Use a vSphere 5 vRAM script resource for upgrade planning

Rick Vanover highlights the changes to license entitlement policy for vSphere 5 and discusses the vSphere Licensing Advisor.

Since VMware vSphere 5 was announced on July 12, 2011, the noise about this major release focused on the unpopular pricing model and not the enhancements to a number of products. I participated in the blogger early access program for vSphere 5, and licensing and pricing were not discussed during the material, so in a way the new vRAM licensing policy (PDF) was a real shocker. In a recent TechRepublic post, I asked if consumption-based pricing is the way of the future, and it is clear that customers were not ready for it in that form.

On August 3, 2011, the license entitlement policy for vSphere 5 was changed. These are the key changes for each entitlement (for one CPU):

  • vSphere Essentials, Essentials Plus, and Standard - 32 GB vRAM
  • vSphere Enterprise - 64 GB vRAM
  • vSphere Enterprise Plus - 96 GB vRAM

The other important change is that the Free edition of ESXi (vSphere Hypervisor) is now limited to 32 GB of RAM per host from its previous unlimited allocation. Other changes, such as a 12-month average of vRAM consumption, are part of the changes in this updated policy.

All installations should know how the vSphere 5 licensing changes will impact each environment. To help in this situation, VMware has released the vSphere Licensing Advisor tool, which will provide a report of the usage of vRAM as it is defined today. Figure A shows this tool being run in my personal lab. Figure A

Click the image to enlarge.

What has vRAM licensing done to change how you will address virtualization? Let us know.