Yesterday VMWare announced their new licensing scheme vSphere 5 and man, that is like a small bomb went off. The new licensing will definitely add cost to virtualization when using VMware’s products. And with Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization technology slowly catching up – this is the time for any business to re-think their virtualization strategy. This is the moment to really think about if you need VMWare for virtualization.
Yes, Hyper-V is not there yet in regards to all the features, but what it offers should be sufficient for many businesses. Sufficient enough to really plan the move away from VMWare. We have been using Hyper-V quite a bit already and it is a little more cumbersome to install and to configure and there are some quirks here or there, but once it is up and running it is doing its job. It is doing its job good enough to give the thought of moving away from VMWare a second chance. Microsoft’s Hyper-V is not free either and it requires SCVMM (System Center Virtual Machine Manager) which is expensive, but so if VMware’s vCenter.
In my opinion if you are a stockholder of “VMW” and are enjoying the recent run to over $100 – this is the time to be concerned, because if you start looking around, VMW customers are taking notice of the change in licensing quickly. While the change in licensing might not affect smaller footprints, it definitely affects anyone who is using servers with a lot of RAM – which should make for the majority of large and midsize businesses … including web hosts. VMware’s license change increases pushes customers to consider to upgrade their licenses or to add more physical servers to achieve the same goal. Both scenarios mean more money to be spend and that is the goal of VMware’s license change. There is no added benefit other than filling VMware’s coffers with more money. Unless customers decide that 4.1 is stable and provides all the benefits and features a business might need. And if that thought process takes hold, VMware’s plan to increase profits is not going to work. It actually might work the opposite direction with people dropping license support altogether and to buy support on an as you go basis.
In addition VMWare might be driving quite a few customers away from their platform and to consider Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix Xen Server which are both priced more friendly. EMC is already known for very expensive pricing (they offer good products, too – don’t get me wrong). VMWare, as partially owned by EMC is apparently following the same playbook. For me as a customer however this really changes how I feel about their products. I have been a long-time customer and administrator and I have been promoting VMware’s products because it was good stuff. Now, with vSphere 5 …. heck, forget it. A business really needs to have very good reasons to deploy VMWare and not to look at options like Microsoft of Citrix. And I would be a stockholder, I would buy MSFT and sell VMW.