VMware pros hail death knell for vRAM

VMware experts cheer on reports from sources who say VMware will do away with its vRAM licensing at VMworld next week.

VMware will abolish its much-maligned vRAM licensing scheme with the release of vSphere 5.1 at next week’s VMworld...

2012 conference, sources said, and these reports are music to administrators’ ears.

The company had introduced the virtual RAM (vRAM) pricing scheme last summer with the launch of vSphere 5 but will move back to physical CPU-based licensing.

“A lot of people got jaded when VMware introduced the vRAM tax,” said Bill Hill, a senior engineer who works in the public sector. “Moving back to CPU-based licensing would allow [VMware shops] to achieve the [VM] densities they had before.”

The short-lived licensing policy originally entitled vSphere 5 Standard, Essentials and Essentials Plus licensing levels to 24 GB RAM per license; vSphere 5 Enterprise to 32 GB per license; and vSphere 5 Enterprise Plus to 48 GB per license. If the number of powered-on virtual machines (VMs) in a pool of ESX hosts consumed more vRAM than the host licenses allowed, the user would have to buy more licenses to add to the vRAM pool.

Following an uproar from customers, VMware raised the vRAM limits per license to 32 GB per license for Standard, Essentials and Essentials Plus; 64 GB per license for Enterprise; and 96 GB for Enterprise Plus.

That change quelled the furor a bit, but frustrated VMware shops have since eyed Microsoft’s Hyper-V 3.0 “as another option, simply because they didn’t have to pay an additional price to use memory,” said one source with direct knowledge of the licensing change, who requested anonymity.

“Some of my customers are switching to Hyper-V just because of the premium they have to pay for vSphere without getting much extra value,” said Marcel van den Berg, a virtualization consultant from the Netherlands. “I am very happy, and seeing the responses on Twitter, everyone in the VMware eco-system is happy, [that] this bad idea called vRAM is off the table.”

The change back to a per-CPU licensing model would remove one of Microsoft’s main selling points for Hyper-V, said Christian Mohn, senior infrastructure consultant for EVRY Consulting, based in Norway.

It remains to be seen what will happen for VMware customers who bought additional CPU licenses, or upgraded to a higher tier license, to be in compliance.

“I am very happy, and seeing the responses on Twitter, everyone in the VMware eco-system is happy, [that] this bad idea called vRAM is off the table.”

Marcel van den Berg, a virtualization consultant from the Netherlands.

Bundling up vCloud, breaking out vSphere Replication
VMware also plans to offer a new bundle of its products under one SKU, which is meant to push adoption of the vCloud product line, according to sources. The bundle, dubbed the vCloud Suite, will include VMware’s Site Recovery Manager, vFabric Application Director, vCenter Operations,vCloud Director and vSphere.

This new SKU will come at a price, but it was unclear as of press time just what that price would be; sources said the bundle would be at least “heavily discounted” for current Enterprise Plus users.

In another area of the portfolio, two products will also be un-bundled with next week’s announcements: VSphere Replication will no longer require Site Recovery Manager, sources said.

“This would take away the unique selling point of Hyper-V Replica,” said van den Berg.

VMware did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Beth Pariseau is a senior news writer for SearchCloudComputing.com and SearchServerVirtualization.com. Write to her at bpariseau@techtarget.com or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

