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You Spoke And VMware Listened! vSphere Licensing & Pricing Update, Take 2

On July 12th VMware announced the release of vSphere 5.0 and along with that a new licensing model that caused much confusion among customers and partners. They rolled out a concept of licensing the virtual memory (vRAM) of the VMs which would, in effect, require additional licensing costs. VMware received a lot of feedback from both partners and customers alike and based on that feedback, VMware answered the 4 major concerns that partners and customers had with the program.

First, the Concerns:

  1. Customers who had already prepared funds for future business cases that were based on future HW capabilities and vSphere 4.1 were concerned that the budget they had prepared would not be enough to cover the new licensing changes in vSphere 5.0.
  2. It introduced additional hesitation for virtualizing business critical applications.
  3. It penalized short lived usage spikes: Ex: for test dev scenarios, VMware considered those spikes as consumed vRAM and customers were required to pay for that even though it may be short term.
  4. It made vSphere for VDI expensive.

 Changes VMware has JUST MADE to address these concerns:

1.)    To alleviate the issue of customers having to potentially purchase additional vSphere licensing because they were over their entitled vRAM, VMware has raised the vRAM for each addition:

  1. Enterprise Plus – 96GB from 48GB
  2. Enterprise – 64GB from 32GB
  3. Standard – 32GB from 24GB
  4. Essentials Plus – 32GB from 24GB
  5. Essentials – 32GB from 24GB
  6. Free vSphere Hypervisor – 32GB from 8GB


2.)    For business critical VM applications that may go over 96GB and thus require more licensing, VMware has capped the amount of vRAM counted per VM at 96GB. What this means is if a VM is 1TB for instance, VMware’s free monitoring tool in vCenter is still going to view it as being 96GB. The price of a single VM will never be more than the price of an Enterprise Plus license.


3.)    No price penalties for short lived spikes in vRAM: VMware is going to count a 12 month average of configured vRAM rather than a high water mark. What this means is instead of charging for consumed memory on a large one time spike, VMware is going to now take the average amount of consumed vRAM over a 12 month term.


4.)    To address VDI, VMware had already previously announced the vSphere for Desktop license.


Hopefully these changes with alleviate some of the concerns that we all had with the new vSphere licensing model and make the purchasing of vSphere licensing a bit easier and cost effective moving forward.


Rob O’Shaughnessy

Manager, Software Licensing

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