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back to article VMware backs down on vSphere 5 virtual memory tax

VMware has adjusted the price of its upcoming vSphere 5 hypervisor, responding to criticism from customers. The server virtualization juggernaut has learned a lesson about pricing that nearly killed IBM in the mainframe market in the 1980s and did kill Sun Microsystems in the 2000s: if you have a monopoly, you can't push the …

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Bronze badge

what math is that?

2TB of vRAM with enterprise+ lists out at 22 licenses = ~$77k, or 21 licenses for 2016GB of ram = ~$73k. And as far as I know your still supposed to pay support on those extra vRAM licenses, which jacks up the cost even more.

vs vSphere 4 with 1TB of ram on 8 sockets = $28k

run two hosts each with 1TB and your still 37% more expensive on vSphere 5 vs 4.

The pricing for the enterprise version is even more absurd unless you have a tiny amount of memory. It's still stupid that you can use the same hardware and end up paying significantly more for Enterprise than you would for Enterprise plus, that should never be possible.

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Silver badge
WTF?

Interesting. Was the original pricing policy a deliberate try-on.........

............by the company in the collective sense or was it yet another example of a finance director having rather more to say in the matter than he should? Whatever, somebody at least showed *some* common sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe an attempt to implement EMC standards?

As a valued EMC customer, we would like to offer you this free rail to mount on your wall.

Our sales staff will arrange a visit to show you how to use the rail in the coming weeks....

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Happy

yay!

Victory!

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License cost for 8 sockets 2TB machine is wrong

From what I understand, the 96GB cap is based on a per VM cap not absolute hardware cap. So your pricing of $27,960 for your 8 sockets 2TB machine is not really correct, unless you are only running only 8 VMs each with 256GB vRAM.

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Anonymous Coward

Monopoly Pricing

Ramping up your costs didn't hurt Oracle. Or MS. Which implies that you can do it if you have a true monopoly. IBM did in mainframes, but minis and microcomputers killed that. Sun had a monopoly on their servers, but there are plenty others, and x86 won.

Oracle have an edge: they own your data and you can't migrate off. Hypervisors? You can migrate between them pretty easily.

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Bronze badge

Yeah, do they maybe mean,

that customers taking business elsewhere is what happens if you -don't- have a monopoly? If you have a monopoly then there is no "elsewhere".

One obvious alternative to virtual-PC computing is an equivalent number of actual more-or-less ordinary PCs. If the virtual arrangement doesn't have lower cost-of-ownership than that, then why bother?

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Thumb Up

Thank gawd for that

Still works out as expensive, but not quite as eye-gougingly so.

VMWare need to keep sharp, they won't have a monopoly for ever.

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Thumb Up

Hurray!

So happy, common sense prevails!

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Devil

Phew!

Thank god they backed down and didn't call our bluff. No WAY was I gonna move onto the alternatives!!

GOOD NEWS!

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FAIL

Bye bye ESX

Hence we're mid moving massive ESX farms to MS Hyper-V, along with the other monitoring licensing benefits, massive cost savings and the future roadmap of Hyper-V will get us where we want to be at a fraction of the cost.

I can't see we'll ever go back to ESX, the financials vs functionality just don't make sense.

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Trollface

hmmm

NICE TRY MICROSOFT

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Anonymous Coward

re: Bye bye ESX

"Hence we're mid moving massive ESX farms to MS Hyper-V"

Good luck with that. I sure hope you're planning a slow migration so you can see how Hyper-V performs in a "massive" farm before you fully commit. I suspect it won't take you long to figure out why enterprises are paying for VMware vs. using "free" hypervisors like Hyper-V and Xen.

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WTF?

vSphere alternatives

"I sure hope you're planning a slow migration so you can see how Hyper-V performs in a "massive" farm before you fully commit."

I've seen Hyper-V in a 'massive' farm and it does what it says on the tin.It even offers features you have to pay quite a lot for with VMWare (High Availability) or which aren't available at all (GPU Virtualization).

This aside, every solution has its problems, even vSphere is far from being trouble-free.

"I suspect it won't take you long to figure out why enterprises are paying for VMware vs. using "free" hypervisors like Hyper-V and Xen."

They probably do because their external consultant agency has told them to do it. More often than not such decisions are made on purely non-technical facts.

BTW: Hyper-V itself is only free as bare hypervisor ('Hyper-V Server'), in combination with Windows Server ('Windows Server with Yper-V') however it does cost money. Xen as Citrix XenServer is also not free.

VMWare vSphere is great if your environment is heavily heterogenous. However, in a mostly homogenous environment (like Windows) Hyper-V does the job very well, and without having to pay exorbitant prices.

