company like VMware, but I can tell you that’s not a good business model for most businesses; especially in these economic times.

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VidarK
Contributor
Contributor

I think people should just turn away from VMware. Even if they change their mind about licensing this whole disaster just proves they don't care about their customers needs; they just want to milk the market as long as possible before their competitors fully catch up on features. If they turn now you don't really know what they are going to do next year. Somehow they seem to want to grow their profit every quarter even if they are getting more and more mature competition. That means they have to make more money from each customer without any benefits returned.

As far as I am concerned, Hyper-V and XenServer are both mature enough to be excellent alternatives to VMware in our environment. VMware is about to loose $100k (or should I say >$200k calculating by their new fantasy pricing?).

Sticking to physical servers for 64bit XenApp servers for sure makes more sense than virtualizing them with vSphere 5.

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FREDYz
Contributor
Contributor

It's not bad at the current scenario for most people *yet*, but they are still ripping people off, not allowing them to grow the same hardware without having to pay more. What about the people that have already purchased hardware like DL380G7 and 192GB or 384GB of memory. It is bad , very bad what they are doing. They are taking a chance on customers and thinking they will stay anyway, but in this case they are playing with a very sensitive area, their wallets. I think VMware has done a great job in the past years in terms of pionerring on new features for virtualization but that don't justify them to put the price up. We pay Support and Subscription(SnS) for that; for them go, research and bring these new features. I am very disappointed with them and also with the fact this is encoraging people to go and have a look on other technologies like KVM and Xen (don't think Hyper-V can be compared really) and they will find (for the first two) that they can do the job well with much lower cost if you consolidate things under less number of servers.

VMWare is concentrating solely on their shareholders at the expense of their customers.

A shame day on VMware history. The day they broke the trust with their customers.

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ohauer
Contributor
Contributor

We are a small shop and developing java applications.

Years ago we moved from bare metal to ESX to consolidate all the build and test machines to a small cluster with 3x 2CPU's with 64 GB RAM.

The new license model will hit us in the following way.

During work hours only default production machines (file, mail, repository databases, development) machines are consuming CPU/RAM

OK if this where the only machines we could use only one node (without redundancy ) even Standart will fit.


Now the issue I see with the new license model.

We have over 50 VM's sitting all the day around waiting for the go to build the product and do product testing against all kind of databases, application servers, os, browsers ...

These VM's are configured with 4-8 GB RAM but do not consume CPU or the RAM at the same time, so in IDLE they use not more then 200MB RAM but if I count the vRAM it is around 260GB+.

Exactly this was for us the reason to go with ESX.


Since my contract has to be renewed next month and the new license model was not planned in my budget It seems the contract will not be renewed.

To keep the cost in the planned budget I see only a view ways.
- develop a small framework which powers the test machines on and shut them down again if the work is done.
- move to another product.

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JustinL3
Contributor
Contributor

Fernando wrote:

A shame day on VMware history. The day they broke the trust with their customers.

This is a powerful statement.  VMware's lack of response to the community is very telling.  A lot of us on this thread have been VMware advocates to management within our own organizations or our customers' organizations because we knew that even though it was pricey, it brought a lot of flexibility and value to our organizations.  So we advocated for it, justified the cost, implemented it, ran it, and de-bunked concerns that we were becoming too reliant on one vendor.

But this has drawn the line in the sand and if VMware doesn't take notice, acknowledge, and handle this quickly and appropriately; they have planted a seed of doubt in their advocates within a lot of their customers' organizations.

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wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Full_Halsey wrote:

DSTAVERT wrote:

Complaining here does nothing for any of your future plans. Make your VMware rep aware of your future plans and how you may be affected in the future.

I must say I am now in complete agreement with this statement. I am convinced that nobody in authority from VMware is going to make any kind of statement regarding the hundreds of valid concerns stated here and I am wasting my time and effort.

I more of want everyone to be very vocal here for when VMWare can't explain to it's stockholders and partners on why it's losing sales by the truckload, we'll want to point to this very threadnaught about how utterly stupid this decision is.

