VMware has made some much-needed modifications to the new licensing model. After reviewing the new licensing layout, I think I’m happy with it. This is what I thought VMware was originally moving to with the announcement of vRAM based licensing before the first set of numbers came out.
The changes VMware has made include the following:
- Increased vRAM entitlement for all vSphere editions
- Capped the amount of vRAM that is counted for one VM
- Adjusted model to not penalize for short-term spikes and use averages to determine true-up vRAM entitlement.
Lets touch on each of these big points. The first about the increased vRAM entitlement. VMware has increased the entitlements for ALL versions of vSphere, including doubling the entitlement for Enterprise (64GB) and Enterprise Plus (96GB.) This is huge and was the big gripe for everyone, especially myself given our specific environment. Our new blades were going to require 4 Enterprise Plus licenses per blade with the old model, and now will only require 2, meaning we see no additional cost in licensing. And I think this will apply to most people, where licensing cost will be increased none, or just a little for monster servers. This should please most of the people who were up in arms.
Secondly is the vRAM entitlement cap per VM. This may throw some people off so let me break it down. Let’s say you have a large VM, running 1TB of vRAM on the VM. Well VMware will cap the amount of vRAM it penalizes you for at 96GB, meaning that no matter how much vRAM you use over that 96GB, that VM wont cost you more than 1 Enterprise Plus License. This is also big, because the second biggest concern was how the old vRAM model would impact the virtualization of large workloads.
Lastly, the fact that VMware has changed to an average model for vRAM entitlement in relation to licensing true up is great. VMware will now use an average over 12 months to determine what your vRAM entitlement is for your environment. While the impact on Production environments may be small, Test and Dev environments grow and shrink so dramatically that the old vRAM model would have killed companies over licensing due to spikes. Sure these spikes will still push the average up, but I do think it’s fair that it does impact your cost some. If you use the vRAM, you should have to pay a little more. But I think its much better than the high water mark to determine your entitlement. No need getting dinged on vRAM in a dev environment when you use it for a day or two.
All and all, I think VMware has listened to their customers and responded appropriately. This model still follows the heart of the original change, to move to vRAM entitlement, which I still feel is a great model. However, the original model was flawed and VMware has realized that, and adjusted that model to keep their customers happy, and treat them fairly. I am very happy that VMware has made these changes, and I think the community will respond positively to the new model. Kudos to VMware for listening.
VMware is set to announce their Q2 earnings on July 19, 2011 at 2pm. There are rumblings and rumors going around that VMware will address the licensing concerns of their customers potentially on this call. It’s hard to gauge whether this will happen. Part of me thinks VMware knew the risk and the small uproar their new licensing model would create, and accepted that risk and moved forward. Part of me also thinks EMC had a lot to do with the new licensing model in order to create more revenue and VMware is now second guessing that decision and may change the model. It’s certainly a good opportunity to address the problem on this call. The question is, does VMware see it as a problem?
Since VMware announced their new licensing plans and have thrown some numbers on up their website, the community has gone off the deep end with hatred towards VMware. For those not in the loop, VMware is moving towards licensing based upon CPUs and an allotment of vRAM. Here’s the breakdown:
- vSphere Standard License: 1CPU and 24GB of vRAM
- vSphere Enterpise License: 1CPU and 32GB of vRAM
- vSphere Enterprise Plus License: 1CPU and 48GB of vRAM
Let me know how you feel about this (though I’m sure I have a good idea.) Needless to say the prominent bloggers with ties to VMware are keeping mum, not that I blame them. This is a nasty time for VMware right now so hopefully they’ll come through for their existing customers or risk loosing a lot of them over randomly increasing cost, in our case, double per blade.