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ESX still has a business case over Hyper-V ?

Our shop is also migrating thousands of servers from ESX to Hyper-V largely based on license and administrator costs. As I'm not directly involved in servers these days could you (without triggering a flame war) highlight the key areas where ESX justifies the additional cost ?

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Anonymous Coward

ROFL

So you need to burn through bags of CPU and RAM resources running the horribly complex and resource intensive MS System Centre suite on top of a Hypervisor that is broadly as capable as ESX 3 (without the memory handling or vSwitch capabilities). This is before you start running VMs.

MS line is 'little customer, thou dost not need these features' when comparing Hyper-V to vSphere. If this was the case, why are they building these little things like Live Migration and the kludge called CSVs in?

Good luck with your Hyper-V migration....

It's nice to see VMware come (somewhat closer) to their senses before they go into a suicidal frenzy with pricing.

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Anonymous Coward

@Davidoff

I too have seen the difference between VMware and Hyper-V in "massive" farms and although as always it often comes down to horses for courses most people who have to implement and run the things prefer VMware hands down. Subjective and anecdotal I know, but no more or less so than any other comment here.

However, a very important fact is that Hyper-V relies on MS Cluster services with CSVs to run properly, which is a frankly poor solution to a very critical problem. You will notice a MS cluster failover - maybe not to the extent that it impacts business but nevertheless. VMware FT is essentially seamless. Costly, but seamless. Having a disk available to casual access with the understanding that any casual access may well destroy everything on that disk is not a solution I would be proud to have designed. Good governance should prevent it ever happening but people are stupid and there is no way out of that one.

Which all comes down to what you want - Hyper-V does some things very well, and others poorly. VMware does some things very well and others very expensively. You just need to look at what you are trying to do and then implement the solution that best fits your needs, within the obvious constraints of cost and functionality.

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Anonymous Coward

@DK in ZH

With all due respect, you need to be asking your migration sponsors that question and not us.

If they can't give a reasonable answer then, well, you have your answer. If they can then a little research on your part will confirm whether the reasons are actually reasonable or not.

But, to treat your question in good faith (which I don't believe it is, however):

License costs are more with VMware (with Hyper-V you just buy Windows Datacentre and then you never need to worry about VM licensing, whereas with VMware you need your vSphere licenses on top of your Windows Datacentre licenses*) but both functionality and "sophistication" do offer more than Hyper-V. If you are talking about thousands of servers then you probably find the vSphere license costs are actually fairly trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Administrator costs seems a bit, forgive me - bullshit. Sure if you are looking at a clean implementation you could assume that Hyper-V is easier to administer than VMware (you would not be correct but it would be an easy mistake) but once you already have thousands of servers on ESX then obviously any administration costs in moving to Hyper-V would at worst be the same (if you already had a Hyper-V farm) but more likely increased.

*Datacentre gives unlimited use of pretty much any flavour of Windows server in VMs as long as the Datacentre license is still valid for the server running the VMs - there is no distinction between a VM under Hyper-V or under VMware or Xen or Parallels or whatever.

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FAIL

Hyper-V bashing

"So you need to burn through bags of CPU and RAM resources running the horribly complex and resource intensive MS System Centre suite on top of a Hypervisor that is broadly as capable as ESX 3 (without the memory handling or vSwitch capabilities)."

You might want to check first with current offerings of Hyper-V, and you'll see that its much more capable than ESX 3. CSV might be a cludge, but on the other side you get things like GPU Virtualization, something which you can't get from VMWare, not even for ridiculous money, And even very basic things like the ability to handle LUNs >2TB were not possible with vSpehere including the still current 4.1 (the new vSphere 5 finally supports LUNs >2TB) are a walk in the park with Hyper-V. Go figure.

BTW: You don't need SCVMM (which in the latest version is quite good) to manage Hyper-V. There is the free RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) which is simple and easy, and there are 3rd party tools available as well.

Hyper-V may have the reputation to be unreliable and a ressource hog or whatever with a certain group (apparently those who haven't used the current implementation), but with every version its coming out stronger and better. Not to forget that there already are shops that virtualize on Hyper-V and it works for them. So trying to create the impression that every Hyper-V migration must fail because it's soo much worse than vSphere makes you look silly.

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WTF?

@Lee

"most people who have to implement and run the things prefer VMware hands down."

Yes, but mainly because they were used to VMWare in the first place and had no former Hyper-V experience. And yes, if you're afraid to use a command line on Windows, then Hyper-V won't be for you.