To try to drive it home we'll talk to our partners, but this creates a quite publically visible record of what went on.

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Ohhno
Contributor
Contributor

One thing i dont like is the silence from more so called vExperts and/or VMware.. Atm there is almoste 30000 views at this at this thread and not alot from the "experts" .. They all have blogs that i follow and its dead quiet there... What is this? ... Is the official response ... .. .. Silence?

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Please don't generalize. I including a few other vExperts have repeatedly requested for you guys to post the numbers from your envirnoments in the appropriate thread. Let's follow that process and see what we can make of it. We all understand the frustration, the numbers you guys post in the appropriate threads will help your cause. I don't think accusing vExperts of being inactive about the situation will help anyone.

Unfortunately most of my blogss for the past 3 days have been around the new licensing. I myself can't wait for this get over so we can discuss the new features which are getting overshadowed.

Follow me @ Cloud-Buddy.com

Blog: www.Cloud-Buddy.com | Follow me @hashmibilal
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DSeaman
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Ya I think the saddest part is that the licensing kurfuffle has really overshadowed all of the great work by the VMware engineering team. I'd be pretty PO'd if I was on the vSphere development team and everyone was side tracked by licensing issues, when there are some really nifty enhancements with 5.0 that take virtualization to a new level. It would have been smarter to first release all of the technical details, then a few weeks later follow up licensing details. That would have given the blogosphere time to really disemminate the new features to the community.

Derek Seaman
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wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

VMWare's response:

http://twitter.com/#!/VMware_vRAM


Seriously?

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wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Bilal wrote:

Please don't generalize. I including a few other vExperts have repeatedly requested for you guys to post the numbers from your envirnoments in the appropriate thread. Let's follow that process and see what we can make of it. We all understand the frustration, the numbers you guys post in the appropriate threads will help your cause. I don't think accusing vExperts of being inactive about the situation will help anyone.

Unfortunately most of my blogss for the past 3 days have been around the new licensing. I myself can't wait for this get over so we can discuss the new features which are getting overshadowed.

Follow me @ Cloud-Buddy.com

New flashy toys are completely pointless if my main point is reducing infrastructure costs, as is generally the purpose of virtualizing.

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wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Ohhno wrote:

One thing i dont like is the silence from more so called vExperts and/or VMware.. Atm there is almoste 30000 views at this at this thread and not alot from the "experts" .. They all have blogs that i follow and its dead quiet there... What is this? ... Is the official response ... .. .. Silence?

All eggs, one basket? Of course they don't want to talk about the truth here.

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rbtwindude
Contributor
Contributor

i am part of the not so great idea group.. but less keep this focused on the license issue and not personal!

a lot of us are frustrated... we should be seeing a lot from VMWARE but they as a company have choosen to be silent.

we all helped VMWare get where they are today.. from testing to this forum to SNS - etc....

we have a right to express ourselves toward the root of license issue....:smileyangry:

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sergeadam
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

WADR, it's been stated here that for a lot of us, NOW we're OK. However, I don't buy servers for now. I buy servers to last me 3+ years. I buy for growth.

I just walked in a place where they had just bought 3 R710, and a pair of PS4000 for a new deploymnt. I have 224GB of RAM in those servers. I have an Essentials Plus license. Because of price, butr mostly because that kit has all the features I need.

When I looked at the envirinment, which is in rented space in a co-lo, I told the owner that I could virtualize most of his existing servers as well, thus getting rid of a rack. Here's the kicker. The one project needs 124GB of RAM. It leave sme with 20GB to virtualize the other servers, one of which is a TS with 32GB.

If I run the script now, it will show everything is honkey-dorey. Not so in 6 months. I also have an environment where we were planning to spin servers up and tear them down depending on client work.

I was also planning on bringing ESX in another 3-4 of my locations.

So here's my dilema . I can do the song and dance of how great ESX is, but hey, I have to 1) upgrade to Standard and 2) buy 4 new licenses to cover my lready covered servers.

