VMworld 2012 Announcement

The general session today kicked off VMworld in style as always. To start of, one of the expected announcements were made, Pat Gelsinger was announced as the new CEO for VMware for the next few years. Paul Maritz handed the stage to the new CEO who confirmed a rumor was in fact true.

The new CEO announced the end of the four letter word they invented last year. The end of vRAM. There will be no capacity based licensing for vSphere, nor any limits on the number of cores. Simply CPU based where you would license all the CPUs on your host like good ole times. When VMware announced vRAM originally, I understood why they would have done it and obviously it was a big PR nightmare for VMware. But now its all behind us and simple CPU based licensing has come back. Obviously the announcement was followed by a big applause.

These were some of the initial notable announcements along with discussions over Project Serengeti and Hadoop.

Oh and did I mention that all the 5.1 are out now? I will try and cover some of the newenhanced cool features that have been released with it in the coming days. For now, Duncan has complied a nice list of links for all the 5.1 enhancements here.


Revision in VDI licensing for vSphere 5

More good news from VMware. Apart from the vRAM entitlements that have been increased, VMware has ensured that existing VDI customer are not left out in the woods. I think the original model didn’t include existing VDI customers. But all that has changed.

We already know that for VDI in vSphere 5, you can either use the vSphere 5 licenses along with the vRAM limits or utilize the vSphere Desktop packages (based on powered on VMs) with unlimited vRAM. Todays announcement adds another good news which is if your vSphere 4.x license was purchased prior to September 30th 2011 for desktop virtualization purposes, you are entitled to unlimited vRAM.

customers with spare vSphere licenses from past purchases can use it to host a VDI environment. Customers who purchased licenses for vSphere 4.x (or previous versions) prior to September 30, 2011 to host desktop virtualization, and hold current SnS agreements, may upgrade to vSphere 5.0 while retaining access to unlimited vRAM entitlement.

So if you run a 3rd party VDI solution, you can upgrade without the vRAM caps as well.  And if the 3rd party VDI solution does not support vSphere 5 yet, you can always downgrade to vSphere 4 until your VDI solution is supported on vSphere 5. This is of course for folks who want to buy more licenses before the sept 30th deadline (3rd qtr sales :)). If you are new to VDI, then you would probably purchase vSphere 5 Desktop with unlimited vRAM.

However there a few a things to keep in mind:

  • vSphere 5 Desktop and upgrades for vSphere 4.x (with unlimited vRAM) can only be used for VDI environments only. You cannot run non-VDI servers on these hosts.

vSphere Desktop can be used only to host a desktop virtualization environment or desktop management and monitoring tools.  You can use vSphere Desktop for desktop management and monitoring tools in a VDI environment only.

  • Your VDI environment should be on a separate vCenter instance than the one running the server load.
 like VMware View Deployments on vSphere 4.x you will need a separate vCenter server for your VDI hosts.

I think for all those who have been upset due to licensing changes for the past few weeks, this change must be a nice gesture from a company that could have just kept quite.

Seriously this is my last post about licensing.

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. 🙂

vCartoon of the Week (07/25/2011)



Licensing Party

Credit: M. Ali


Licensing Poll Result; vRAM = Cloud

So this past saturday I posted a poll in hopes for trying to understand besides the reasons I covered for VMware to switch their licensing model, what else could be the driving factor for VMware to make such a drastic change. Before I get into what I discovered, let me summarize the feedback from the polls.

As of today, I received 195 responses and if you are interested in computing the margin of error, be my guest I think its somewhere between 7%-9%. Out of the 195 responses only 24.1% said they will either pay less or the same with the new licensing model. 60.51% of the respondents will either have to pay 2, 3 or even 4 times as much. And 15.38% said the change will ruin their future plans. Somehow based on what I have seen @ VMTN in the pass few days, I am not surprised by these numbers. But I found something else that I thought was very interesting.

84.61% of the respondents owned 100 or less hosts in their environment and 54.87% owned less than 25. Also, 51.28% of the respondents represented companies with 500 or less employees. 21.03% had 500-2500 employees, 20.51% had 2500-25000 employees and only 7.18% were representing large organizations of 25000 employees or more. I think this has been the most interesting part of the poll. It’s clear from the numbers that the SMBs are the ones that are really getting impacted by this in a huge way. Specially small businesses with 100 employees or less. And I can understand why this would be the case as well. Being an IT shop in a small business, one will be required to do more with less and oversubscription of memory would have been a big thing for them. Now with vRAM, they may see a huge cost increase and as result we might even witness a mass exodus.

Here is my conspiracy theory and no its not that Paul Maritz owns a lot of shares in MS, I find that comical. What I think is happening is that VMware is pushing the SMB towards the cloud. And if you calm down and think about it for a second, its actually beneficial for you and for VMware as well. Most people who are angry at VMware are screaming and yelling about how they will switch to Xen or even HyperV. Come on, its not like your girlfriend has cheated on you and now you have to get even. It’s time to think smart!

If you are on the switching platform bandwagon and HyperV, Xen etc are among your options, please keep in mind that VMware came on this road for a reason and its only a matter of time before the others follow. Not to mention, the others have always been the followers when it comes to virtualization and what we are witnessing today is not any different. If you do switch to a different platform, you will only end up being mad at MS, Citrix or whomever else you end up with for the very same reason VMware may have upset you today. Unless you like being tortured, I would highly recommend that you look at different cloud providers as your option as well. This will be your most viable option and I am not saying this because I happen to be a major cloud provider’s employee.

Let’s face it, the cloud is here to stay and we have heard the word being thrown over and over again for sometime now. But nobody really knows what it is. If you ask 10 people to define a cloud, you will get 10 different definitions of a cloud. That’s because every cloud is different and unique in its own way. Instead of wasting your time with evaluating inferior hypervisors because you can’t afford the best in the business anymore, I recommend that you look into the world of clouds seriously. You will end up in the cloud one way or another and its about time that you seriously look into what they have to offer.

Keep in mind, if VMware has upset you today, going to competitors isn’t your best option. If you are leaving because you can’t afford VMware anymore and going to a competitor will teach ’em a lesson, I would really like to see you getting signed up for SNL. Look into the cloud today, the competitors will push you there anyways, its a matter of time. Keep in mind, they are always playing catch-up and this time around isn’t any different.

On a lighter note if you think your girlfriend has cheated on you, what does getting even really do for you? 🙂