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VMware mum on vRAM changes

A VMware spokesperson declined to confirm a blog report of imminent changes to the vSphere 5 licensing model Friday afternoon, but users should stay tuned. We’ve been told VMware is planning a major announcement next week, which could offer further clarification.

According to a post by Gabrie Van Zanten, there will be a new policy that raises virtual RAM (vRAM) entitlements to 64 GB in the Enterprise edition and 96 GB in Enterprise Plus. The blog post also states that the amount of vRAM that counts against the license pool will now be capped at 96 GB per VM.

Reached for comment, a VMware spokesperson sent the following statement:

There is nothing to announce at this time. If we make any refinements, we will be sure to let you and the community know.

The new licensing, announced with vSphere 5, went from being being based on physical CPUs and physical RAM per server to per-CPU licensing, with a maximum amount of vRAM per license, based on the specific vSphere edition. The initial entitlements and prices per vSphere edition were as follows:

  • VSphere 5 Standard Edition: 24 GB per $995 license
  • VSphere 5 Enterprise Edition: 32 GB per $2,875 license
  • VSphere 5 Enterprise Plus: 48 GB per $3,495 license

Once the initial furor died down, most users conceded that the new model wouldn’t add costs for their shops, but few users will pay less under the vSphere 5 licensing model — especially as server hardware gets beefier. Given this, users have made suggestions for making the licensing more palatable. The most popular suggestions have been moving to vRAM entitlement SKUs that aren’t tied to CPU licenses, and raising the memory limits per licensing level.