In response to numerous concerns voiced in the community and on this web site VMware has announced an update to the vRAM based licensing for vSphere 5. The key changes are:
- Increased vRAM entitlements for all vSphere editions, including the doubling of the entitlements for vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.
- Capped the amount of vRAM counted in any given VM, so that no VM, not even the “monster” 1TB vRAM VM, would cost more than one vSphere Enterprise Plus license.
- Adjusted the model to be much more flexible around transient workloads and short-term spikes that are typical in environments such as test and development.
Summary of Changes and Impacts
|Customer feedback||Changes to the vSphere 5 licensing model||Impact|
|1. Affects only a small percentage of customers today, but customers are concerned about their future-looking business cases based on powerful new hardware capabilities.||Substantially raise the vRAM entitlements per vSphere edition from 48/32/24/24/24 GB to 96/64/32/32/32 GB.||With these increased vRAM entitlements, hardly any customer will be impacted by higher licensing costs upon upgrading to vSphere 5.|
|2. Introduces additional hesitation for virtualizing business-critical apps.||Cap the amount of vRAM counted per VM at 96GB.||No application, no matter how big, will require more than one vSphere (Ent+) license to be virtualized.|
|3. Penalizes short-lived usage “spikes” in dev & test, and transient VMs.||Calculate a 12 month average of consumed vRAM rather than a high water mark.||Short lived “spikes” will increase the 12-month average in a minimal way, but a customer will not be required to pay for them in perpetuity.|
Here is a comparison of the previously announced and the currently unveiled vSphere 5 vRAM entitlements per vSphere edition.
|vSphere edition||Previous vRAM entitlement||New vRAM entitlement|
|vSphere Enterprise+||48 GB||96 GB|
|vSphere Enterprise||32 GB||64GB|
|vSphere Standard||24 GB||32 GB|
|vSphere Essentials+||24 GB||32 GB|
|vSphere Essentials||24 GB||32 GB|
|Free vSphere Hypervisor||8 GB||32 GB|
Additionally, VMware has addressed the issues with vRAM entitlements for VDI by offering the vSphere Desktop edition. The vSphere Desktop edition does not have any vRAM entitlements; it allows customers to purchase vSphere for VDI use case on a per user basis.