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VMware confirms vSphere 5 licensing changes

Partners rejoice as move will calm customer concerns

VMware confirms vSphere 5 licensing changes
Bogomil says with increased vRAM benefits, hardly any customer will be impacted by higher licensing costs upon upgrading to vSphere 5.

Virtualisation solutions vendor VMware has unveiled changes to its vSphere 5 licensing model that channel partners expect will calm customer concerns over higher costs in the forthcoming release.

VMware has boosted the vRAM entitlement in all versions of vSphere, doubling vSphere Enterprise from 32GB to 64GB and Enterprise Plus from 48GB to 96GB. VMware has also capped the amount of vRAM per virtual machine that counts against a customer's license entitlement to 96GB, paving the way for virtualisation of mission critical business applications.

"With these increased vRAM entitlements, hardly any customer will be impacted by higher licensing costs upon upgrading to vSphere 5," said Bogomil Balkansky, vice president of product marketing at VMware.

The company has says the introduction of vSphere 5 and announced changes to the vSphere licensing model has been necessitated to align costs with the benefits of virtualisation rather than with the physical attributes of each individual server. VMware stated that these changes have generated debate in the blogosphere, across the VMware communities, and in conversations with customers and partners.

For VMware partners, the decision is a welcome move that should help restore momentum to deals that customers had put on hold after VMware first unveiled vRAM licensing in July 2011.

VMware CEO Paul Maritz last month said 95% of VMware customers wouldn't have to pay more as a result of the vSphere 5 changes.

In a blog post VMware said some of the discussion had to do with confusion around the changes. The vendor outlined that it has gotten a ton of feedback that probed the impact of the new licensing model on every possible use case and scenario, and equally important, reflected its customers' intense passion for VMware.

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