VMware Adding VM-Based Licensing In vFabric Update


VMware on Tuesday unveiled vFabric 5, an update to its application development platform for cloud and virtual environments that includes a new licensing model and deeper integration with vSphere. vFabric 5 won't arrive until "late summer," but VMware is offering an advance glimpse of what it will include.

Aware that many customers are deploying applications on pools of IT resources, as opposed to assigning them to a particular server, VMware is adding the option of licensing vFabric 5 on a per-virtual machine basis. Under this model, customers will be able to pay for vFabric licensing based on their average resource usage, instead of paying based on their 'high water' consumption level.

"We believe this is much more in line with how customers want to procure application infrastructure," said David McJannet, director of product marketing at VMware, in an interview. "This reflects the realities of how applications respond today and ensure that there are efficiencies between the infrastructure and application layer."

Previously, vFabric licensing was calculated based on the number of physical CPUs underpinning the development platform, and customers can still choose this option if they wish, McJannet said. "Generally, we believe if people deploying applications on physical infrastructure, a per-CPU model makes sense. But for virtual infrastructure, we expect to see more customers opting for per-VM licensing," he said.

vFabric 5 also includes tweaks that enable it to function better with vSphere, including Elastic Memory for Java (EM4J), which improves memory management for Java applications by using memory ballooning in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

VMware is also extending technology from its 2009 acquisition of SpringSource to vFabric 5 customers. McJannet says many vSphere customers are running custom applications built using the Spring Framework, and vFabric 5 makes sense as a runtime for applications running on vSphere.

In vFabric 5, customers will be able to use Spring Insight Operations, a free performance visualization tool, to keep track of how applications are performing in production environments. "Understanding the performance profile of applications in the production and runtime environments diminishes the divide between developers and operators," said McJannet.

VMware says vFabric 5 will be generally available in late summer and will come in two flavors: vFabric Standard is priced at $1,200 per VM and vFabric Advanced is priced at $1,800 per VM.