Given the level of applause that greeted the announcement of VMware’s new pricing model, I know this will open me up to criticism, but was the old VMware licensing model really all that bad? It certainly wasn’t perfect, and there’s an awful alot to like about the new model, but was the old license pricing model so bad that it could only be fixed by ripping it up and replacing it with something so very different?
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When we look for patterns from the past, sometimes we can really get a good idea of what the future might entail.
If you take a look at the way VMware has rolled out licensing changes during each of the major releases you can see a pattern and get an idea of what the future may bestow on us. When Virtual Center was first released, vMotion and vSMP were licensed separately from Virtual Center as an add-on for Virtual Center.
Once VMware ESX3 was released, vMotion and vSMP pretty much became a standard feature included in ESX3. Virtual Center was still sold separately and then VMware presented three licensing models for VMware ESX3.
VMware has made significant changes to the recently announced vRAM based pricing. The single most significant change is that potential barriers to the virtualization of memory intensive business critical applications have been eliminated by ensuring that no application no matter how big can cause a charge of more than 96GB to be levied against the pool of available vRAM.