back to article VMware licence changes put users on upgrade treadmill

VMware's recent vSphere licensing changes are upsetting some users. Virtzilla's changes mean the vSphere Enterprise package goes away, replaced by the vSphere Enterprise Plus. As the name implies, the second package has more stuff in it: you get big data extensions, support for GPUs, a distributed switch and lots more vFun. …

  1. thames

    I just skimmed the headline and was breezing through the article before I realised that I had VMWare confused with Oracle and was thinking "Virtualisaion? Shouldn't that be database?" Then things clicked and I realised my mistake and went back to the beginning to see that ah, yes, you were talking about VMWare, not Oracle.

    I think that when it comes to licensing of enterprise software, you could probably keep a standard article template and just change the company and product names and nobody would notice the difference.

    1. CheesyTheClown


      With Microsoft we blame Satya or Bill

      With Oracle we blame Crazy Larry

      With VMware we have no idea who to blame. I'm pretty sure it's a team of guys wearing ties and one fairly attractive girl wearing shoulder pads who don't actually know what a VMware thingy is but think by saying words like synergize and pointing to nifty Gartner graphs they can run a tech company.

      I can't really say for sure when VMware took the nose dive, but I think it was around the time that EMC bought them out. VMware propagated the entire market like wildfire because it was the only functional choice. More and more people used it and the people running the company treated it like it was oil or water... after all, if you make a bad business decision with oil, water or VMware, your customers will still be forced to use you and you can always pump more right?

      So, for the last several years while Microsoft and others have been working towards the goal of operating one of the biggest and most reliable data centers in the world, the VMware guys have operated with no leadership or direction. As a result, they make 10 competing and incompatible products whenever a new buzzword arises. They keep increasing their prices for products people already have and insist that bug fixes should be paid for by buying entirely new infrastructures. They don't really innovate anymore, I can't think of anything they've done which is even moderately more than **snore** since VMware 4.

      The #1 reason we still use VMware is that we can pretend that we're running 20 year old server in a Window and that's easy. The other tools require us to plan and read something to make them work. VMware can be installed really badly in 30 minutes... and it will let you run it like that for years.

  2. CheesyTheClown


    I LOVE IT!!! I just called my wife and let her know 'Baby, we're going to Disney!!!"

    Thanks to the anti-upgrade called VMware 6, I moved away from VMware because of this specific nonsense.

    1) Any version less than Enterprise Plus is a REALLY BAD IDEA!!!!

    2) Networking isn't an add-on in the data center, it's a selling point. Microsoft and OpenStack have networking and they both did it REALLY REALLY REALLY well. NSX did it kinda ok and VMware tells all my customers that in order to run kinda OK networking, they would have to pay almost 10 times as much for the license. NSX should be part of standard.

    3) Nearly half the new features in VMware 6 cause unfixable errors unless you intentionally deploy those features half assed.

    So... I moved completely to Hyper-V now and while it hurt really bad at first, it's been by far the smartest move I've ever made. So now I go from class to class, company to company, government to government and convince them to stop blowing their budgets on VMware and instead make use of those Microsoft Enterprise licenses they already are paying for and actually use them. Like... "Why are you paying $7500 per CPU socket for VMware when your enterprise license from MS already gives you everything you need?"

    Oh... you wanna know the best thing about switching to Microsoft? I was able to get updated drivers for all my hardware (been a big problem on VMware lately) and build, test and troubleshoot my network in a clear orderly fashion. When I domain joined all my Hyper-V servers and Azure Stack, the CA simply pushed certs to all the servers and I had easy installation of certificates. Oh and the management tools for Hyper-V were just plain better. As long as you avoid ever trying to deploy applications from within SCVMM, it's 1000 kinds of awesome.

    1. Rob F

      Re: AWESOME!!!

      I wish I could agree with you, but I don't. Every project I have to work on as an integrator is hampered by the shortfallings of Hyper-V. People need to remember the following: If your environment is complex or mission criitical and doesn't require multiple hook ins to your DR, storage and other automation products, Hyper-V is not for you. It is good enough for a simple environment that doesn't need in-depth root cause analysis because the available tools (3rd party or Microsoft) are lacking.

      It does a reasonable job regarding VM management, but it still feels at the level of an ESXi 5.0 environment i.e. rough around the edges, but good enough. Expect to spend the amount you saved on licenses and more on getting people to troubleshoot and configure your environment

      1. Naselus

        Re: AWESOME!!!

        tbh, I've not had any serious issues with Hyper-V recently. The two techs are really much of amuchness for 90% of tasks now, and Hyper-V has some advantages (natural powershell integration being a biggy). I've certainly not found VMWare to be any more helpful with regard to root cause analysis compared to HV-10

  3. dan1980

    Ahh yes, standard justification - they are "aligning" and "simplifying" in consideration of their customers.

