VMware Kills Despised vRAM Pricing Model

VMware did away with its overly complex licensing model Aug. 27, eliminating its vRAM program and providing more simplified pricing based on physical processor cores.

That’s good news for VMware’s customers, which include all 100 of the Fortune 100 companies and 491 of the Fortune 500 companies. These enterprise datacenters have, up until now, relied on a complex vRAM licensing model that even required a tool and video to help decipher, and was based on the amount of virtualized RAM run by a virtual machine—which, incidentally, didn’t correspond to the actual physical RAM installed in the server.

VMware wants to establish itself as a vendor of “virtual datacenters” as well as virtual machines, defining everything from the traditional compute node to storage and networking via software. VMware recently closed its acquisition of Nicira, giving it a well-publicized entry point into that space.

Newly minted chief executive Pat Gelsinger told show attendees that customer response to a survey showed widespread demand for a pricing change. “There was enormous enthusiasm, but there was one point that came back: change your pricing. How many of you liked last year’s pricing changes? Oh, one person did. Oh, good,” Gelsinger said, joking with the audience.

Fortunately, those days are gone, he added: “Last year we created a four-letter dirty word, called vRAM. Today, I am happy to say that are striking this word from the vocabulary, from the vDictionary.”

For VCloud Suite 5.1, which VMware announced on Monday, the price list couldn’t be simpler: per-CPU licensing, with no restrictions on the available cores per processor or the physical RAM per machine. VMware’s vCloud 5.1 suite will include three editions—Standard, Advanced and Enterprise—as well as the following products: VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus, VMware vCloud Director, VMware vCloud Connector, VMware vCloud Networking and Security, VMware vFabric Application Director, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite and VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager. Prices will start at $4,995 per processor.

VSphere increases the number of virtual CPUs from 32 to 64 while holding the maximum amount of virtual RAM steady at a terabyte. VMware places the previous version of vSphere at about 1 million host IOPS, while claiming that the new version increases its performance above the 1 million IOPS threshold.

On top of that, the new version includes enhancements to the VMware vSphere Distributed Switch and vSphere vMotion to enable live migration of VMs. Graphics maker Nvidia also announced that its had added support for vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration) that allows a physical graphics processing unit (GPU) to be shared from the underlying host to virtual desktop guests.

Enterprises can use VMware vSphere 5.1 directly. VMware vSphere Essentials is $495, and VMware vSphere Essentials Plus is $4,495. All VMware vSphere Essentials Kits includes licensing for 6 CPUs on up to 3 hosts. Availability will be sometime around Sept. 11, VMware announced.

 

Image: ASchindl/Shutterstock.com

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