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Scrapping vRAM licensing is VMware's latest response to the competitive threats from Microsoft, Citrix and others, which were once theoretical but are now coming up quickly in its rearview mirror.
As first reported by CRN Monday, VMware is doing away with vRAM, a scheme that placed limits on the amount of memory that could be configured to virtual machines, in its upcoming release of vSphere 5.1.
VMware will return to the CPU-based licensing model it used prior to launching vSphere 5 last July, and it will position its cloud products as a bundled suite, according to sources familiar with VMware's plans.
But, the licensing changes extend even further: Sources told CRN Tuesday that VMware is moving to processor-based licensing for all its products, and it is also getting rid of the per-virtual machine licensing charges it currently uses in vCenter Site Recovery Manager and other offerings.
While not all VMware partners encountered problems with vRAM, they expect its return to CPU-based licensing to make it easier for customers to gauge costs, which in turn should help VMware bundle and sell more of its cloud products along with vSphere.
Simplified licensing will make life easier for both salespeople and engineers, according to Robert Germain, vice president of engineering at Hub Technical Services, a South Easton, Mass.-based VMware partner.
"This has been a long time coming," German told CRN. "In the past year, we've had to explain to clients why they cannot take a top-of-the-line server and max it out with two terabytes of RAM."
"Flattening the licensing and making it a lot simpler will certainly make life easier for our clients," said Patrick Cronin, principal at Kovarus, a VMware partner in South San Francisco, Calif., when informed of VMware's plans. "In fact, clients are going to be thrilled by the new structure and will hopefully purchase more of VMware's management products."