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After Complaints, VMware Revises VSphere 5 Licensing

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the think-of-them-as-pretend-instances dept.

Virtualization 80

msmoriarty writes "Three weeks after IT shops began complaining loudly that the licensing changes with vSphere 5 would cost them significantly more, VMware has revised the requirements (although not as much as some users would like)."

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Good news, but.. (2)

TigerPlish (174064) | more than 3 years ago | (#37006972)

...I still think this was nothing more than a cash grab by their corporate parent, EMC.

As if mugging you for all your lunch money at disk-adding time wasn't enough for EMC, right?

Wait, corporations try to make money? Really? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007032)

ARE YOU FOR REAL?

Yes, corporations try to to make as much money as they can. That's what they do.

Re:Wait, corporations try to make money? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007088)

All companies are equal....
Except EMC which is 1000x more greedy then anybody else.

There is Capitalism and there is Capitalism, but EMC appears to be trying very hard to kill the goose with the goldens eggs.

Re:Wait, corporations try to make money? Really? (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007580)

GP had it right. This is the supposedly-free market at work. EMC is able to get the prices they demand for one of two reasons. 1) The offer enough value that the price, however dear, is worth it or, 2) The market is nowhere near "free" and the lack of adequate competition allows them to extort from their customers pretty much whatever they choose. In either case, it's naive to think that EMC should do otherwise because "it's the right thing to do". Only when (if) they lose enough customers that the bottom line is smaller will they back away from their current pricing model.

Re:Good news, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007100)

Based on how EMC does business in general you're probably right. They currently have a strangle hold on the SAN market for large corps. That said, with all the data appliances hitting the market in the last 10 years I've got to think that EMC is going to have to become less of a bully or suffer significant ongoing losses in profit.

Re:Good news, but.. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007158)

Not really. There is competition (NetApp, and a bucket of smaller companies), but thing is, they all act like that now.

Re:Good news, but.. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007152)

As if mugging you for all your lunch money at disk-adding time wasn't enough for EMC, right?

...and that explains why all my lunch money is mugged instead by NetApp!

Oh, wait...

Re:Good news, but.. (2)

lucm (889690) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007402)

For storage, EMC is pretty much dead in the water; it was a leader ten years ago but it's over now. With SSD and SAS drives price dropping quickly, the name of the game is now sub-volume tiering, a technology that EMC promised (and licensed) a long time ago with FAST2, but has yet to actually deliver, while the competition is already there (like the impressive Compellent, now part of Dell).

For large enteprise, the top dogs are now IBM (with the V7000 that has built-in storage virtualization) and Hitachi (who also has storage virtualization but is the only vendor that offers a 100% uptime in the SLA); there is also HP 3PAR which is completely awesome. For mid-range again IBM is strong with XIV, but HP, Dell and Pillar are also pretty good. And for entry-level, there are very good iSCSI products (HP Lefthand and Dell Equallogic).

Where does that leave EMC? With existing customers who think that VMAX is still the sh*t... but many of them are switching to HP or IBM who actually have new technology.

Re:Good news, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37010336)

We just did a large EMC refresh early last year with quite a few CX4-80's in our larger offices and we have them optioned with with tiered storage. In our smaller offices, EMC is being phased out with HP FC SAN offerings. They are much cheaper to buy and for maintenance and perform similar to the VNXe series. As time goes on, I can see us using EMC less and less. EMC service is top freaking notch compared to any vendor I have ever worked with. Our experience with HP is not so stellar.. Since we are not an IT company, we had to justify the cost difference between the two (and a few others) and our business group decided HP was good enough and in theory adjusted their expectations of what we can provide to them. I guess this year was the last EMC World I'll be at. Oh well, at least I'm still going to VMWorld, HyperV is still way too far behind right now.

Re:Good news, but.. (2)

lucm (889690) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010580)

> HyperV is still way too far behind right now

What do you mean by that? From my experience both products are now pretty close.

I've done a lot of work with both, using all kinds of mid- and high-end hardware, and performance-wise there is no clear winner. Also there is no feature in one that the other does not have (vMotion, dynamic resource allocation, failover, virtual and pass-thru disks, name it). SCVMM is about the same as VC. Both have robust scripting and automation capabilities. Support for hypervisor hardware is a bit more flexible with Hyper-V, and virtual hardware is equivalent. And lab management from Microsoft is not as popular as Lab Manager but it's still pretty close and personnally I found it significantly more reliable, because with Lab Manager it's not possible to easily pick VMs from VC, one has to import and process them and it takes forever - while on Hyper-V discovery is done instantly.

In some ways VMWare has better third-party offerings, such as virtual networking with the Nexus 1000v from Cisco or hypervisor-based anti-malware from TrendMicro. Also vCloud is pretty cool, but it's not for a typical company, it's mostly for webhosting and cloud business. And so far it does not support delta disk, which is a complete bummer.

