VMware's customers are uneasy about the licence pricing changes it has made in vSphere 5.
Customers voiced their concerns about the revamped vSphere 5 licence system on VMware's official support forum on Tuesday and Wednesday. The new licensing scheme charges on the basis of virtual memory pools made up of server RAM rather than just by CPUs.
"This new licensing model is going to hurt small shops the most I think. We currently have over 40 VMs [virtual machines] running each dual CPU 128GB RAM host," TysonL wrote on the forum on Tuesday. "To fully use the RAM in our servers we will have to pay 50 percent more [than] currently budgeted. Seeing as I work at a public university that is going to be fun to try and justify."
VMware has said the pricing change is designed to simplify the cost of licensing its hypervisor, but some customers view it as a tax on server RAM.
"Very shocked here, I can't go to my boss and explain that our recent investment in three new bladeservers with 128GB memory and 2 CPUs has to be licensed with extra VMware licences because there's 'so much RAM' in it," Vince77 wrote on the forum on Wednesday.
A number of customers said they were investigating the Xen and Hyper-V hypervisors as a consequence of the pricing change.
Responding to the concerns, VMware said that its customers, once they analyse their virtual RAM usage, will find it is significantly less than the total RAM available on the server.
"People need to look at what they're using and how they're consuming it right now and not think about the physical RAM installed inside the servers," Martin Niemer, a solution marketing director for sales for VMware, told ZDNet UK. "We're going to put up a tool before the [general release of vSphere 5] to help customers understand how vSphere 4 licensing maps to vSphere 5."