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.
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.
As expected, VMware is announcing vSphere 5 as I type this. But to throw a curve ball, VMware is also announcing a Cloud Infrastructure Suite to help move to the next level of cloud computing. This suite includes vSphere 5, vCenter SRM, vCenter Operations, vShield Security, and finally vCould Director. This touches on all the major aspects of an all-inclusive, self servicing and managing cloud infrastructure. The goal is for a highly automated, low involvement infrastructure environment. Paul used the term “Make Infrastructure Go Away” quite frequently in this keynote. The big goal here is to really help the enterprise reach that ITaaS goal.
The announcement today includes new releases for multiple products. vSphere 5 is a leaps and bounds above vSphere 4 in terms of VM performance. 32 vCPUs, 1TB of memory, <36GBps network throughout and 1,000,000 IOPS. There are also substantial updates to HA and DRS, as well as SRM. One new technology is vSphere Replication to move away from Array based replication, and more towards software based replication over the network. This is a huge thing that allows of different levels of storage and use of vendors. Automated Failback is also being introduced so your load can return to the primary site once the troubles are over. SRM is also being pitched so that you can proactively migrate in the event of planned outages, as well as use for mergers and acquisitions to migrate an existing data center to your new data center.
vCloud Director is getting updated to 1.5. First item is an iPad app for the consumer portal. The portal acts like an App Store for VMs. Linked Clones is now available in vCloud Director. This allows for similar VMs to run off the same disk until they differ enough, creating a separate disk for the machines.
vSphere 5 has Profile Driven Storage and Storage DRS. This allows you to map your multiple storage systems into logical units. Storage DRS now allows you to set reservations and DRS will automatically move it between arrays and datastores to ensure its reservations are being met.
vSphere Storage Appliance 1.0 allows you to present an illusion of shared storage between local disk storage on multiple servers. This is being aimed at SMBs that cannot afford enterprise storage solutions. vSphere w/ Autodeploy is also being announced. Up until now, you had to manual build ESXi host. Autodeploy uses PXE to not only grab the image, but the system configuration as well. vSphere 5 also has Network and Storage I/O Controls. This creates a chance to ensure network and storage I/O requirements for VMs are met and aren’t affected by ‘Noisy Neighbor Syndrom.”
vSphere Edge allows you to create virtual data centers to ensure isolation, but also allows you to create trust between these virtual data centers. VMware is now announcing Sensitive Data Discovery that lets you take Regulations (PCI, etc) and run them against your virtual data centers to ensure you group specific security and compliance requirements together to create less work.
Obviously, VMware has released multiple new features that couldn’t be covered in this event, but will definitely be touched on in other presentations as well as VMworld sessions and announcements. The new products released today include vCloud Director 1.5, vShield 5.0, vCenter SRM 5.0, and vSphere 5.0 in this new Cloud Infrastructure Suite.
The biggest new announcement of the day I think now is licensing. vSphere 5 will now ditch the physical constraints of licensing. There is no Core per Proc or RAM per Host. They are now introducing amount of vRAM pooled across the entire environment as a licensing model. They are getting rid of the levels of licensing they had with vSphere 4. They are going from 6 packages down to five. vSphere Advanced is now collapsed into vSphere Enterprise, meaning existing advanced customers, automatically fall into enterprise now.
Sorry for the dishoveledness of this post, but I wanted to get this news out there. I’ll update it and try to get things in a little better format as the day goes on.