vSphere Enterprise Edition – End of Life Already?

First, let me preface this by saying that I love Vmware. I love what they are doing in the virtualization space and if you’ve looked at the Things I’ve Written section, you’ve seen the fairly extensive plan I wrote for moving my organization to a virtual infrastructure based on their products.

However, I found out something over the last couple of days that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth: The Enterprise Edition of their new product, vSphere 4, will already be End-of-Life as of December of this year. Not only does this seem pretty early for a product that has only been out for less than a month, but I also feel like Vmware is pulling a bit of a “bait and switch”.

You see, those that had existing VI3 Enterprise Edition (EE) licenses with current support contracts were automatically transitioned to vSphere 4 Enterprise Edition. This seems like a great deal, but in addition to the VI3 Enterprise Edition licenses my organization had, we also had a couple of VI3 Standard Edition licenses, and I found out about the early demise of the vSphere 4 equivalent when trying to get upgrade quotes so that I could have all licenses at the same level. That’s when my sales rep told me there is no upgrade path from vSphere 4 Standard to vSphere 4 Enterprise. You can only upgrade to vSphere 4 Enterprise Plus.

The kicker here, is that it is cheaper to buy new Enterprise Edition (heretofore “EE”) licenses (while they are still available) than it is to upgrade Standard Licenses to Enterprise Plus (heretofore “EP). I don’t doubt the usefulness of the 3 features that EP adds to the suite, but I question as to whether they are worth the very significant price increase, almost 20%! Third-party multi-pathing support is useless if you don’t use a storage vendor that provides a driver. Host profiles are nice, but really, in my opinion only the Distributed vSwitch is even close to a “can’t live without it” feature.

I was excited when I got the first quote from my vendor to see that VI4 EE was about $100 cheaper per CPU than VI3 EE, but now that’s all blown out of the water and I’m looking at justifying over $500 more per socket, and a slew of pre-existing licenses that are going to be for an EOL license level.

Vmware should leave the Enterprise Edition as an available product. It costs them basically nothing to do so and I’m sure it would make a lot of the SMBs very happy.


~ by swendel on June 19, 2009.

One Response to “vSphere Enterprise Edition – End of Life Already?”

  1. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing
    this write-up and also the rest of the site is also very good.

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