The cost of vSphere is NOT a tax!

Rather the cost of vSphere is due to its value. When you buy vSphere you get value that has grown over the years, and in fact will continue to grow.  It is not a tax since you do not have to buy vSphere.  But if you want the value of vSphere you need to pay for it.

I have started to hear a lot of people talk about how the cost to vSphere is a tax. Here is a list of things I think is the value of vSphere and why it is worth paying for.

  • Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) - this has two components - the initial placement means when a VM is powered up, it is placed where has the resources it needs.  The second component scans the cluster and will ‘re-balance’ as necessary by moving workloads so that all VMs have the resources needed.
  • High Availability (HA) - If a host dies, all of the VMs on that host will be restarted on other hosts.  You can even control priority if necessary.
  • Fault Tolerance (FT) - this allows you to have a VM running in sync with another VM on a different host.  If the first one dies the second one continues working.
  • VMware Update Manager (VUM) - The ability to upgrade your vSphere hosts without an outage for your virtual machines.  It will even update firmware for some host types.
  • Shared Memory - If you have a handful of VMs that have the same operating systems, only one copy of the instructions will be in memory and the memory savings will be huge.  The VMs without their instructions in memory will have pointers to use the first VM’s memory.
  • Flexible Virtual machine architecture - you can have virtual machines with a wide range of operating system and versions as well as RAM, networking, and CPU.
  • Predictive Distributed Resource Scheduler - this is very similar to DRS, but it requires vRealize Operations and it helps DRS become predictive so it moves VMS before they have issues.
  • vMotion - this is the ability to move a VM from one host to another without an outage (for that VM).  It is used by DRS, but also VMware Update Manager to support putting hosts in maintenance mode so they can be patched and restarted.
  • Storage vMotion - this is the ability to move a VM from one datastore to another without an outage for that VM.

As well, once you use vSphere, there is other things that you can buy that provide value such as:

  • vRealize Automation (vRA) - this is a very powerful and flexible automation tool. It would support a portal system very nicely.
  • Horizon View - this delivers virtual desktops and apps to end users. It has a range of desktop clients as well such as iPad which works quite well.
  • Runecast - this product automatically checks your infrastructure against KB articles, best practices, HCL and security standards and alerts you to things you need to know.  Works really well.
  • Veeam Availability Orchestrator (VAO) - this is a DR orchestration tool that is one of the best.  And it can save your business when your data center dies.

So I think that vSphere provides pretty darn good value, and they are working on the next major release and I wonder what value it will bring - I am looking forward to it.

I really do not understand why people consider paying for vSphere as a tax. But I hope that this quick article helps some people to understand the value.


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4 thoughts on “The cost of vSphere is NOT a tax!

  1. I agree regarding the functionality but is it cost effective? If you work for a major corporation and have the money to allocate for all those products, more power to you. But it is hard for those of us in the SMB arena to justify the spend. For example I have a 5 node cluster for a company of 300 and we have licensed vSphere Enterprise Plus. As you mentioned I get great value from DRS and HA. I recently wanted to consider vROPs Std. The price to monitor up to 125 VMs was $24K. I’m sorry but that is outrageous. I’m already paying for the vSphere, Windows DC, and Veeam licenses for each host. I think vROPs Std should be included with Enterprise Plus. I would have no problem with VMWare charging for Advance or Enterprise due to the additional features. Heck I’d even consider buying it if it was $1000 per host, but the ROI isn’t there at the current price. I think companies like VMWare end up losing a lot of money due to excessive pricing. If they made things more attainable to companies like us, they’d see greater adoption and utilization which I feel in the long run would lead to greater profits. I used to say that when Microsoft charged $600 a seat for MS Office and then complained about piracy. Now they have dropped it to $250/year (or less for home users) and added a ton of features and look at the adoption rate.

    1. You have good points Dave. And yes, i think it makes sense to have more bundles for the smaller customers. I hope in the future that VMware thinks of that and does it. I really like the idea of a standard version of vROps to be included.


    2. VMware is also launching cloud services for things like vROps to make access to such solutions a bit more cost-effective (Rather shift to OPEX) Hopefully pricing for that solution will be available soon

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