Change, Change, Change – VMware per VM Software Licensing

If you haven’t heard yet, VMware will be changing its licensing model (yeah, again) for some of its vCenter based products like Site Recovery Manager.  At least the per processor licensing model for vSphere will stay the same.  When I first heard about this change my first thought was, WT* is VMware smokin’ over there!  Maybe they’ve been hanging out with the guys from Microsoft’s licensing geniuses too long because it certainly seems like they’re going down the “complicated and confusing is best (at least for VMware)” licensing path.  Of course they put a nice spin on the new licensing scheme when it was announced.  Something to the effect of, “to better align licensing with the way our customers do business” or “to provide a more cost effective model for our software”.  You know, the kind of stuff that generally pegs your BS meter right out of the gate.

Now all that being said, as I had a few converstations with various clients over the past few weeks I realized there are some benefits to this new licensing. Let’s look at a situation and how it would affect you financially.  I’ll be using LIST pricing for licensing and 25% of that cost as 1 Year Maintenance cost, so keep that in mind.

Client X:

  • 3 VMware Hosts (dual proc) at Site A
  • 30 VM’s
  • 3 VMware Hosts at Site B

If we look at traditional SRM pricing for this scenario it would look something like this:

  • 6 Licenses of SRM                            $1750 x 6                              $10,500
  • 6 Production Support                     $1750 x .25 x 6                  $2,625
  • Total                                                                                                         $13,125
  • Total VM’s protected = 30
  • Cost per protected VM = $437

If we run this same senario under the new licensing plan it looks like this: (pricing is not offical)

  • 30 Licenses of SRM (per vm)         $450 x 30                              $13,500
  • 30 Production Support                     $450 x .25 x 30                  $3,375
  • Total                                                                                                            $16,875
  • Total VM’s protected = 30
  • Cost per protected VM = $562

As you can see, the new licensing program really doesn’t benefit YOU, at least financially, in this case.

If we look at this from a standpoint of not needing to protect ALL vm’s then things look a little different.  Assume we need to only protect 10 vm’s instead of all 30.  The new licensing can help you in this case.  And, YES, I understand that you could restrict these 10 vm’s to one host and only license that host but in this case I’ll assume we’re utilizing DRS and need to license all hosts for SRM.

  • 10 Licenses of SRM (per vm)       $450 x 10                              $4,500
  • 10 Production Support                   $450 x .25 x 10                  $1,125
  • Total                                                                                                          $5,625
  • Total VM’s protected = 10
  • Cost per protected VM = $562

So if you were thinking about purchasing SRM for your environment now may be a good time to evaluate exactly what you need to protect and do some calculations around which licensing model best fits you.  As of September 1, all new purchases of SRM will be under the per VM model.  If you get grandfathered in prior to that you will be able to continue with the per processor model.

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