I wonder how many of us remember when VMware bought BlueLane and their technology, good things were promised, we saw the first part with the release of vSphere when they introduced vShield Zones. This was a “Free” product for those of you that had any version above Advanced vSphere and to be fair for a 1.0 release was a nice weapon to have in your armoury when dealing with Security during a design and implementation phase.
At VMworld 2010 San Francisco VMware announced and released the expanded and improved vShield family of products. it however now a costed product, now the good news is that vShield Zones been not been removed from the vSphere suite, and are still “Free” the the correctly licensed level of vSphere.
A quick synopsis of the products, the technology has been split into three products these being:
- VMware vShield App – Protect Applications from Network-Based Threats
- VMware vShield Edge – Secure the Edge of the Datacenter
- VMware vShield Endpoint – Endpoint Security for Virtual Datacenters
The VMware vShield Manager as the one ring to manage these new products within vCenter.
I am not going into the technology of the product as I have not as yet played with them, but I will go into the economics of it. the following prices are taken directly of VMware’s website. Firstly there is not “Suite” product to allow a slightly more advantageous pricing structure.
vShield Edge Pricing:
These are not insignificant prices, let me give you an example:
I consult for an organization with a VM estate of 301 machines. This would mean we would require 13 packages of each product. So lets do the maths:
Quantity Product Price 13 VMware vShield Edge with 3years 24/7 $79,844.70 13 VMware vShield App with 3 years 24/7 $79,844.70 13 VMware vShield Endpoint with 3 years 24/7 $26,625.95 Total $186,315.35
And since vShield Endpoint is an enabling technology, we need to add to this the price for Antivirus software that makes use of Endpoint such as the one upcoming from Trend Micro.
This is close to $200K for what is in reality a small deployment. To the majority of medium and small businesses the numbers do not stack up, and the fact is the enterprise will pay no where near those prices for the product when their “corporate discounts” are taken into account.
I suppose my question is why don’t vendors just publish the “real” price for their products, ie the one that we will actually pay after we have had our usual “Sales” dance. there is a lot to be said for open pricing and this is anything but. I will be surprised if they sell much if any at those prices, and the SMB market is just going to take one look and not even bother to pick up the phone but instead pursue the other products available from other vendors who still license by host.
This is yet another missed opportunity for VMware to move into the SMB market in a proper and meaningful way.