Posts Tagged ‘Licensing’

VMware: Bring Back VMTN Subscriptions

November 6th, 2011

Snagit CaptureSix years ago I managed a few VMware environments which included GSX and vCenter 1.x/ESX 2.x.  At the time I also had a few VMware Technology Network (VMTN) Subscriptions.  This offering from VMware was very useful in the lab as it allowed me to kick the tires on many VMware products in a non-production environment.  The subscription included the following product licenses and related keys:

  • ESX2 2-CPU
  • SMP for ESX2 2-CPU
  • GSX3 2-CPU Windows
  • GSX3 2-CPU Linux
  • P2V Assistant 2.0 Enterprise Unlimited Use
  • Workstation 5 Windows
  • Workstation 5 Linux

To summarize, the VMTN Subscription bundled all of VMware’s products (at the time of purchase) for a non-production environment (typically for a lab).  This was very useful for me as someone who was just starting to get into larger scale virtual infrastructure.  Unfortunately, VMware discontinued the VMTN Subscription a short time after and enthusiasts were left to fend for themselves in order to try out the products in VMware’s expanding portfolio.

Fast forward just a few years and we find that the utility of virtualized datacenters combined with VMware’s innovation has catapulted their brand into the majority of businesses around the globe.  During this time, VMware’s loyalist population grows exponentially.  VMware responds by formally recognizing the top members in their grass roots community as vEXPERTs.

A few years later, hundreds of thousands of VMware enthusiasts, partners, vEXPERTs, and VMUG members/leaders, struggle to implement longer term evaluations of VMware software, which at this time has exploded in terms of product offerings through VMware’s own development as well as acquisitions.  It is no secret that VMware has been wildly successful and has grown at a rapid pace.  Those who have been working with and for VMware over the years recognize some of the growing pains and disjointed processes within the organization.  These are the among the things that make it difficult to get a fair and unified look at VMware’s products.

VMware needs to resurrect the VMTN Subscription or take a page out of the Microsoft playbook by instantiating a program similar to Microsoft TechNet.  The subscription will be an authoritative and adequately staffed clearninghouse offering 365 day evaluation or NFR licenses and keys for all VMware software.  Access to the subscription can be granted through various channels. Incentives and discounts can be offered to partners, resellers, vEXPERTs, VMUG members/leaders, as well as VMware Certified individuals.

VMware has come a long way in a short amount of time, garnering success up against the largest competitors in the world.  The formula for their success has been great leadership and innovation.  The key to their success is a strong community whose members have spent a great deal of their time over the years helping promote VMware to where they are today.  The community doesn’t demand large dividends in return. We do, however, ask that VMware get the products into our labs quickly and easily.  In my mind, this is essential as the product portfoilo continues to grow and mature.  Your talented community members work in leaned out environments.  Lab access is inconsistent.  60-day trials expire before we’ve had a chance to get through an adequate POC.  This doesn’t lend itself to a confident purchasing decision.  I think there are a lot of ways we can analyze this.  Every scenario I can think of benefits VMware and is consistent with the grass roots principal the company owes much of its success to.  This is also an opportunity for VMware to prove to its constituents that they aren’t all about consumption based or vRAM licensing.  It’s a win/win/win proposal.

VMware: Bring Back VMTN Subscriptions.

If you as a reader are in favor of this, please show your support here.

vSphere licensing notables

April 21st, 2009

As Chris Grossmeier pointed out in the previous blog post comment, VMware’s vSphere 4 Pricing, Packaging, and Licensing Overview document has been made available. A few things that jumped out at me are:

