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Not all VMware partners have encountered resistance to vRAM, however. The vRAM model allows for the pooling of resources across data center, and this has made it a versatile tool for virtualization solution providers.
"The vRAM pricing, when configured according to best practices, has had very little impact on most organizations. In some cases, such as when pooling vRAM from disaster recovery facilities, it could actually be advantageous," Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center virtualization at Presidio Networked Solutions, Greenbelt, Md., told CRN when informed of VMware's intentions.
"That said, there has been a lot of confusion around the pricing, so [discontinuing it] should put an end to any concerns," added Kaplan.
Microsoft is gearing up to release Windows Server 2012 and has whittled down around a dozen previous SKUs to just four.
Most customers will only have two Windows Server 2012 versions to choose from: Standard and Datacenter, with the latter coming with unlimited virtualization rights. This simpler model may have been behind VMware's decision to ditch vRAM, according to partners.
Microsoft has also used vRAM as the focus of its Hyper-V marketing, and the lower-cost argument no doubt resonated with at least some of VMware's customers. "It is risky when you take your primary product and become so innovative with the pricing model. VMware just went for it, and that allowed competitors to create the perception that VMware was overcharging," said Mike Strohl, president of Entisys, a Concord, Calif.-based virtualization solution provider.
This leads to a big question: What is VMware's next big strategic move? In the last two months, it has added the ability to manage competing hypervisors by purchasing DynamicOps and entered the networking space through its acquisition of Nicira.
Just as telling, VMware has started fighting back against Microsoft's trash talking, after years of taking the high road.