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vSphere 5 Pricing Altered Due to Popular Demand

Saying "Our primary objective is to do right by our customers," VMware announced three major changes to its controversial new vSphere 5 pricing scheme, which was based on the amount of vRAM configured to VMs.

In his blog, Bogomil Balkansky, VP of Product Marketing for Virtualization and Cloud Platforms, recounted how the initial licensing changes were created in order to "align costs with the benefits of virtualization rather than with the physical attributes of each individual customer," adding that the changes generated a great deal of conversation in the blogosphere, and led to a "ton of feedback."

As a result of that feedback, VMware decided to tweak the plan. The first change involves increasing vRAM entitlements for all vSphere editions, including "the doubling of entitlements for vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus." The second change caps the amount of vRAM VMware can count in any VM at 96 GB, "so that no VM, not even the 'monster' 1TB vRAM VM would cost more than one vSphere Enterprise Plus license." In the third change, Balkansky says the company has adjusted its model "so it is much more flexible around transient workloads, and short-term spikes that are typical in test and dev environments for example."

Following are comparisons between the previously announced and revamped current vSphere 5 vRAM entitlements per vSphere editions:

  • vSphere Enterprise+: Previously 48 GB, revamped to 96 GB
  • vSphere Enterprise: Previously 32 GB, revamped to 64 GB
  • vSphere Standard: Previously 24 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • vSphere Essentials Plus+: Previously 24 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • vSphere Essentials: Previously 24 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • Free vSphere Hypervisor: Previously 8 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • vSphere Desktop: Previously unlimited, remains unlimited

Balkansky says that in this new pricing environment, "hardly any customer" will be impacted by higher licensing costs when they upgrade to vSphere 5, and while short-lived spikes will slightly increase the one-year average, customers will not have to pay for them in perpetuity.

When it comes to licensing, everyone is never pleased, but judging by the tenor of comments following Balkansky's blog, a lot of formerly disgruntled users are now onboard with the new plan, and VMware deserves credit for being at least pragmatic at a time when the company wants to accelerate adoption of its cloud computing vision, rather than bogging it down in further controversy.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/04/2011 at 12:48 PM


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