"Forget the hoopla about a VM with 1 TB of memory. Who in their right mind would deploy that using the new license model? It would take 22 licenses to accommodate! You could go out and buy the physical box for way less than that today, from any hardware vendor," wrote forum poster 'SuperSpike.
In an FAQ, VMware addresses the question of whether the vSphere 5 licensing changes will translate into higher costs for customer by explaining that "the licensing model has been designed to minimize the risk of potential impacts in existing environments while also providing room for growth.
"vRAM entitlements have been set to provide enough capacity to scale well beyond today’s average consolidation ratios of 5:1. In addition, thanks to pooling, customers will be able to share entitlements among multiple hosts, thereby making more efficient use of available capacity," VMware said in the FAQ.
Of course, customers with higher consolidation ratios aren't going to see things the same way. " We've so far managed to justify VMware's expense over the competition due to the higher consolidation ratios we could achieve compared to other products, but unfortunately these changes will make our future using VMware products unlikely," VMware community forum poster 'stevieg' wrote Wednesday.
There's already industry chatter about how VMware's vSphere licensing changes could drive more customers into the waiting arms of Microsoft and Citrix. Whether or not this long-ago forecasted scenario plays out remains to be seen, but it's worth noting that the licensing changes VMware introduced in vSphere 4 generated their fair share of customer teeth-gnashing, as some posters have noted on VMware's community forums.
From a sales perspective, the vSphere 5 licensing changes will likely cause more, smaller, incremental upgrade transactions, Shepard said. "I just hope VMware doesn't price themselves out of the virtualization game, as it's becoming less and less attractive from an ROI perspective for smaller customers."