Dig Deeper on Virtualization costs, licensing and support issues

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Join the conversation

69 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Are you happy to see vRAM go?
Cancel
Yes - VRAM was confusing for most users.
Cancel
absolutely welcome the change. it was a daft idea in the first place
Cancel
yes, but I’m afraid it will come back one way or another. Vendors can’t resist making technological progress revenue neutral, while customers depend on it to compensate compliance and pricing pressure.
Cancel
HURRAY!
Cancel
It says more to me that enterprises put up with this nonsense for this long. You guys will just take anything from the big vendors, wontcha?
Cancel
Finally they pulled their head out of their arse... lucky too as I was just going to switch to M$.
Cancel
Now I will start looking at going to v5.
Cancel
Stupid move by VMware... they're lucky HYPERV4 wasn't on the horizon...
Cancel
good riddance to vRAM. terrible for the lower tier licenses, terrible for scale up (large physical ram) server farms, terrible for over provisioning.
Cancel
good change
Cancel
good riddance
Cancel
this is the first sign in years that someone in marketing is paying attention
Cancel
Good riddance vRAM
Cancel
vRAM was generally cheaper for Service Providers, so moving back to per VM licensing could be bad news
Cancel
We haven't required the density to necessitate large amounts of RAM so we haven't been affected by the vRAM pricing.
Cancel
Finally
Cancel
A good idea
Cancel
glad to see it go.. i would rather have vmware insteal of hyper-v to much microsoft is not good
Cancel
About time!
Cancel
Yay!
Cancel
VMWare licensing is too much of a moving target!
Cancel
This good stuff!!!!
Cancel
About time.
Cancel
A good move from VMware as long as they look after their customers who had to shell out a lot of money to get the vRAM based model working.
Cancel
My company has an ELA and still wouldn't by 5 because of the ram tax. I wonder how many other companies are like mine.
Cancel
perfect
Cancel
Good news!
Cancel
Good Change
Cancel
The licensing of VMware had become complicated post migration to vRAM. Also the cost turns out to be high, due to which VMware would loose it clients. The overall ROI is turning high. As a Microsoft EA customer, it is not a business proposition to move to VMware though technology wise it may be superior. It would be a nice step if they come out with an easy and competitive license model.
Cancel
They should sack the idiots who came up with the idea. Sad to say we are now looking at HyperV to replace VSphere. THanks VMware.....
Cancel
Vmware corrected the mistake of ignoring loyal customers...(Like Microsoft,IBM and Apple used to..)
Cancel
One of the silliest things VMware did - up to that point, they had an extreme amount of loyalty from customers, with that change, they just appeared greedy! Glad to see it going, hopefully we see more of the "old" innovative VMware.
Cancel
Good decision
Cancel
Depends also on how many cores we're allowed per socket and so for how long Moore's law benefits us year on year.
Cancel
Good move to target compitator
Cancel
VMware did a nice move , before the release of Windows 2012, Since VMware has all the advanced technologies in Virtualization. I believe they were just testing the Market with their VRAM licensing. Now, they are back to the business.
Cancel
Now thats a headshot to Hyper-V
Cancel
Good news!!
Cancel
+1
Cancel
IT only helped Microsoft.
Cancel
why would any one give them credit for undoing a poorly designed and executed move in the first place. it's like giving a medal to a crook for returning the jewelry he stole...
Cancel
Yes it was a bad Idea in the first place
Cancel
it doesnt matter as the Damage is done we moved to Hyper -V better luck VMware
Thanks
Virtualization consulntant
Cancel
It just confused customers and delayed projects even though virtually nobody was impacted by it.
Cancel
VRAM was almost as bad a decision as NetFlix's debacle last year....
Cancel
I'm happy to see this change althouth actualy in the current moment our infrastructure does't suffer from this limitation
Cancel
vRAM "tax" increase too much the costs of vSphere.
Cancel
Most definetly, while we are very pleased with vSphere, we started looking to Red Hat virtualization to reduce cost. Removing vRAM should resolve this issue.
Cancel
About time...
Cancel
"Like iss like a box of Chocolates" - You actually know what you are going to get when marketing and accountants desconstruct your business based on stupid so called qaulified projections - get some common sense dude
Cancel
This is really a good news as this decision from vmware would again make them to regain all their audience back who would have thought to go for hyper-v due to the introduction of this VRAM.

Arvinth
Cancel
No more vRam tax!
Cancel
Confusion, confusion

I welcome CPU licensing :)
Cancel
Really good news!
Cancel
It takes real strength to reverse a prior decision like this. Vmware are admitting to a mistake and quickly changing course before seeing their adoption numbers stall.
Cancel
what about hosting licensing?
Cancel
This will reduce the chance that management will make us switch to Hyper-V.
Cancel
We had to adjust our hardware purchases based on this licensing, now we can remove that constraint
Cancel
this is good competition at work. without windows server 2012 vmware wouldnt be changing their tone
Cancel
With server hardware costs at record lows, the vRAM tax virtually removed the cost advantage of Virtualization and gave it to Microsoft
Cancel
It has removed one incentive to look at HyperV.
Cancel
I was about to go for HyperV
Thank God VMWARE made this welcome change...
Cancel
thats really good change
Cancel
Thank you Microsoft :-)
Cancel
Finally!
Cancel
great move VMware
Cancel
I believe it will be paid for one way or the other, which will probably come in the form of an increase in the base per-socket license. However, perception is reality...
Cancel
The Licensing should be done through cpu
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchVMware

SearchWindowsServer

SearchCloudComputing

SearchVirtualDesktop

SearchDataCenter

Close