Licensing Revised in vSphere 5 (vRAM caps raised)

So just when I thought I was done with my last vSphere 5 licensing post, VMware surprised us all pleasantly. Yes, just recently today my inbox brought me the good news. I was in a middle of troubleshooting an issue when immediately the whole universe was shocked with the news.  Yes VMware has revised there vSphere 5 licensing model. Here is the new revised pdf. Though I had zero influence in this decision I would like to point out that I did talk about increasing vRAM entitlements in my recent post. Again in all seriousness I had nothing to do with this decision, but the mere fact that I proposed a vRAM entitlement of 96GB / cpu for enterprise plus license just makes me want to have a big head. Thats exactly what VMware did. Here is the summary of the changes:

Another important aspect of the change is in this blurb from the licensing pdf.

To maintain licensing compliance, at any given point in time the following conditions must be met:

  • Each active physical processor (CPU) must have at least one license assigned
  • The 365-day moving average of daily high watermark of vRAM configured to all powered-on virtual machines in aggregate cannot exceed the pooled vRAM capacity. This is the same algorithm used for VMware’s management products licensed on a per VM basis.
So VMware is now interested in your 12 month average of vRAM usage and not the short term spikes. This is certainly an excellent step in the right direction in my opinion. So if you have a a short lived spike that throws you over the vRAM you are entitled to, you won’t necessarily be penalized for that. But please don’t abuse this area. We should understand the need for VMware to move towards a model based on capacity and I think most people will not disagree that the vSphere 4 licensing is obsolete. The biggest drawback of vSphere 5 licensing was its conservative vRAM entitlements which have now been relaxed to an extent. Maybe not to an extent as you may have wished.. but hey, VMware is in the business to make money as well and the situation now is better than what it was yesterday. If you are an enterprise plus customer and didn’t want to upgrade because your dual socket blade would only have 96GB of vRAM, well think again it can now give you 192GB of vRAM with the same license. Yeah I know its not unlimited like the vSphere 4 days… but please wake up!

Another important thing to point is that a single VM will not be charged more than 96GB of vRAM. So if you have a VM that has 100GB or 1TB, you will only be charged for 96GB. So there, the impossible numbers that were thrown all over the place for a 1TB have been drastically reduced now. And by the way you can’t spin up a 1TB VM in Xen or HyperV. Not everyone needs a 1TB VM, but because the arguments were that a 1TB VM will cost us bla bla bla.. so we will move to HyperV/Xen. I figured I will touch upon the capabilities of VMware’s competition as well.

Lastly for all those who have been considering Xen and HyperV for the past few weeks. I suggest that you run your numbers again to see how the revised changes will effect you. You already know ESXi is a superior product and it wont be as inexpensive as the competition (if you want to call it that). But you get what you pay for. VMware has made an extremely quick revision in my opinion and that in itself says a lot about the company. And if your argument is that you can’t trust VMware anymore, then this only reminds me of that guy who wants to get a smart phone but can’t afford one so he downplays his desires. I think there was an old iPhone commercial around the same idea. But seriously, so your lack of trust in VMware leads you to the door steps of Microsoft and Citrix? WTF is that? Come on….

For all those who have compared VMware to Novell since July 12th ….. hahahahahahaha! Ok just kidding, I too was a little disappointed but I am quite contend now, hence the crazy post. I think its about time we move on to better things in vSphere 5.

For those who still have lots to complain and cry about, I suggest you actually move to Xen or HyperV, you will have a valid reason to cry after the migration. :)