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Everything you need to know about VMware’s licensing shake up

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on March 4, 2016

The New VMware licensing line up offers better recipes for the management of virtual environments.

We recently wrapped a webinar with our in-house VMware expert David Shwartzstein. Watch the recording here.

Here’s what you need to know
Three of the six major editions of Vmware’s virtualizaiton platrform: vSphere enterprise edition with operations management is reaching end of life on June 30th, 2016.

  1. vSphere Ent
  2. vSphere Standard with Operations Management (vSOM standard)
  3. vSphere Enterprise with Operations Management (vSOM enterprise)

Although VMware will cease marketing, selling, or upgrading these products, they will continue to support them until March 10, 2020. This End of Availability (EOA) announcement impacts how all organizations manage their virtualized infrastructures. Each organization is affected differently so it is important to understand the details.

What to do if you have vSphere and/or vSOM Enterprise
It is possible to remain a user of the old platforms until the end of support in 2020. Those doing so, however, are missing out on many great new features such as storage DRS, network and storage I/O control, flash read cache, NVIDIA GRID vGPU, distributed switch, host profiles and auto deploy. The smart choice is to upgrade to Enterprise Plus.

VMware wants to make it a no-brainer for you. They are offering a 50% discount on upgrades from February 10 through June 25 for those opting to do so.

What you need to know about vSOM
Organizations currently using vSOM Standard have a couple of paths they can follow and several facts they need to be aware of. If they do nothing, they will be unable to purchase new licenses of vSOM after the End of Availability. vSphere Standard Edition will continue to be available.

vRealize Operations Insight (vROI) will no longer be available for vSOM. So what should you do if you are utilizing vROI? VMware recommends vRealize Suite Standard or vRealize Operations Advanced plus vRealize Log Insight as a replacement to vROI. The wise choice for vSOM users is to move swiftly to vSOM Enterprise Plus.

VMware Suites – Price & Packaging Changes

vmware pricing changes webinar

Perhaps the biggest news from this changeover is the new functionality and packaging for the VMware vRealize and vCloud suites. vRealize Standard v7 now includes intelligent operations such as cloud compare, Software-Definted Data Center monitoring for hybrid clouds, log insight and log analysis.

The vRealize Advanced suite adds infrastructure automation while vRealize Enterprise provides all those new features as well as application monitoring and application automation. All include a portable license for 1 vSphere CPU or 15 non-vSphere Operating System Instances.

vCloud Suite 6 vs. vCloud Suite 7

vCloud Suite 6 vs vCloud Suite 7 VMware

Those taking advantage of vCloud Suite v7 will enjoy many new benefits compared to vCloud v6 (see chart above). Due to this leap in capability, there are some significant pricing adjustments for the vCloud suite (vCS):

  • vCS standard 7.0 $5,495 (40% bundle discount, SnS increase 10%)
  • vCS ADV 7.0 $7,995 (40% bundle discount, SnS increase 7%)
  • vCS enterprise 7.0 $9,495 (44% bundle discount, SnS increase 4%)

As you can see, this new licensing arrangement helps current customers gain the best of both worlds. Those with vCloud Suite licenses and on an active SnS are fully entitled to all components of vCloud Suite 6.0. Customers with vCloud Suite licenses and on active SnS are entitled to all new components in vRealize Suite 7.0 and vCloud Suite 7.0.

There is a slight increase in SnS price (4-10%) and a small increase in license price for vCS STD and ADV when a customer wants to acquire new licenses to grow capacity. However, there is a price reduction for vCS enterprise.

In addition, vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite are now Portable License Units (PLU) that can be interchanged between managing on-premise vSphere and multiple other hypervisors and cloud platforms. A PLU allows a user to switch licenses between private and public clouds or between vSphere and non-vSphere hosts:

  • Customers with vCloud Suite licenses and on active SnS can use the vRealize Suite license component as a PLU
  • Unused vRealize license component can be used as PLU on supported non-vSphere environments -including public cloud

vRealize Suite or vCloud Suite?
Here’s a tip to tell the difference between vRealize Suite and vCloud Suite: Add vRealize Suite to your existing vSphere Enterprise Plus licenses to gain the benefits of management. If you are starting with a new host/environment, vCloud Suite is the way to go as it also includes the vSphere Enterpise Plus license – in addition to the vRealize Suite.

During this period of transition, it is important to have a sound source of reliable advice you can count on to make the right decisions. The best course of action is to contact a Softchoice VMware Technical Architect and request an Installed Base Report (IBR). An IBR enables you to review your current VMware licensing environments and identify opportunities and ideal upgrade paths. Many long-serving VMware tools have reached EOA and there is only a limited time to upgrade at a 50% discount – the sooner you act, the more you will save.

How to get started
At the end of the day, this shift means licensing updates. To help you during this transition, I encourage you to review 3-Tips to Prepare for Licensing Updates which offers some good advice to ensure your new purchase or upgrade paths are smooth.

If you need a clear view of your VMware licensing environment, an Installed-Base-Report may be the tool you need. A free Installed-Base Report (IBR) is the master list of all licenses a company purchased regardless of where the licenses were procured (VAR, OEM, VMware Direct etc). IBR’s provide visibility into all purchased licenses, end dates of support contracts and promotional products you may not be aware you own. You can request an IBR here.

Editors note: We recently wrapped a webinar with our in-house VMware expert David Shwartzstein. Watch the recording here.

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