  1. A new license tier for Mid to Enterprise size businesses has been added called Enterprise Plus. This is the premier and most feature rich tier available.
  2. Two new licensing tiers have been added tailored to the needs of Small Business (SMB):
    1. vSphere Essentials
    2. vSphere Essentials Plus
  3. Surely because of the advancements and popularity of multicore processors, host licensing is no longer sold in pairs of sockets, rather by the single socket.
  4. To my surprise, FT (Fault Tolerance) is not licensed per VM. Rather, it is included in all of the Mid to Enterprise class licensing tiers except for Standard. Wow. Given the added protection level, this could be the best bang for the buck (from a licensing standpoint anyway, extra infrastructure needed is a different discussion).  It is not included in the SMB tiers.
  5. Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) was added to the new Enterprise Plus tier. One new feature PSA will offer is 3rd party storage multipathing.
  6. Zero adjustments in vCenter Server pricing (as well as SnS). The high cost vCenter perception debate will continue although personally I think it’s worth every penny.
  7. Enterprise customers with current support will receive the following new feature entitlements:
    1. vStorage Thin Provisioning
    2. Fault Tolerance (FT)
    3. Hot Add (processors, memory)
    4. vShield Zones
    5. Data Recovery
  8. VMware draws the line in the sand on cores per socket licensing:
    1. vSphere Standard = maximum 6 cores per socket
    2. vSphere Advanced = maximum 12 cores per socket
    3. vSphere Enterprise = maximum 6 cores per socket
    4. vSphere Enterprise Plus = maximum 12 cores per socket

Straighten out licensing in preparation for vSphere

March 6th, 2009

There is a lot of buzz accumulating about the anticipated release of VMware vSphere.  Are you ready for it?  Is your license portal ready for vSphere?  Does anyone remember the licesing upgrades from VI2 to VI3?  Did they go smooth for you?

Double check your answers and be sure.  Inaccurate license counts in your license portal are going to lead to frustrating problems when you attempt to upgrade to vSphere.  When you get to vSphere, your new license key(s) may be missing quantities or SKUs you’ve purchased in the past.  Pay extra special attention if you purchase through a reseller to be sure your license counts and SKUs in the portal are 100% accurate.

DO NOT wait until the release of vSphere to sort out your licensing issues.  I would anticipate a long line of people in the support queues who were not proactive in sorting out their licensing issues prior to the release of vSphere.  Taking care of this ahead of time will help guarantee a smooth vSphere upgrade and it will also help balance the call load on VMware’s support staff.

To verify your licensing, head to the VMware licensing portal:

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Click “Find Serial Number”

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Change the filter parameters as follows:

Change “License Category” to Purchased/Registered.  Doing so will show you more licensing than not doing so in some cases.

Change “Sort Results By” to Product then License Type.  Doing so will make the licenses easier to reconcile.

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Now reconcile all of your serial numbers.  Be aware that there may be more than one page of licenses in your portal.  If you’re missing licenses, check for a page 2, page 3, etc.

For more help on licensing, including help in contacting VMware on licensing issues, see the following blog entry I wrote in January.

Help with license keys

January 20th, 2009

Purchasing a product and not being able to install or use it due to licensing issues can be frustrating.  VMware provides at least two resource inlets to resolve licensing issues:

Help with License Keys:

Contact VI-hotline@vmware.com

or

Call 1.877.4.VMware (1-877-486-9273)

In addition to the above, you should be able to talk to your local VMware rep. who should be more than willing to help.

While I’m on the subject, here’s a link to manage your online VMware account where you can:

  • Manage orders
  • Register a product
  • Manage product licenses
  • Find a serial number
  • Manage subscriptions

Plus:  The VMware Product Licensing home page

Lastly, a link to VMware Infrastructure 3 Pricing, Packaging, and Licensing Overview (a great document I might add)

VI3 Pricing, Packaging, and Licensing Overview

October 30th, 2008

I hadn’t seen this VMware document before and I suspect it was created recently.  Thanks to Roger Lund, a Minnesota local, for bringing it to my attention over at his blog article entitled ESXi Free or Licensed? 

It’s a ten page .PDF that covers, you guessed it, VI3 pricing, packaging, and licensing, a topic that can be somewhat intimidating particularly for those who are new to VMware products or perhaps those that have been brainwashed by Microsoft’s virtualization marketing campaigns.  Sorry, I won’t give Microsoft the benefit of linking to what it is that I’m referencing.

Page four contains a modified version of the VI3 components and pricing chart I like to reference so much.  Before reading this document word for word, the chart on page four might be the best place to start.