The hottest topic after the launch of vSphere 5.0 has unfortunately not been about the awesome technology features announced like Auto Deploy, Storage DRS, Fault Domain Manager etc etc.
I was around in Cannes VMworld 09 when vSphere 4.0 was released and all the talk seemed to be about licensing then also, so this controversy does not come as a huge surprise to me.
I am a little disappointed however that some people I know to be extremely clever are failing to see the bigger picture. I’m not going to go into all that now as I think it has been blogged to death. Some good articles are by Rynard Spies who speak about the downside of new licencing compared to vSphere 4.0 and Aaron Delps, speaking about the bigger picture of TCO and how the VMwares new licencing model fits.
Personally the new licencing model does not seem all that bad to me. Those who know me will know that I love a good analogy, so here I go….
I believe comparing the old vSphere 4.x licencing model to 5.0 is seriously floored. Lets use a car as an example:
A Ford Focus Hatchback (05-11 model) cost between £11,695 – £20,845 brand new. a Ford Focus Hatchback (‘11 onwards) costs (£16,000 – £24,000). Now we all know why we are paying more, it’s a better looking car, it has better safety features, it has more toys, it is more efficient on MPG but most critically the development of the car. Even though it is at a high-level it is more or less the same car, no-one complains that the price has gone up considerably.
When VMware went from VI3.x to vSphere 4.0 they didn’t actually put the price up to reflect all the new toys and development costs.
So why have they increased the costs now? Lets look at the industry, even though there are the ‘Scale Out’ gang who blindly believe that it is the best model, the hardware vendors are producing the most powerful servers that we have seen and are managing to pack them into more and more reduced CAB space. Added that CPUs will soon be going in to the high teens and 20’s means that VMware old licencing model would be totally financially unfeasible. If everyone went for 4.x Ent Plus then with all the factors I mentioned above VMware would be selling less and less licences and make less money!!
So, do I think there could be improvements with the licencing model VMware have produced for vSphere 5.0? Yes, I would like to see the vRam limit up to 96GB for Ent Plus (rumours say this might happen). But do I think switching to vRAM was the correct decision? Yes, it makes total sense to me when looking at VMwares long term goal to remain the market leader.
Lets stop moaning about the licencing model and start talking about the product its self.