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VMware Changes Licensing Model for vSphere 5

Posted on Fri, Jun 29, 2012

IT Solutions with Virtual RAMBusinesses that are considering a move to virtualization will want to pay close attention to recent developments at VMware, the world's leading platform for virtualized work environments.  VMware has recently announced that vSphere 5 will be based on a new model for software licensing.  Instead of organizing licensing around the number of CPU cores with memory, the new model envisions licensing as an entitlement of virtual RAM (random access memory) for each CPU in the system.  This new model requires businesses to closely consider the allocation they are licensing, since without such considerations, it is possible that the business would not have enough licensing available to be able to launch a new VM when needed.

The good news about the new licensing model is that when using vSphere 5, it will no longer make any difference how many CPU cores the system encompasses.  Nor will the level of physical memory built into or attached to a server matter.  Instead, licensing new VMs will depend on the amount of virtual RAM entitlement that comes with the version of vSphere 5 purchased.

Businesses looking forward to cutting edge IT solutions must therefore decide how much virtual RAM they would like created in the virtualized environment, since this will help guide them to the right purchasing decision.  For each CPU that a company license, vSphere will allow the business a certain level of virtual RAM.  The Standard Edition of vSphere 5 provides 24 GB of vRAM per CPU, while the Enterprise Plus Edition of the software provides twice that allocation per CPU.  For companies that need a middle ground, the Enterprise Edition comes in at 32 GB of vRAM per CPU licensed. 

The total vRAM entitlement a company has purchased for license can be derived by multiplying the number of physical CPUs involved by the per CPU allocation.  This total amount of virtual RAM is then created in a sort of centralized pool from which virtual machines can draw.  Whenever a new VM is created, the licensing subroutine will verify if the current central vRAM pool contains enough unused vRAM to provision it. 

Businesses that find they need more vRAM can purchase more per-CPU licenses or can move all of their licensing to a higher product level of vSphere 5 if they are not yet at the highest level. 

The new pricing model is complex enough that the implications of it may not be immediately obvious, particularly to businesses that are new to virtualization technologies.  For this reason, such businesses may wish to work closely with an outsourced IT support company such as iCorps in order to learn about the full range of virtualization options available at this time.

 

Tags: Virtualization, Data Management, Cost Effectiveness

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