VMworld: VMware Ditches vRAM Licensing, Unveils Cloud Suite, Changes CEOs

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VMware changed CEOs, officially ditched its vRAM licensing scheme and unveiled a vSphere-based integrated cloud software suite in its Monday morning opening keynote at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco.

Paul Maritz, who has grown VMware's revenue from $1 billion to more than $4 billion in his four-year tenure as CEO, kicked things off with a brief farewell address to the crowd of around 20,000 VMware enthusiasts. Before exiting the stage to a standing ovation, Maritz introduced Pat Gelsinger, his successor and longtime industry colleague.

Maritz described Gelsinger as "passionate and intense" and jokingly warned the audience to be prepared for his higher-octane approach to running a company.

"No one can accuse Pat of being laid back. Fasten your seat belts for the next four years," Maritz said with a wry smile.


[Related: Lenovo: We Aren't Sweating Microsoft Surface]

As first reported by CRN last month, Gelsinger is taking over as VMware CEO Sept. 1, with Maritz moving to EMC to take the newly created role of chief strategist. Maritz will keep his spot on VMware's board of directors.

Gelsinger confirmed that VMware will get rid of vRAM licensing in its upcoming release of vSphere 5.1 and will return to its previous CPU-based licensing model.

vRAM, which debuted last year with vSphere 5, placed limits on the amount of memory customers could allot to virtual machines and was unpopular with customers and partners both for the complexity and higher costs it created.

"Last year we created a four-letter dirty word called vRAM; ... we are now striking this word from our vocabulary," Gelsinger said, triggering a thunderous round of applause.

Microsoft is simplifying its licensing in Windows Server 2012, and VMware's move to ditch vRAM is widely seen as a bid to do the same. However, in a press conference following the keynote, VMware CMO Rick Jackson denied that Microsoft had any influence on the decision.

"You cannot compete with Microsoft on price; ... you compete with Microsoft on value," Jackson said.

NEXT: VMware's New Integrated Cloud Suite

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