    I would be keen to find out, however, how halving "simplifying" their SKUs from 6 to 3 allows them to better "align" with their customers.

    Sure, someone currently one Enterprise will be able to equally fill their technical requirements with Enterprise Plus but then so would someone on Standard so why keep that? If such "simplification" is good then why not take it further? Why not just offer one SKU that does everything?

    Now that would be some alignment - no matter which VMware features the customer needs, the SKU will be able to deliver - couldn't be 'simpler'.

  4. pci

    Downgrade rights?

    Someone's been offered a downgrade? I've been told there is no chance of a downgrade option for our 20 CPUs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Downgrade rights?

      Just a turn of phrase. No downgrades offered - have to buy Standards afresh, which even for charities (like us) costs £256 per CPU more.

      Long-term, buying new Standards and getting cheaper support works out better. Short term, there's suddenly a huge bill to be paid for the privilege of losing features. Thanks, VMWare.

  5. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Gotta pay

    For the inevitable GPL lawsuit loss

  6. Doogie Howser MD

    Plus needed for NSX

    Actually it's a little bit crafty they say you need Ent+ before you can deploy NSX. This is because you need Distributed Switches and NSX sits on top of them.

    I've never really understood why core networking functionality like VDSes were pushed into the top licence and agree that NSX should be part of a core bundle, but at the end of the day it's VMware's new money spinner so they have to bleed it dry with early adopters before making it more competitive for the great unwashed.

  7. AbstPoolAuto

    VMware memory Tax, Microsoft server 2016 core Tax. They are all as bad as each other. At least VMware rolled back on the memory tax debacle, I cant see Microsoft doing the same. How many people even understand that if they have more than 8 cores per CPU (pretty normal for Hypervisors hosts) that their upgrade path to Server 2016 is going to leave them with a licence deficit? Users running VMware vSphere Enterprise that want to deploy Windows Server 2016 are going to get hit by a double whammy

  8. Nate Amsden

    Maybe next step

    Is jack up ent+ pricing and include nsx with it.

    I hope not but could see it happening. I still can't see a day at my org or any of my past orgs where nsx or similar would be very useful.

    Been using nothing but ent+ for the past 5 years so these recent changes have had zero impact for me.

    Dvswitch and host profiles are the only 2 features I use from ent+

    1. Nate Amsden

      Re: Maybe next step

      Apparently can't edit posts on mobile. But wanted to say nothing in vsphere has gotten me excited since v4.0.

      I still like it a lot and will continue to use it as it works very well. No intention of upgrading to v6 before 2018.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ent+ is the new standard

    I find many of the features of Ent+ critical for my environment. I'm not sure why there are so many haters... Sure, nobody likes paying more, but I find features like:

    * Resource Pools

    * DRS

    * Maintenance Mode

    * Distributed Switches

    * Storage DRS

    * SIOC

    and others, being critical to making my life easier and making the environment run well. Anyone who says these features aren't important either run a ma & pa shop with 2 hosts in their basement, or don't actually work as administrators in a real environment.

    1. Nate Amsden

      Re: Ent+ is the new standard

      the first 3 in your list are available as part of enterprise edition too, resource pools and maint mode are in every version.

  10. Mikel

    Shocker: company wants more money from existing customers

    A shame there aren't free alternatives available, eh?

  11. nilfs2
    Paris Hilton

    People still buys Hypervisors?

    Enterprise grade stuff has been free for ages, why do you keep paying for the thing?

    1. Nate Amsden

      Re: People still buys Hypervisors?

      because the enterprise grade stuff you speak of is not enterprise grade.

      I've had my eye on KVM for the past 6 years, still happy to continue to use vsphere for the foreseeable future (running roughly 650 linux VMs). Solid as a rock, good support, cost effective (more and more cpu cores keep coming out making cost per core continue to drop, all my new systems are DL380Gen9 dual socket 18 core with 384GB).

  12. ecofeco Silver badge

    Hated it from the start

    Hate it more.

  13. Mark 65

    Why's VMware doing this? The company's Australia/New Zealand senior product marketing manager Aaron Steppat told El Reg that “we're a bunch of thieving c*nts, and we can"

    There, fixed that for you.

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