Why not Vmware?

In the late 90’s early 2000’s there was a large push by major enterprises to modernize their ERP, CRM, HR and associated mission critical business applications. Oracle began acquiring enterprise software vendors like Peoplesoft, BEA and Seibel. If…

In the late 90's early 2000's there was a large push by major enterprises to modernize their ERP, CRM, HR and associated mission critical business applications.  Oracle began acquiring enterprise software vendors like Peoplesoft, BEA and Seibel.  If your interested in their acquisitions you can read about them here.  In talking to my colleagues in Oracle shops they started the Mantra "why not Oracle" when new business requirements came up.  A few years later with Virtualization gaining popularity I began hearing "why not VMware?" when talking about new server requirements and needs.  This drive for virtualization rapidly dropped costs, allowed companies to be more flexible and eventually resulted in the new "cloud" age that we are in today. 

I'm a huge fan of VMWare, i've promoted it to my colleagues, used it to save my employers money and ultimately built more agile IT teams to deal with changing business requirements.  While i'm a huge fan, some of my colleagues are not pointing out the high price of VMWare licensing, additional complexity, and the 15-20% performance hit between Virtualized servers and bare metal.  Having been an ESX user since 2.5 I've been a long time supporter, unfortunately with the announcement of Vsphere 5 I have to now reevaluate my entire thought process.

Vsphere 5 isn't the first time that VMware has alienated their customers, the first was "Enterprise-Plus" that was introduced with Vsphere 4.0. Enterprise customers had traditionally been buying Enterprise licenses for ESX after being told that it was the "premier license" that included all of the features of ESX.  Vsphere 4 introduced Enterprise-Plus now going against the messaging from VMWare sales.  Luckily while there were some compelling features in Enterprise Plus (vswitch, standardized host config, etc) and larger memory configurations 99% of VMWare customers didn't find these as critical features they must have. 

Now with the introduction of Vsphere 5 they have added to their socket licensing model vRAM allocations.  I understand the rational for this the major push in Virtualization shops is larger servers, with more cores per socket and lots of ram.  This allows you to reduce your VMWare server needs and increase your consolidation ratios.  With customers buying less ESX Servers this put VMwares cash cow at risk and they needed to take action.  My issue is with their vRam allocations per ESX version, for Enterprise-Plus their "premier" license you only get 48gb of Allocated memory in your license.  A server with 96gb of ram only costs around 16k from Dell right now, meaning that your VMWare licenses are now over 70% of your hardware cost! This is stupid, and is going to cause nothing but pain for customers and increase costs in a time when were being ever squeezed to reduce costs and provide more.  

So, VMware has taken a page from Oracles book, get your customers invested or buy your competitors, and than jack up your rates holding them hostage to you unless you want to go to great lengths to migrate off your existing solution! VMWare is the new Oracle, and shame on them for screwing their loyal customers and advocates.