What I noticed from working closely with both products is that the organizations are quite different. Microsoft are being pretty honest about what the product can or can't do; they will tell you when to use pass-thru disks instead of virtual ones, and they will happily give you what kind of load you can expect from a single host. With VMWare there is a lot of marketing and sometimes it's hard to get an actual answer even when you pay top dollar for a TAM. Sometimes VMWare looks a lot like a mom & pop shop that grew too fast, like Dell or SAP used to be. Some of their flagship products (like VC) have very disturbing bugs, and when you try to get support you end up on the phone with people who don't know the product more than the customer.

It is my opinion that the best thing that could happen to VMWare would be an acquisition from a company like IBM where it could get the proper support and QA. As for Hyper-V, I think it is following a path similar to SQL Server, becoming an enterprise-ready solution as long as you can accept the limitations and lock-in that comes with Windows.

Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (3, Insightful)

Tihstae (86842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007040)

I hate to say it but EMC has finally influenced VMware.

Of course the new licensing model doesn't limit CPU. That is because there are VERY FEW VMware deployment that max CPU. RAM is usually the cap. But trying license based on physical RAM would be too easy for them. Let's license on what everyone uses most. Virtual (non existant) RAM. I know in my environment everyone that wants a server says they need XX GB of RAM and they use about 1/4 of the RAM they request. So rather than argue with them, I give their server the XXGB of RAM knowing that I can over subscribe the RAM. This is the greatness of VMware. Effeciency.

So now they are going to license us on the one thing that we don't really use. We aren't licenced on what we own or what we use but what we "MIGHT" use. Ridiculous scheme trying to squeeze every dollar out of their market share. This is what EMC does. To get any real funtionality out of their products you have to license more and more features that are already right there in the product. And we see how well that has worked for them. They are bleeding customers. VMware really doesn't have any competitors right now. If they keep this model, they will.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007454)

If you don't like it quit whining and use something else.

They're not a fucking charity.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007796)

Neither are their customers. Many have budgets to stick to, and cant just throw bags of money around becasue "VMware said we had to"...

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (1)

Tihstae (86842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37011874)

If you don't like it quit whining and use something else.

They're not a fucking charity.

Read the last line of my post. The are opening the door for competitors to come in and take their business. I was suggesting that they would lose my business if they continue down that path. I guess I should be more clear so the trolls can't come in and try to change the meaning of what I meant. VMware is shooting themselves in the foot with this licensing money grab. I thought they would have learned better from their parent company (EMC) that is bleeding customers right now.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (1)

earls (1367951) | more than 3 years ago | (#37016710)

I doesn't matter how "clear" you are, someone will find a way to twist your words.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007934)

So rather than argue with them, I give their server the XXGB of RAM knowing that I can over subscribe the RAM.

It's because of people like you we had to stop supporting installs on VMWare altogether. Oversubscribing the RAM will result in excessive paging where no paging is expected (I was able to trace this), causing dismal performance. Our product uses all RAM to build a giant disk cache if it has no better use of it.

Conception that unused RAM is wasted RAM (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008052)

Our product uses all RAM to build a giant disk cache if it has no better use of it.

Do you mind if I use your post as an example in the next discussion on Slashdot where one poster complains about the overuse of RAM by Windows technologies such as SuperFetch and the other claims that unused RAM is wasted RAM?

Re:Conception that unused RAM is wasted RAM (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008884)

It's an anonymous so I guess that means yes... Oh and by the way... Hear, hear!

Re:Conception that unused RAM is wasted RAM (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010290)

Do you mind if I use your post as an example in the next discussion on Slashdot where one poster complains about the overuse of RAM by Windows technologies such as SuperFetch and the other claims that unused RAM is wasted RAM?

Your argument is going to be "here's an unlikely scenario you could run into that proves you are wrong"...?

Re:Conception that unused RAM is wasted RAM (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010314)

A clear exception to a rule, as we see here encourages staunch proponents of a rule to rethink the scope of a rule's validity. Edge cases are what makes us individuals.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010046)

Set a memory reservation for those VMs and the problem is solved. Also, not every application is a good virtualization candidate. Oversubscription works very well for mixed workloads.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (2)

Tihstae (86842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37011896)

So rather than argue with them, I give their server the XXGB of RAM knowing that I can over subscribe the RAM.

It's because of people like you we had to stop supporting installs on VMWare altogether. Oversubscribing the RAM will result in excessive paging where no paging is expected (I was able to trace this), causing dismal performance. Our product uses all RAM to build a giant disk cache if it has no better use of it.

