In the response titled "Flawed Logic Behind Microsoft's Virtualization and Private Cloud Cost Comparisons," VMware offers a different perspective. According to Chanda Dani, product line marketing manager at VMware, the cost-per-application calculator was designed to rebut Microsoft claims that Hyper-V is five to 10 times cheaper. Beyond Microsoft's single example, Dani said VMware's calculator shows that the acquisition cost, even when choosing vSphere Enterprise Plus (VMware's highest and most expensive edition), is at parity with Microsoft and actually beats Microsoft for most configurations.
After changing out a few different inputs of the calculator on my own, the cost between solutions does come closer to zero percent at different times.
I also concluded that Microsoft's example above might be a bit erroneous. With only 100 VMs in an environment running on Server Type B (2CPU Quad Core, 64GB of RAM) and using an iSCSI SAN back end, organizations with this type of setup would probably be able to get away with using VMware's Enterprise Edition (only a 12 percent higher cost) or even the Standard Edition (making VMware cheaper than Microsoft by 7 percent) as opposed to Enterprise Plus. Customers of Enterprise Plus will more often than not operate with a greater number of VMs (making VMware less costly) and upgrade to Server Type C (2CPU Six Core, 128GB of RAM), which again seems to work in VMware's pricing favor.
Do the cost comparison with your own real-world use cases and see how things turn out.
Microsoft isn't the only company that can throw out zingers. In the VMware blog, Dani calls out Microsoft by saying, "The Microsoft blog is yet another attempt to artificially inflate VMware's prices and distract customers from the shortcomings of their own products."
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of vendor online calculators. One of the problems I have with this particular calculator is that it is based on list pricing. Honestly, how many enterprise organizations are paying list price for their software these days? The other problem is that these types of calculators are usually designed to show favorable results to the owning vendor. But as Microsoft shows, that isn't necessarily the case here. At the end of the day, one thing that might sting VMware a bit is the fact that quite a few calculator assumptions clearly show Microsoft is the cheaper solution. It stings only because it is VMware's calculator.
But keep in mind, VMware isn't the one going around town claiming to be the cheapest solution on the market. That's Microsoft's shtick. If VMware comes close, reaches price parity, or becomes the cheaper option, how does that affect Microsoft's pricing claim?
When you virtualize your production environment, is the cheapest solution your company's primary consideration?
This article, "Microsoft turns the tables on VMware's cost calculator," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com.