Microsoft keeps the pressure on VMware around its latest virtualization licensing changes

Microsoft keeps the pressure on VMware around its latest virtualization licensing changes

Summary: Microsoft has no plans to follow VMware's lead with new pricing/licensing changes in the virtualization space that have led to VMware customer outcry. In fact, with Windows 8, Microsoft is taking the opposite tack, officials said.


After considerable outcry by its customers over proposed licensing changes, VMware recently backtracked and modified some of the new conditions it is introducing as part of its vSphere 5 virutalization product. But Microsoft officials are still finding fodder for vSphere licensing and pricing critiques -- even after VMware's latest updates.

In a lengthy and detailed August 15 post on the Microsoft Virtualization Team Blog, entitled "Beware the VMware Memory vTax Part 2...," the Softies claimed that even with the proposed modifications, VMware is still imposing a price hike and more restrictive terms on its customers. VMware's changes have led to a flood of mail from users seeking information on Microsoft's take on them, according to the blog post.

VMware announced plans in July to license and price its virtualization technology based on the amount of virtual RAM assigned to a virtual machine (VM) with vSphere 5.0. In early August, VMware announced it would bend a bit; though the new licensing scheme basically would remain the same, it dropped the pricing in certain cases.

"Even after modifying the vSphere 5.0 memory entitlements (on August 3), the fundamental tax on memory still exists, which is an anathema to customers, and VMware is still receiving colorful feedback from their customers," said Jeff Woolsey, Principal Program Manager Lead for Windows Server Virtualization, in Microsoft's latest post.

Woolsey reiterated that Microsoft isn't planning to make similar licensing or pricing changes around VM memory, cores or replication.

"Per VM taxes are what virtualization vendors do, not strategic cloud providers," Woolsey blogged. He also noted that the amount of memory in a Hypver-V VM in Windows 8 Server "is going to go up. Way up."

Microsoft showed off an early peek at its next Hyper-V release that will be part of Windows 8 at the Worldwide Partner Conference in July. Microsoft officials showed off the ability to create VMs with more than 16 virtual processors and touted the coming Hyper-V Replica technology.

"These are just 2 of the hundreds of features coming in the Microsoft Private Cloud, of which you’ll be able to find out more about at Microsoft’s BUILD conference, September 13th-16th in Anaheim, CA," Woolsey blogged.

A few other virtualization tidbits from around the Web from this week:

Topics: Virtualization, Hardware, Microsoft, VMware


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Hyper-V and SCVMM ~= vsphere

    If Microsoft really wants to compete against VMware, they need to build a more robust managing system. Right now, it cannot compete in the enterprise space with Xen and Vmware. The SMB space is fragmented with a dozen other second tier players like RHEV.
    Your Non Advocate
  • RE: Microsoft keeps the pressure on VMware around its latest virtualization licensing changes

    Yet another good reason to never allow yourself to be tied to any one vendor for anything other that things you absolutely have to, because they give you serious market advantage over your competitors. This is exactly why Open Source in all it's forms is always a better choice from the SMB to the Fortune 50 companies. If Wall Street and the stock exchanges can run off it, then it is good enough for anyone.

    Microsoft is not the answer to this solution either. Just look at their history of how they lock customers in and then change license and pricing structures, just like what is happening here. Remember Microsoft used to be per server license then went to per CPU/SMP licensing. That is absolutely no different than what is happening here.
  • God help MIcrosoft's business partners

    'cause once they produce something valuable, Microsoft will put them out of business. It's happened before, VMware is just the next target.
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  • RE: Microsoft keeps the pressure on VMware around its latest virtualization licensing changes

    Stratus Technologies-ITIC survey finds Microsoft is getting near to VMware in Virtualization Market Share
  • RE: Microsoft keeps the pressure on VMware around its latest virtualization licensing changes

    VMware share gets upped and the ratings are raised by two analysts from Credit Suisse and Collins Stewart, depending upon the new licensing change strategy the virtualization software providing company has come up with read more...