With the release of vSphere 5 last year VMware introduced a new ‘vRAM based’ licensing model. In this new model customers have to pay for socket licenses with a limited vRAM entitlement. With this strategy VMware seemingly penalized customers who succeeded in deploying many virtual machines on few physical servers, which lead to many complains. Before the release of vSphere 5 the vRAM entitlements are raised but still in place.
At VMworld in San Francisco, newly minted VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger referred to VRAM as a four-letter, dirty word. “Today I am happy to say we are striking this word from the vocabulary.” From now on, pricing will be all per-CPU, and per-socket, Gelsinger said. By moving back to a pricing model based on usage of physical infrastructure, VMware is once again encouraging users to get as many virtual servers as they can out of each physical machine, which is the point of virtualization in the first place.
Gelsinger never mentioned specific pricing, but a press release provided a few details about the new pricing of vSphere, VMware’s flagship virtualization software.
“VMware vSphere pricing starts around $83 per processor with no core, vRAM or number of VM limits,” VMware said. “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.”
This new, hardware-based pricing applies both to the forthcoming version 5.1 of vSphere and the existing version 5.0. More details can be found in the VMware pricing document.