Sounds like your product is a very poor candidate for virtualization. Not all applications are good virtualization candidates. But, virtualization is great for oversubscribing without causing any problems with well behaved applications that only use what they need instead of what is available to them. My VM environment is highly over subscribed on RAM (probably about 2X what I physically have) yet I have yet to have a single incident where paging at the hypervisor level was a problem. Not once has the physical host ran out of of RAM.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#37012362)

Sounds like HP. Their already-inferior iLO has the ability to do remote virtual media redirection, but one has to pay $250 extra for a license key. Worse yet, their goofy Smart Array HBA's need a $300 license key to enable RAID6 -- and they don't do triple-parity RAID at all.

Re:Typical EMC Licensing Scheme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37017164)

I know in my environment everyone that wants a server says they need XX GB of RAM and they use about 1/4 of the RAM they request. So rather than argue with them, I give their server the XXGB of RAM knowing that I can over subscribe the RAM. This is the greatness of VMware. Effeciency.

And then their VM swap file usage goes up and they have 15 minutes of sluggish performance that causes the Win32time service to get out of sync, kick people off server processes, all while pages are swapped into physical ram...And lord help you if you're on old SATA disks instead of fibre channel quality or the new SASS stuff. And then, if you're lucky, you'll be vmotioned off to another host but the damned thing will still keep you paging from SWAP even through the host has available RAM. Grahhhh!

You should not oversubscribe any guest that makes heavy use of caching techniques. That usually includes database servers, file servers, webservers, and a number of other pieces of software. Just because your active page counter doesn't show 100% usage doesn't mean its not being used.

I'd rather by stingy on RAM but have it 100% reserved. I don't want to be using the vm swap. Ever. Period. Even on a development server. You're not doing them any favors by hiding things from them. You may be damaging your trust as a professional by trying to second guess them.

Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

LWolenczak (10527) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007150)

I hate to say it, so instead of my bill being someplace between 2-3x of what it is presently, it will end up being around 2x..... So Anyone have a pretty gui built around one of the open source/free hypervisors with all the same basic features as vCenter (live migration, live storage migration, performance reporting)? oh, and the GUI needs to be easy for a windows person to use.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (3, Insightful)

Courageous (228506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007190)

No, but you could look a Citrix XenServer. They are behind on features, however they license per SERVER. Unlimited cpus, unlimited cores, unlimited RAM. From a technical implementation perspective, they are second to VMware. Hyper-V is third technically, but of course will likely surpass XenServer in a year or two due to Microsoft's continued heavy investment.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007226)

Citrix XenServer is an absolute joke, the performance is laughable for anything other than a bunch of dev systems. Forget about IO.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007514)

Evidence?

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008366)

The Virtual reality check product has published whitepapers with detailed performance comparisons between VMware, Hyper-V, and XenServer. To summarize them all, they show XenServer has much better performance than VMware for VDI [XenDesktop]. Basically, faster, and you can therefore consolidate more VMs per host than with VMware.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013218)

Unlimited cpus, unlimited cores, unlimited RAM.

That wasn't always the case. I suspect someone came along and informed them that their software is open-source [xen.org] .

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013302)

It's been a while since I looked at Xen so I decided to do some searching to see what additional value XenServer adds to it. I found this document [infotech.com] , which says:

Differentiation between virtualization offerings, and between Xen offerings, comes from the value added management features enabled by the parent console.

...and not much else. They took an open-source project, "bought" it for $500 million, did nothing more than put a GUI on it, and were then shocked to discover that no one wanted to buy it. Corporate incompetence never ceases to amaze.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007338)

There is always Redhat Enterprise Virtualization. Runs on KVM and has a nice web GUI (the GUI only runs on windows thought).

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (2)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007942)

Red Hat is rewriting RHEV to be all open source and will no longer require Windows. I work with it for close to a year. [watson-wilson.ca]

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (4, Informative)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007386)

I never used one of the commercial products for virtualization. We were constrained to $0 for the software budget for virtualization, so we toyed with VirtualBox and KVM on Linux. Our development machine was not on a UPS, and over the course of a few weeks we had the occasional 20 second power outage in the building. Some of our VirtualBox images were corrupted by the outage, the KVM images were not, and that was enough to put us onto KVM for production (even though our production servers are of course on UPS with a backup generator). It's possible whatever problem we had with VirtualBox has been fixed in more recent versions or that we misconfigured the storage settings, I don't know. But KVM was more reliable without any tweaking right out of the box, so we went with that.

KVM supports live migration and live storage migration, although we have not used either feature. The virt-manager GUI you can use with KVM is easy enough - create, clone, start, stop, change settings, and view and interact with the virtual machines all with clicks in the GUI. I'm sure VMWare has earned its impressive reputation, but free is always nice. Good luck.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014618)

Good to know.

Though I have to say, that has to be the worst naming idea in F/OSS since GiMP. KVM? Yeah, that'll never get confused with anything on the internet or in conversations.

