13 Jul 2011

Calculated Cost Implications of vSphere 5 Licensing


On July 12, 2011 at about 16:00GMT, VMware announced vSphere 5 and a bunch of changes surrounding the product suite. During the event, Twitter was ablaze with updates with regards to what was being revealed by VMware. However, one of the changes seemed to have caused some concern amongst the trusted virtualisation community. The change to the vSphere licensing model is what seems to have been discussed quite a bit on Twitter.

I’m not going to expand by giving details on the licensing changes, for more information on the new licensing model, see the link below:


At first I wasn’t going to write up on this as the blogging community already came out and published pre written posts as soon as the VMware NDA time expired at 16h00 GMT. Also, I’m pressed for time at the moment, so I’m rushing this one and the research done on this post in.

After doing some number crunching, I came to a disturbing conclusion. Unless my calculations are way off, and unless VMware is drastically going to reduce the “per license” price tag, the new licensing model will offer a raw deal to VMware’s customers.Surprised

As far as I am aware, VMware has not yet published the price list for vSphere 5. As I really wanted to see what implications the new licensing strategy was going to have in terms of today’s prices, I did some calculations using today’s vSphere 4 license costs. As I said, unless VMware reduces the price per license, it would be almost impossible to sell the product to some of my current customers who already think that VMware vSphere is too expensive in comparison to rivals such as Microsoft’s Hyper-V. Well, unless I’m very wrong, it’s about to get worse!

Now, bear in mind that I did these calculations in a rather short period of time. I’ve not done a whole bunch of research on the new licensing model yet, but went by what the PDF stipulates. I could have made a fundamental mistake somewhere, and I really hope that I am wrong on this.

Please, if anyone can find a major error somewhere in my figures, please let me know.

I based my calculations on the following template as most of my customers typically run a similar setup;

  • 2 CPU sockets
  •  12 Cores per CPU
  •  128GB per Host

I compared what the new vSphere 5 model would cost in comparison to the vSphere 4 licensing model. The results are truly staggering!

Also, to give vSphere 4 a level playing field in terms of memory assignment, I assumed that we would want to be able to use up to 100% of the physical memory in the cluster, as this would not carry any penalty in terms of vRAM TAX in vSphere 4. Now I know that the license on vRAM is on allocated and not on total physical memory, but for an apples and apples comparison on possible memory consumpsion, this was the most straight forward way of calculating the numbers.

Below are my results. Now if I have made some mistakes here, please let me know. I’m looking for constructive comments here! An argument is not going to help anyoneWink













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Last modified on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 11:37
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