All in with vRAM

What would the impact be if VMware went all in with vRAM pricing?
What if you didn’t buy ESX sockets, just vRAM?
What if you didn’t buy ESX editions, just vRAM?

Customers are unhappy with the idea of buying extra sockets of CPU capacity just to get vRAM, even though very few actually need to buy them. Some customers are also reluctant to buy the top stock code of vSphere as it costs more than the lower codes. It certainly means that a lot of customers in the very cost conscious New Zealand market don’t get to use some of the most valuable features of vSphere. So how about not having feature differentiated editions of vSphere? Every ESX server gets the feature set of Enterprise Plus, even the smallest customer can use DRS and host profiles, rather than buying oversize ESX servers and avoiding server rebuilds because it’s a manual process.

I still see a need for some price differentiation, small to medium business has a much lower budget than Enterprise. A limited edition of vCentre (like the current Essentials) which only supports three hosts and a hard limit on vRAM would suit. Enterprise customers would want more scalability but apart from scalability the feature set would be the same. Then maybe two stock codes for vSphere, an 8GB vRAM for Essentials and a 32GB vRAM for Enterprise, again all features in all stock codes.

If you are as old as me and followed the same career progression as me, then cast your mind back to when Citrix moved from per server pricing to per user. I know it was a long time ago but it’s a similar thing. suddenly there was no penalty to standing up a new server for a low utilization workload or at another location. Suddenly a whole lot of use cases for Metaframe were workable. The result was more use of Metaframe and more profit for Citrix.

Would this be fairer and enable more use of vSphere without taking away VMware’s profitability?

© 2011, Alastair. All rights reserved.

About Alastair

I am a professional geek, working in IT Infrastructure. Mostly I help to communicate and educate around the use of current technology and the direction of future technologies.
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