There seriously ought to be an OSS Project consulting service of non-idiots that makes decisions like that for free... so the geeks stop fucking it up.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 3 years ago | (#37018458)

Yes, picking "KVM" for "Kernel Virtual Machine" when most people think of it as "Keyboard, Video, Mouse" was absurd.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007408)

Hell, if it was just about a GUI, that would be almost easy to replicate. Live migration of VMs or Storage is hardly a "basic" feature for someone to develop even if they are just manipulating the API on the hypervisors.

Of course, you can't do Storage vMotion in 4.1 without an Enterprise Plus license anyway, so that being premium is hardly new.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

rongage (237813) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009146)

Um.... Storage vMotion on VMware is an Enterprise feature, not Enterprise Plus.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/editions_comparison.html [vmware.com]

(Yeah, I know, 5.0 instead of 4.1 - I couldn't find the 4.1 chart right off)

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37009694)

Um.... Storage vMotion on VMware is an Enterprise feature, not Enterprise Plus.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/editions_comparison.html [vmware.com]

(Yeah, I know, 5.0 instead of 4.1 - I couldn't find the 4.1 chart right off)

I can confirm this. I'm on 4.1 enterprise, and I have storage vmotion

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

alittle158 (695561) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009754)

Yes, Storage vMotion is available in 4.1 with Enterprise licenses. Hell, if you're really good, you knew how to do it in 3.5 (hidden command line/unsupported, but it worked)!

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010122)

It wasn't exactly hidden and was fully supported using the RCLI, which I agree was a major PITA to use. This made our lives easier - http://sourceforge.net/projects/vip-svmotion/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007458)

(Disclaimer, though I don't work for the mentioned company, I do stand to benefit for business they conduct)

So, the *storage migration* feature (where backing store changes with nothing else changing) is not currently implemented as far as I know by anything other than VMware in x86 world (though perhaps the building blocks are there now in one way another). Other than that (live migration, DRS but with more flexible criteria, HA VM restart, and failure avoidance), Adaptive computing has an offering built on KVM. http://www.adaptivecomputing.com/products/moab-adaptive-computing-suite.php [adaptivecomputing.com] Their product pages are fairly vague and hard to get a feel for it (mainly because virtualization is a relatively small subset of the product), you kind of need a demo to get a whole picture. This is probably the most polished offering I've seen with my own eyes and touched with my own hands. They actually have quite a few customers using vCenter under the covers because they did some stuff above and beyond VMware with VMware's own products, and have all of it working for VMware and KVM except storage migration which is limited to VMware at the moment.

IBM also has at least two products with GUI, VMcontrol I've never used and LoadLeveller is starting to accept KVM VMs as workloads IIRC. IBM will also bundle the aforementioned Adaptive product bundled with hardware if you like.

I've heard some talk about OpenStack, but never seen it in action so I can't speak for or against it other than to say their goal ostensibly lies in this direction.

I've seen marketing material for RHEV-M which suggests a vCenter-like set of capabilities, but no hands on to *really* vouch for or against it. T

In general, the biggest thing to prepare yourself at the low level is a drop in I/O performance. virtio-blk and virtio-net mitigate it pretty well, but if you like using e1000 because you don't have to sweat Windows drivers in guests, the performance will be on the floor relative to VMware, for example (and KVM maintainers know and don't care).

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008486)

I've seen marketing material for RHEV-M which suggests a vCenter-like set of capabilities, but no hands on to *really* vouch for or against it.

RHEV lost a lot of respect from me, when I learned about certain "limitations" that they weren't very forward with.

Last I checked, You have to shutdown a VM to take a snapshot.

VLAN support in a later release, maybe

If your RHEV-M server goes down, auto-restart-VMS capability also goes down

No graphical management if RHEV-M server goes down; no ability to connect with a management client directly to individual Nodes.

No equivalent to storage vMotion

The list of serious limitations goes on and on. XenServer sounds better to me.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010498)

Last I checked, You have to shutdown a VM to take a snapshot.

Odd, the underlying stuff is agnostic, though a shutdown is a good idea in lieu of something like vmware guest utils to coordinate disk activity with the hypervisor snapshot.

VLAN support in a later release, maybe

That is an odd omission, that's pretty easy to do...

If your RHEV-M server goes down, auto-restart-VMS capability also goes down

A disappointing limitation, but do they at least support some sort of fail-over to have multiple HA RHEV-M instances?