"MS Cluster services with CSVs to run properly, which is a frankly poor solution to a very critical problem. You will notice a MS cluster failover - maybe not to the extent that it impacts business but nevertheless."

I can't see how CSV which also provides storage migration amongst other goodies and which can deal with a wide variety of situations to be a 'frankly poor solution'. Live Migration *is* essentially seamless, we did quite a few tests and didn't even loose the ping. It certainly wasn't noticable for an user.

"VMware FT is essentially seamless."

VMWare FT (hint: FT = 'Fault Tolerance') is something completely different than HA (which stands for 'High Availability'). VMWare FT is essentially RAID1 for VMs. However, as far as I know it only works with VMs with 1vCPU, and both VMs have to be on the same VMFS volume. It also means for every VM you essentially double the required ressources (real CPU, RAM, storage space, and last but not least energy) which makes it very expensive. Unless you really *NEED* FT (and there probably won't be many situations where FT is really required), you're better off with HA.

"Hyper-V does some things very well, and others poorly. VMware does some things very well and others very expensively."

vSphere (VMWare is the company, not the product) does some things very well (almost everything is very expensive), some things poorly and some things not at all. Aside from GPU Virtualization (wich especially for the technical/scientific sector is a very interesting feature) until vSphere 5 arrives it can't even handle LUNs over 2TB (2TB minus 512bytes), which quite frankly in this day and age with single hard drives reaching 3TB this is quite frankly embarassing for a product which is probably the one with the longest market presence.

"You just need to look at what you are trying to do and then implement the solution that best fits your needs, within the obvious constraints of cost and functionality."

That's something which I can agree on.

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FAIL

We had already made contingency plans....

To migrate less critical workloads onto Citrix Xen, otherwise it was looking like around £50K in new ESX licenses.

These changes eliminate that need, but having worked up the shortform business case for it, Xen is still looking attractive for a new dev and test platform that, until now, was going onto more ESX servers.

Muppets.

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looks like I will be staying at esx 4.1 for as long as possible

I have less than 10 VM hosts, but I am just seeing the dollar signs looking at these license prices. All of my servers have 2 cores and over 96 GB of RAM and use standard licenses. That means that I now have to buy double the amount of licenses due to this new vRam licensing model, and that is after the changes. I just bought 10 new licenses and now I am going to have to upgrade them to Enterprise or buy another 20.

Thanks VMware............

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VMware Adjusts Prices due to Criticism from Customers

The virtualization giant has realized its fault earlier on, a fault that destroyed IBM in the 1980s and Sun Microsystems in the 2000s: monopoly doesn’t mean dictating unreasonable price terms.

http://v12ntoday.com/news/news-news/vmware-adjusts-prices-due-to-criticism-from-customers.html

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It's all about the $$$.

VMware have been trying to take the piss with licensing cost for some time IMHO, starting with the introduction of Enterprise Plus and the efforts to get rid of normal Enterprise.

More and more people are starting to have tiered virtual infrastructures now, usually of a vSphere/HyperV ilk. You can't manage this sort of environment from vCenter and this is where the danger is for VMware.

If people start realising that HyperV isn't quite as bad as they've been led to believe, more VM's will go onto the second tier HyperV and the VMware market share will erode.

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Revisionism at its best...

vRAM isn't a new feature, previous licensing also had a RAM limit (256Gb per socket) though I'm unsure if this was fixed rather than upgradable, as under the new scheme.

But to be told that the new licensing is better for me because my RAM licensing just got bumped from 48Gb to 96Gb is somewhat rich (only reduces my previous allowance by 320Gb...) but is still workable in my current situation.

Also, what is the point of talking about 12-month average? Virtually all my production VMs (Win & Linux) use virtually all the available RAM virtually all the time, ie my 12-month average is my steady-state. And what happens if I bust my allowance?

As has been previously been pointed out in the wider discussion, it appears the VMware have noticed that RAM is the far more important than sockets for modern systems so has (rather cynically) adjusted its charging scheme to hit the new sweet spot - just as Windows goes 64-bit only and now requires 4Gb just to run...

@Davidoff

Couldn't give a flying F$%k about GPU virtualisation, seems more useful for desktop virt than servers but maybe I'm just running the wrong apps.

Also, 2Tb limit hasn't seemed to be an issue for me but maybe that is because i mainly use storage appliances (greater reliability) rather than fixed disk configurations. Of course, anyone finding disk IO an issue may have a different opinion but then I would wonder whether the application suits virtualisation.

Overall, I am disappointed by the route VMware appears to be taking but, for now, see their product as the best solution for my heterogeneous infrastructure requirements.

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