VMworld 2012: VMware returns to the old licensing model


"We are finalizing the licensing to vRAM, " announced the new VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, who has been in office since the beginning of September, at the opening of this year's VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, cheering the assembled 22, 000 customers.

A year ago, his predecessor Paul Maritz had announced a new metric based on the number of CPU sockets and the amount of virtual memory. Those in charge promised an easier-to-understand and simpler licensing model at the time, with no limitations on the number of processor cores and main memory. In addition, the users would hardly notice a difference when switching to the new model.

"Modern Raubrittertum"

But as a result, the new license conditions met with incomprehension and massive criticism in the ranks of customers. Here is trying to milk the clientele, a user complained. To lure them into a product only with attractive framework conditions in order to then massively restrict them during the update - that is modern robber barons. Since the criticism did not stop over the months, the VMware management rowed now back. Ex-CEO Maritz took the dizzy course on his cap and apologized to the users: "Mea culpa." Now it should be much easier for customers and partners. In the future, the VMware software will only be licensed on a processor basis.

Prices for the new vSphere version 5.1 start at $ 83 per processor. The entry-level package "Essentials" is said to be available from $ 495 per CPU, and for the complete package "vSphere Essentials Plus" requires the manufacturer 4495 dollars for each processor from its customers. vSphere 5.1 also forms the basis for the "vCloud Suite", which positions VMware as the central element of a software-defined data center. With the virtualization package, all hardware resources in a data center, ie servers, storage and network capacities, should be abstracted under a virtualization layer. vCloud is designed to help companies transform their data centers toward the cloud, Gelsinger said.

More features for security

More than 100 additional features and improvements have been incorporated into the new release, the software vendor promised to its customers in San Francisco. For example, vSphere 5.1 now supports virtual machines (VMs) with up to 64 virtual CPUs. The migration tool "vMotion" was expanded so that VMs could be transferred in the future without "shared storage" in real time to other hardware resources. To approach a non-disruptive operation of virtual machines, it said.

In addition, the new release of the virtualization platform offers additional security and management features. According to the manufacturer, for example, with the newly added function "vSphere Data Protection" simplified backup, recovery and replication of VMs. The vCenter Site Recovery Manager is designed to improve the availability and recovery of applications in a virtualized data center. "vCloud Networking and Security" helps users to flexibly configure their networks for specific services and applications. For the orchestration of complete Virtual Data Center (VDC), VMware gives its customers the "vCloud Director". According to the manufacturer, the administration tool can handle vSphere clusters with up to 30, 000 VMs.

VMware promises more openness

In addition to the Cloud Suite, which will be available in the Standard, Advanced and Enterprise versions from September 11, Gelsinger referred to other development priorities such as in the social media environment. In this area, VMware took over companies like Socialcast and Sliderocket last year and apparently works on a social media platform for business use. With the "Horizon Suite" - currently in alpha development status - there should in the future be a platform that enables mobile users to access their virtualized workspace in the company. In addition, it will be in the future to improve cooperation with other platforms. "This is a multi-cloud world out there, " said Gelsinger. "There are other infrastructures that we need to support."