It's Official: VMware Ditches vRAM Licensing

VMware reverts back to CPU-based licensing; VMworld attendees approve.

The controversial vRAM licensing model for vSphere that VMware debuted at last year's VMworld, well, that's no longer an issue. VMware's newly installed CEO Pat Gelsinger made that clear at his morning keynote speech to the throngs of IT pros attending VMworld in San Francisco this week.

With the word "vRAM" projected and hexed out on a screen behind him, he said, "We are striking this word from our vocabulary," which immediately drew applause from the crowd.

Rumor of vRAM licensing's demise actually leaked out early last week from CRN's Kevin McLaughlin, whose sources said that "VMware will return to its previous CPU-based licensing model," upon the release of vSphere 5.1. That version is slated for release Sept. 15. Customers using version 5.0 will be able to revert to the CPU-based licensing as well.

vRAM entitlements was a pricing scheme that, boiled down to its essence, was based on memory usage rather than CPU. Besides being mildly confusing, what also drew customer ire was that pricing ended up being inordinately higher than the older, much simpler CPU-based pricing.'s Elias Khnaser blogged at the time that the pricing scheme amounted to a "vTax" when migrating some of his environments from older versions of vSphere up to version 5.

Microsoft for its part spun the vRAM entitlements backlash as a way to tout the pricing advantages of its own Hyper-V hypervisor to potential converts. Khnaser noted then that most customers concerned with price might be ready to move over, but that vSphere still held up on the merits of its technology.

VMware has already updated its pricing model, which can be viewed at the company's Web site.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.


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