No equivalent to storage vMotion

Not surprised, most people in KVM town misunderstand what storage vMotion specifically does, and the few instancesc when they learn, they tend to respond with a strange look along the lines of 'why would you care about that'. The thing is they have the harder case of storage and host at the same time (which at last check VMware didn't bother with), but not the presumably more straightforward case of just the storage backing.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (2)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007706)

If you are virtualizing Windows only, Hyper-V is probably the best bet. Completely supported by Microsoft for low low cost of nothing. Supports Live Migration, Dynamic Memory (servers only start with X but can request up to Y if needed) and has very usable GUI and yes, it's true HyperVisor just like ESXi or Xen.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007784)

Xenserver has free edition that has a nice feature set. Does not have LM or auto provisioning. GUI is simple but precise. Ms hyper is great but clumsy to implement in advanced scenarios. But both have been very stable production environments for the most part. They both still lack virtual appliances which suck, maybe one day.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008510)

Does not have LM or auto provisioning.

XenServer free edition has XenMotion.

Oddly, it doesn't have Live snapshotting (which is free in VMware)

It seems like the virtualization vendors are all making the mistake of charging money for new features they had to develop, out of proportion to their place within the software.

More enterprises need snapshotting mechanisms to take backups (IMO) than need live migration. The features everyone needs should have the lowest cost, to encourage users with basic needs to adopt free edition, and pay up, when they start to need more.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008296)

"So Anyone have a pretty gui built around one of the open source/free hypervisors with all the same basic features as vCenter (live migration, live storage migration, performance reporting)? oh, and the GUI needs to be easy for a windows person to use."

That would be a way to take advantage of the market opportunity presented by the price increase.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008352)

So Anyone have a pretty gui built around one of the open source/free hypervisors with all the same basic features as vCenter (live migration, live strage migration, performance reporting)? oh, and the GUI needs to be easy for a windows person to use.

XenServer + XenCenter.

Add-on features are easy to come by; core product robustness is not.

Good luck trying to run FreeBSD, Solaris, or one of those less-common OS VMs on those 'free' hypervisors with performance comparable to VMware.

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37009186)

about to give a rec for hyper-v here (blasphemy) i know

the free os version of hyper-v server is basically windows server core, supports clustering and live migration and is 100% free. you get all the capablilites that hyper-v can do at no charge at all. once set up you manage 99% of it remotely with mmcs and locally you have basically a cmd prompt and nothing else so the cli lovers should approve the lack of a usable built in guy that us lesser lazy dumb folks need to get around

Re:Hi Lazyweb! Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37009418)

Take a look at Proxmox. Works wonders for me!

Alternatives (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007318)

I am surprised at the arrogance of VMWare! It is not as if there is not an extremely viable, free/open source alternative to VMWare, i.e. Xen. I would have thought the executives would be concerned about competition from a free product. There is also KVM/QEMU and I know of a few enterprises that use it.

Re:Alternatives (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007482)

Keep in mind that increasingly, VMware is seeing the individual hypervisors as little more than an means to the end of selling their higher-order management software (vCenter and such). I would not be surprised if one day vCenter ends up managing Xen and/or KVM the same way it will manage ESXi.

Re:Alternatives (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008392)

I would not be surprised if one day vCenter ends up managing Xen and/or KVM the same way it will manage ESXi./em>

I would be surprised. If VMware were to add this ability to vCenter, it would increase the value of their competitors' hypervisors... now suddenly you wouldn't even need to change management tools or admin skillsets to migrate to the competitors' platform....

Re:Alternatives (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010464)

now suddenly you wouldn't even need to change management tools or admin skillsets to migrate to the competitors' platform....

That's my point, already VMware is less a virtualization company and more a virtualization *management* company. The free hypervisors before and particularly the mantra that no VMware infrastructure is complete without vCenter make that plain enough. It also *seems* from an outsider's perspective that the people working ESXi half are a very different team than vCenter (they just seem very very differently minded, and I think I like some philosophies in ESXi that clearly aren't central to vCenter development).

Now this company faces a lot of threat, *particularly* in academic circles that inherently trend toward open solutions like Xen or KVM. One strategy would be to flow with the trend and allow those solutions to sit on the bare metal, but make those environments a possible opportunity for sales while also reducing the chances these environments evolve a management solution that displaces VMware at the top of the stack as well.

Re:Alternatives (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008956)

Heh... Yeah. Agreed.

Why don't they just release the complete automation suite that removes 100% human work and then start using a random number generator to come up with prices...you know...for the fun of it.

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37008456)

VMWare 7.1 has been a piece of crap on my RHEL 6 machine. A windows 7 guest crashes the host, vmware will never update components I always get an error so I have to manually find and extract the guest tools dealies- even wrote a tool to extract them. The only reason I'm sticking with VMWare is they're still better than KVM by a longshot- VNC and no 3D acceleration sucks.

Re:Alternatives (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008926)

This reminds me of a custom computer building company I used to work for that got a military contract and then decided to raise their prices on all non-government builds to a disgusting price and basically shun all previous customers as well as making all potentials laugh.
So uh, what happens on that day you lose the contract, eh?