Or I can tell the owner that because of licensing term changes at VMWare, I'm going to delay the project a month (no big deal), because I have to evaluate Hyper-V and XenServer.  And for the first time in nearly 10 years, I'm not going to be able to dance around the fact that Hyper-V is free or that XenServer is really cheap.

So forget about your little tool, listen to what we are syaing, because it's not just today. I plan IT 3-5 years ahead. I'm luckier than most here because at this pooint I'm not looking at a conversion. I'm just looking at losing my investment in ESX. And I'm in the position that I can't be blamed for chosing it in the frrst place.

I know I could stay with 4.1 until EOL. By why bother? If any new licenses are subject to the density tax, why should I not change right now?

And once gone, I'm most likely not coming back. And then factor in the untold number of times I've extoled the virtues of ESX to coleagues, no more.

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mikeyes
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

There have been a few things thrown out that I would like to confirm or deny.

1.  It has been stated that VMware will only allow v4 customers with maintenance 30 days to upgrade to v5 once it is released.  If the customer does not upgrade they will have to pay an additional amount to upgrade to v5 even if they are under maintenance.

2.  It has been stated that if a customer purchases a v5 license and exercises their downgrade rights to run that license as a v4 license on a v4 ESXi server that those v4 ESXi servers will utilize the vRAM limitations.

Can someone please confirm or deny these with actual links from VMware's site or whitepapers?

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waynej
Contributor
Contributor

Bilal wrote:

Please don't generalize. I including a few other vExperts have repeatedly requested for you guys to post the numbers from your envirnoments in the appropriate thread. Let's follow that process and see what we can make of it. We all understand the frustration, the numbers you guys post in the appropriate threads will help your cause. I don't think accusing vExperts of being inactive about the situation will help anyone.

Running a script so VMware can tell us "see, you don't need any new licenses because you would be 2GB under your maximum vRAM pool on vSphere 5" (if that is the case) is nonsense.  The new vRAM limits greatly reduce my maximum hardware utilization unless we pay 2-3x as much for more licenses which were not needed in vSphere 4.  Did vSphere 5 add so much value that warrants the massive increase in license cost? It does not appear so. VMware claims that most customers won't be affected. So why make such a drastic change?

It certainly wasn't to make the licenses easier to understand. What is so hard about x number of cores and y GB of RAM per license depending on the license level?   Now we have to estimate our vRAM usage and keep monitoring it as allocated RAM for powered-on VMs is very dynamic in the virtual world.  I spin up dev machines all the time.  Who doesn't?  Want to grow your virtual environment?  Pay up.

We just purchased ten R710's with 192GB each to upgrade our older PE2900 cluster.  20 licenses is all we need on vSphere 4 Ent to fully utilize the hardware.  5.7 VM's per socket?  Laughable.  I do greater than that on our older X5355 procs and memory is my limiting factor.  Will we need all 1920GB RAM to start?  Certainly not, but we have been holding off on deploying new VMs (servers and VDI pools) until we had the new capacity.  We intended to virtualize a boatload of physical servers in the next year and deploy some fairly heavy hitting desktop pools for student labs (GIS, statistics, etc).

The new license/pricing mess just stopped me dead in my tracks.  I was planning on buying VCOPS as well as VEEAM (migrate from vRanger).  The budget just got blown up, so something has to give.  It won't be VEEAM since we need to backup our VMs (I'll bite my tongue on why we are migrating from vRanger).  That means VCOPS is gone.  And that still won't cover all of the costs as SnS is tacked on top of all of these extra licenses -- the recurring vTAX.

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I can understand your frustration and please understand that I am not defending or attacking anyone. Just like everyone else, I am also trying ot hunt down how this will impact everyone. With that being said, I have posted 3 polls on my blog to get some kind of a data. I plan to blog based on the feedback I will recieve. So I will appreciate if you can respond to that as well. It will take less than 30 sec.

http://www.cloud-buddy.com/?p=475

Lastly, I will still urge you to run your numbers. Lets still follow the process.. run the script, post the numbers and point out how this impacts your future plans.

Follow me @ Cloud-Buddy.com

Blog: www.Cloud-Buddy.com | Follow me @hashmibilal
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