2012
06.04

A study that VMware paid for claims that managing their virtualisation is cheaper than managing Hyper-V.  OK class, calm down.  You at the back … stop laughing before your head falls off!  Yes, and a study I paid for says that VMware are getting desperate … as in Novell in the year 2000 desperate.

Last year I wrote a post that compared the cost of Windows Server VMs on a 2U host, with 2 CPUs and 92 GB RAM., and 50 VMs  Hyper-V and all of System Center on one hand, and vSphere Standard (not Enterprise plus with all the features and all the additional cost) with just vCenter Operations.  Even with the most basic VMware solution (against the full MSFT pack), MSFT came in at 57% of the cost of VMware.

OK, since then, System Center 2012 SMLs are maybe a little more expensive than the old SMSD … but I can counter that now by switching to an ECI license (big discount for big orders) or CIS (small discount for small orders)  where Windows Server and System Center 2012 are bundled.

Maybe the VMware commissioned study is saying that the actual cost of operations are higher in the MSFT space?  How does one service pack or patch vSphere?  They do get released from time to time, you know.  Oh yeah … you don’t install them because they usually break the host.  But when you do, isn’t it time consuming?  Over on the MSFT space, I have Windows Update, WSUS or ConfigMgr to control the distribution of updates.  I can orchestrate the installation using VMM 2012, or I can use Cluster Aware Updating in Windows Server 2012.  Test, setup, fire and forget (well … run a report every now and then to check compliance).  Complete automation, baby!

What about the cloud?  How does that work in vSphere?  Spend lots and lots of money and hack the ell out of their rebadged point solutions.  In MSFT world, you have System Center 2012, download and add the Cloud Services Process Pack and there you have a private cloud, with self-service.  Now the “users” can deploy VMs for themselves with audit trails, governance, and all that jazz.  No need to involve IT in service deployment.

This could go on and on and on and on and on and …. 

Hmm, VMware, you really are sounding like you’re grasping for straws right now.

3 comments so far

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  1. its interesting to redo the number for SC2012 if you have SCCM under SA but no other Systems center bits yet. If you convert your server SCCM licenses to SC 2012 toy pick up VMM for ‘free’. I wonder how many large enterprises have SCCM under SA (my guess is a fair few)

    we’ve been looking at our environemnt (which is large), and we pay vmware about 200k per year in licensing and maintenace. We also pay MS an amount for windows server, SCCM, SA, and support; on pretty well the same hosts. we can pretty well remove the 200k to 0; so the onl;y real question becomes cost of conversion and feature parity (which is pretty well done by Server 2012).

    Worse, internal discussions about large VM’s become discussions about if the VMware RAM tax will mess up our cost model, so that 200k bill to Vmware may be actually wobbly.

    its harder and harder to look at the 200k vmware bill and go “yes, we see the value in that”.

    VMwares August confere4nce will be interestign to see what they do in this space

    • Great point Stephen. Cloud is all about unpredictable elasticity. If you’re charged based on vRAM allocation, then VMs that can have big amounts of memory make for unpredictable IT cost financing. Do you (a) buy lots of VMware licensing up front, just in case you need it? You might never need the memory and then overpay. Or do you (b) tell people not to deploy until you’ve bought the licensing? And then you’e defeated the purpose of the cloud.

  2. I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but I patch vSphere by using VUM, and it’s automated through all the hosts using DRS. Works great, can even schedule it granularly. As for the licencing, you buy as a true-up by measuring peak usage. I would recommend that when one budgets for the resources for the VM, they budget for the fractional cost of any licences then.

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