VirtualBox (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007340)

Start pushing VirtualBox's features more and more

Make it a true alternative to VMWare.

Re:VirtualBox (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007572)

VirtualBox is not the same as vSphere. You're thinking of VMWare Player or Workstation. I believe Windows Server's Hypervisor is a similar type of thing to vSphere though (I haven't used hypervisor stuff so I don't know) and someone else in these comments mentioned Linux's Xen.

Re:VirtualBox (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009218)

Right.. Cause Oracle isn't going to try to squeeze juice out of that turnip..

The BSA feeds on might use licensing and not what (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007346)

The BSA feeds on might use licensing and not what you are really useing.

Licensing needs people need to stop taking in legal and talk in what people can under stand or soon IT will there own legal guy on staff.

KVM (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007354)

We've started migrating to KVM with vertio because VMWare is just too cost prohibitive when it comes to the expansion we've required recently. I've got to say with with vertio, I'm actually pretty impressed with KVM's performance.

There aren't quite as many features as VMWare offers, but we are lucky enough not to require them.

VMware's licensing still sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37007478)

The VMware "standard" license used to be for 1 physical CPU with 1-6 cores, and up to 256 gig ram.

The new, improved VMware "standard" license is now 1 physical CPU with unlimited cores, and up to 32 gig of ram.

Given that most VMware installations are constrained by memory and not CPU, you're now paying up the wazoo.

The big benefit of virtualization is that most computers are CPU idle much of the time, so it's very easy to run multiple virtual machines on 1 physical server and still have great performance.

The only benefit to the new licensing is if you have heavy CPU virtual machines. But if you have very heavy CPU needs you probably wouldn't run under VMware (since virtualization does add some overhead), and many applications that are very CPU intensive are also very memory intensive, such as big databases.

My company is seriously looking at moving to other virtualization products, even (shudder) Microsoft.

Re:VMware's licensing still sucks (3, Interesting)

Courageous (228506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37007836)

It's worse than you say.

It's not RAM they are licensing to you, it's vRAM, which means memory that you've allocated to the VM's, but may not be using. vRAM is calculated by summing up the allocated memory of each virtual machine. Which is to say, after spending years saying, "but our product is better than our competitors, because you can oversubscribe your memory," they have now said "gotcha!". This move was A) evil, as they told customers with fully paid up maintenance contracts "no, we won't honor the contract, you'll have to buy more product," and B) stupid, as the licensing model directly undermines one of VMware's principal advantages.

C//

Re:VMware's licensing still sucks (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008420)

"no, we won't honor the contract, you'll have to buy more product," and B) stupid, as the licensing model directly undermines one of VMware's principal advantages.

They did this once before, at the last major release when they introduced Enterprise+.

They had been publicizing new advanced features that would be in vSphere for many months.

Then, when the release actually came out, they introduced a new license tier "Enterprise+" which would get all the new features.

So, even though the upgrade to vSphere was provided under SnS, Enterprise customers only got minor, incremental improvements. None of the advanced features introduced in the upgrade that they had paid for maintenance in order to obtain!

Parallels People! (2)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008230)

It seems many of you don't know (as did I until not so long ago) that Parallels, the virtualization folks of Mac fame, also do "Parallels Bare Metal" [parallels.com] which is essentially a direct attack on VMWare's lunch money.

The Parallels Bare Metal 4 is near VMWare ESX 2.x functionality or so but the new Parallels Bare Metal 5 (which is now in beta) has pretty much most of the VMWare 3.x-4.x ESX/vSphere series features. Although it is much more command-line centric - which is good for some of us - and the procedures for converting physical and virtual machines from other vendors are quite different - which you simply have to learn and get used to (yes you can convert ESX/vSphere crap on-disk and via Parallels "importer" in-guest agent).

The thing comes with Windows, OSX and Linux management consoles ala the VMWare editions of old.

So for all of you out there who need to appease corporate demons with a commercial product with proper support arrangements etc, take a look.

I was quite pleasantly surprised and I am holding back any moves to vSphere 5 for many of my clients with the aim of deploying Parallels instead.

Oh and pricing: $499 per-host (no idiotic per-core or per-ram or per-disk nonsense here) for "Small Business" (which has everything you need really, even for big shops since you can script everything using their command line tools) or $999 for their "Standard" which comes with a wacky centralized automation/web-interface/event-ticket/delegation/who-knows-what-else management gizmo.

See those numbers and weep, oh vSphere 5 victims!

They also have a "Virtuozo" product that seems aimed at the VPS rental market.

By the way, the next version of windows (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37008624)

Will have a per-CPU "Window size" entitlement.

For every CPU, you can have 2000x2000 pixels worth of open windows.

To determine if you are in compliance, add up the widthXheight pixel sizes of the open windows for all running applications (whether minimized or not), if the number of vPixels used exceeds your entitlement, then you are not in compliance and must buy additional OS licenses.

