VMware have changed their licensing model – why should you care?


For as long as I can remember vSphere was what VMware was famous for. Just a mention of virtualisation and everyone mentioned ESX, ESXi or VMware’s name. Obviously times have moved on, competition has increased and VMware’s portfolio has diverisified somewhat so it looks like the commercial team decided now was a time to modernise their purchase options. This is just a few of my thoughts as to why, from a customer perspective, I find this pretty useful.

There was a rather big fanfare a few weeks back as VMware announced a whole new purchase model, and gave it a funky name too: VMware Cloud Universal. Lets have a look at VMware Cloud Universal and why you, as a customer should care. I’ll fess up now, I wrote this a few weeks ago and totally forgot to post it (efficient aren’t I?) but I think it contains useful info so here it is!

VMware Cloud Universal

As a user of VMware Cloud on AWS from the ‘early days’ I think its fair to say I struggles a little bit with the pricing and payment options, but as a customer I was accepting of it for 2 simple reasons, firstly it was early on in the product and hadn’t yet matured and secondly, the product was (and still is) superb so it didn’t bother me much!

However, that was 3 years ago and just like everything else in the cloud arena – things have changed….. very quickly! VMware have recognised that not only have a number of customers been using their cloud products for a few years, but also realised that every business is at a different stage in their cloud journey and have built their offerings around that.

I’m trying very hard to stop this post becoming some marketing blog, which I totally don’t get paid to do, sadly! But if you want to read about the detail, Narayan and Matt from VMware have done a great job of it here. If you don’t know who they are – Narayan is VP Products, VMware Cloud and Matt holds the position of Director Global Sales Operations at VMware – so they know their apples!

If you want the summary, essentially they have created the facility to contract for any of the products within the VMware Cloud family and redeem your spend against them, which in itself isn’t ground breaking (albeit handy). Where its good is that VMware are letting you convert your on-prem licenses that aren’t being used towards your subscription to their cloud products alongside a sweetener called Cloud Acceleration Benefit which acts as an incentive to help migrate those workloads.

So what’s included?

  • VMware Cloud Foundation (vSphere, NSX-T, vSAN & vRealize)
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
  • VMware Cloud on Dell EMC
  • VMware Tanzu
  • Few of the additional services:
    • VMware HCX
    • vRealize Network Insight
    • Site Recovery
    • VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery

Although that looks like a list of products that may or not mean a lot to you, that stack can support a huge variety of workloads. You’ve got the whole Cloud Foundation platform used by millions in their on-prem or colocated workloads and VMC on Dell EMC for fully-managed on prem workloads. You’ve got the popular VMware Cloud on AWS platform for those cloudy workloads, and the newest platform, Tanzu for running those K8S workloads rather than the traditional VM workloads.

Another side benefit of going down the VMC Universal route is that you get access to the rather funky VMC console, to manage all your environments (or SDDCs) in the same console.

So why am I blogging about it? I spoke a few months ago about companies like NewRelic disrupting their market with their commercial offerings, and I feel like this is a big drive by VMware to do exactly that. Almost all businesses are either moving their workload to the cloud, or modernising their apps in the cloud, and will come up against some challenges. One of those is switching from a CAPEX to OPEX model and being able to pay for your cloud consumption and your on-prem environments in the same manner is very unique in the market.

Another use case, which will be interesting to see being used is you could effectively burst your on-prem infra to the cloud for those peak demand times which I think is a very interesting slant.

I was speaking to one of my favourite VMware folk just today ( /waves @ Nico Vibert) and we’re both in agreement that the technology advancements made by VMware are moving at such a fast rate, its great to see the commercial options supporting this now.

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