EMC VMware's vSphere 5 new licensing model raised eyebrows and tempers across the industry just three weeks ago, as VMware customers complained of double to triple hikes in licensing costs for vSphere 5 versus vSphere 4. Bowing to the negative response, VMware has announced three changes that should appease customers -- but could still lead to higher virtualization costs for VMware customers.
Originally, VMware promoted the new vSphere 5 licensing model as being a for customers. But VMware didn't mention that each vSphere 5 CPU-based license came with a fixed amount of virtual RAM (VRAM) entitlements. If your configuration has more VRAM allocated than is entitled for use with the CPU license of vSphere 5, you need additional licenses.
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Now, VMware has made three changes that try to address concerns around VRAM as a licensing metric and, thus, the resulting increases in cost. Users commenting on VMware's forum seem to be less irate with the new changes, but they still question the VRAM model.
Change No. 1: Increasing VRAM entitlements per license
The VRAM entitlement per vSphere edition has been increased from 24GB, 24GB, 24GB, 32GB, and 48GB to 32GB, 32GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 96GB, respectively, for vSphere Essentials, Essentials Plus, Standard, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus.
How does this translate to a real-world situation? Take the example of a customer with a two-socket processor with no more than 12 cores per socket, with 256GB of RAM.
Under the original vSphere 5 licensing model, the customer needed six CPU-based vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses -- not two -- to be entitled in order to use the full 256GB of RAM on the system.