This applies whether you paid in advance for yearly free upgrades or not.

If this is a problem for you, we recommend calling your application vendors to change the size of your windows. Once they are right-sized, there should be no performance impact, and you won't notice at all. (P.S. enjoy your 50 pixel by 50 pixel notepad++ window)

[Just kidding.]

Re:By the way, the next version of windows (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009118)

No, no, no... You completely misread that. You're only allowed to move your mouse pointer 2000 pixels per window, per day. Licensure of pixels is then 100 "points" per 1000 above that.

That's why they have Xbox Live getting people used to the term "points" so the transition is smoother. Also makes the "Microsoft Dollar" sit well in society for the day it comes into worldwide use.

[Kidding, as well... Or am I?] :}

Re:By the way, the next version of windows (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009816)

No, no, no... You completely misread that. You're only allowed to move your mouse pointer 2000 pixels per window, per day. Licensure of pixels is then 100 "points" per 1000 above that.

Hm... maybe we should try a car analogy

You buy a truck with a twin engine turbodiesel and two fuel tanks.

Next you buy a 50' trailer with a compartment system that is sold based on how many engine sockets you have, so you pay your two $4500 "Engine licenses" plus a $5,000 door handle license for $14,000 total for the compartment system, plus a total annual maintenance contract of 23%, or $3,220 a year, which guarantees you the a free entitlement to company's latest models as they come out, every 3 years.

The compartment system you licensed is essentially a series of boxes that lets you divide your trailer however you see fit.

Then a couple years later, they come out with a compartment system V2.

You are entitled to a free upgrade as promised, BUT, before they give it to you, they hand you a new EULA, and say you won't get your promised upgrade unless you "sign this", which contains a clause stipulating For each engine license, you are only entitled to 20000 pounds of trailer storage (cores) AND 1000 cubic feet of trailer storage.

Since your truck is normally used to tow a payload of 3000 cubic feet, you will have to buy an additional engine license. costing you another $4500 and another $1035 a year, to utilize your "free" upgrade.

Re:By the way, the next version of windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37012454)

I'm sure Microsoft's lawyers have worked out the details but... If you buy your first licence, and that one allows you to "tow a payload of 3000 cubic feet" and get a free upgrade, and the new licence restricts you to "1000 cubic feet", don't they break their own licence since the upgrade is no longer free?

It Really Isn't Evil (1)

javanpa (2431294) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009454)

I've been managing ESX environments for over 6 years now and the change makes complete sense to me. VMware based their initial licensing on the number of processor cores in a box. This made sense when we were putting 16, 32 or 64 GBs of ram into a 2 or 4 core box. At max we were seeing 32 GBs of RAM per core and VMware found a price point that worked under this model. With changes in technology (mainly memory virtualization in the Cisco UCS platform) we are now seeing 100s of GBs per core and less total cores due to the expanding number or processors we can fit on a chip. Simply put, we used to get x number of VMs per core license. Now we are getting 4 to 10 times that many per license. That's a losing equation for any licensing scheme and they needed to make changes. All of that said I was on the initial bandwagon of outrage when the news came out. The starting point for vRam entitlements as well as some of the other changes were concerning. Realizing that now single VMs could cost thousands just in VM licensing was not appealing and had me second guessing whether or not VMware was the platform of the future. After seeing the recent changes they've made to the licensing scheme (upping vRam entitlements, maxing out vRam counts on individual machines, pooling, and soft limits) I feel the changes are completely reasonable/understandable considering how things have changed for virtualizing systems. I'm sure many will disagree but I still don't feel like VMware is gouging anybody...

Re:It Really Isn't Evil (1)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009578)

I've been managing ESX environments for over 6 years now and the change makes complete sense to me. VMware based their initial licensing on the number of processor cores in a box. This made sense when we were putting 16, 32 or 64 GBs of ram into a 2 or 4 core box. At max we were seeing 32 GBs of RAM per core and VMware found a price point that worked under this model. With changes in technology (mainly memory virtualization in the Cisco UCS platform) we are now seeing 100s of GBs per core and less total cores due to the expanding number or processors we can fit on a chip. Simply put, we used to get x number of VMs per core license. Now we are getting 4 to 10 times that many per license. That's a losing equation for any licensing scheme and they needed to make changes. All of that said I was on the initial bandwagon of outrage when the news came out. The starting point for vRam entitlements as well as some of the other changes were concerning. Realizing that now single VMs could cost thousands just in VM licensing was not appealing and had me second guessing whether or not VMware was the platform of the future. After seeing the recent changes they've made to the licensing scheme (upping vRam entitlements, maxing out vRam counts on individual machines, pooling, and soft limits) I feel the changes are completely reasonable/understandable considering how things have changed for virtualizing systems. I'm sure many will disagree but I still don't feel like VMware is gouging anybody...

