UPDATE: VMware has revised the vRAM entitlements (it’s now 32GB instead of 8GB) for all of its products. Therefore this post is pretty much void, and you can get more details about the new vRAM entitlements by visiting VMware.com or check out my friend Tim’s blog tsmith.co.
I took a look at the VMware Free Hypervisor Saturday morning and was able to confirm the Twitter rumors…. the free version of ESXi 5 (or the VMware Hypervisor if you want to be all official) will only allow 8GB of vRAM per host… what the hell is VMware thinking?
The free version of ESXi is probably the best way of getting someone started down the VMware road…. they buy a server put 20-30GB of RAM in it and spin up 4-5 virtual machines and get used to it. Then when their next hardware refresh comes along 99.9% of the time the customer will virtualize the rest of their servers. However, if I can only allow a customer to allocate 8GB of RAM to virtual machines (note that this means 8GB total… not 8GB per VM) with the free license there is a darn good chance that I will have to use a different hypervisor… be it Hyper-V or XenServer or whatever.
Either way, I still have a job, but I prefer to use the best technology available, and I believe that VMware is the best… but they are sure going to make it a hard sell with vSphere 5.
Let’s step back and think about it:
- Hyper-V comes with the Windows licenses that the customer already bought
- XenServer offers a feature-rich free hypervisor with no RAM limitations (and their free version has more features then ESXi 4.x free too)
- Ubuntu even lets me virtualize Windows servers with no limitations (while it does lack features the others have)
So when I talk to Mr. Customer and they ask why I have included a $500 dollar license for vSphere Essentials when they only have 1 server, and really aren’t sold on VMware yet anyway… it’s going to be a much harder sell. In my opinion, VMware needs to put ESXi Free back the way it was… don’t let me do the advanced stuff … but don’t cripple the product with the new vRAM crap either…
Just my 2 cents 🙂