When it costs MORE to virtualize a server due to licensing then it does to build a physical server then that is gouging. VMWare is just shooting themselves in the foot trying to bleed more money. Though greed seems to be the big equalizer. A company gets big, makes a ton of cash, gets really greedy, and then gets wiped out by company B: coming along with a decent product at 1/2 the cost or less.

Personally I have had great luck with VMWare Server which is free.

At one time I had thier "technet" of vmware and it was awesome but of course they dropped that 2 years later. When the bottom line becomes more important than the product it's time to find another vendor. Quickly!

Re:It Really Isn't Evil (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 3 years ago | (#37009968)

You're mostly right, but you need to look up "price gouging." Since there are so many alternatives to Vmware, *including using physical servers*. Not liking the alternatives isn't the same as having none. A company's failure to consider alternatives, regardless of the reason, is tacit approval of their current vendor's product and pricing.

Re:It Really Isn't Evil (1)

javanpa (2431294) | more than 3 years ago | (#37011730)

I'm not sure how you are figuring out that it costs more to license vmware than it does to build physical servers. I only have the scenarios that I've worked with but I've found that virtualization licensing still is significantly cheaper than physical servers and provides benefits that physical boxes don't provide natively (HA, DRS, FT, Hardware/Software separation, etc...)

If I were to buy a VMware box now, maxing out the licensing as it stands, I would purchase a server with 2 of Intel's E7 processors (10 procs per core) with 192 GB of RAM. Licensing for this box would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $9k to $10k list (with one year of support). At an average of 4GB of RAM per server (not over committed) in theory I can get 48 VMs per physical box. Since I'm running my clusters redundantly and need to leave at max 1/3 of capacity free to handle loss of a node we will reduce that to 31 VMs. Let's then say, for the sake of argument, that we buy super cheap physical boxes for servers and they cost $2k a piece. With 31 virtual server capacity it would cost us $62k in physical hardware to replicate what I have with $10k in licensing and maybe $15-20k for phsyical hardware. So at that base alone we see a difference of around $30k in favor of VMware. Add in the management tools like vCenter (one time purchase) and we will say $20k less to virtualize. We still aren't anywhere near what we would need to do this environment physically and haven't factored in power, cooling, colo costs for rack space, etc... Even with the new pricing scheme they are (more than most companies can say) saving organizations money and reducing management costs. Sure there are cheaper alternatives, and they should be considered, but VMware seems to be the one who is innovating (like the new SDRS to name one recent advancement) and everyone else is chasing. If you don't need those features, or access to them quickly, you could consider xenserver, hyper-v, paralells, kvm or any of the many other alternatives out there. When delivering scalable and solid virtualization infrastructures, I find that you get what you pay for...

Re:It Really Isn't Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37010006)

After seeing the recent changes they've made to the licensing scheme (upping vRam entitlements, maxing out vRam counts on individual machines, pooling, and soft limits) I feel the changes are completely reasonable/understandable considering how things have changed for virtualizing systems. I'm sure many will disagree but I still don't feel like VMware is gouging anybody...

VMware has shown their path: Increase prices slowly, cooking the frog without it jumping out of the pot. This is not going to be the last price increase. Every version from now on, licensing costs will continue to rise substantially.
VMware has really hurt confidence in choosing them for large deployments, as significant uncertainty about next year's licensing costs will remain.

Re:It Really Isn't Evil (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010226)

The licensing change should appease most shops. Except for some of our clients running very large hosts (2-4 procs with 256GB+ RAM), there will be no difference between ESX4 and ESX5 licensing. Most of our clients aren't even oversubscribing and even if they are, they build their clusters to lose a host, so the VRAM entitlements all work out.

Check out this nice script for folks to run in their current environment to determine how they will be affected by ESX5 licensing - here. [virtu-al.net]

Oh Dear (1)

pxpt (40550) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010010)

I had been pressing that we go the VMWare route for our virtualisation. Looks like I'll have to look at the alternatives as the extra unexpected cost will not go down very well with the management.

Why stick with VMWare for it? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#37010494)

There are plenty of other solutions out there and many have found out that virtualization (or cloudization of your server park) is not the end-all be-all of many problems we encounter (such as performance issues, security problems, conflicts between applications) it still doesn't fix and in many cases (usually due to bad understanding and management of the virtual server park) makes things worse than they should be.

There are certain people (I would say 60% of departments deploying virtual server parks) that think it will make their problems with the few servers they have disappear. However they multiply their practices that created the problems in the first place by 10 or however much virtual machines they deploy and don't understand that you now have to manage the full system for 50 machines instead of 5.

atleast they listen (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#37024416)

Some companies do not even listen, let alone ...do something about what their client's think....consider yourselves lucky

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