A couple of products will change licensing model from a per-socket to a per-vm model.

What You Need to Know About Per VM Licensing

As cloud computing becomes the norm in IT environments, IT increasingly needs to manage at the virtual machine (VM) level rather than the physical hardware from which it is abstracted. With virtual machines now being the new unit of management, IT organizations need flexible deployment and licensing options that fit the demands of the new model.

Starting September 1, 2010, some VMware vCenter products will transition from the existing per processor licensing to per VM licensing. Other vCenter products will continue to be sold under existing licensing models.

How Much Will the Per VM Licenses Cost?

Products will be sold in packs of 25 virtual machine licenses (prices do not include SnS). This is a more cost-effective way for customers to implement the management products since it eliminates the need to license them on a per processor basis.


*VMware vCenter CapacityIQ will be offered in a per VM model beginning at the end of 2010 / early 2011, and you can continue buying per processor licenses for vCenter CapacityIQ until then.

As noted above, customers who have purchased per processor licenses for these products prior to September 1, 2010, will be eligible to exchange their licenses to receive a specific number of per VM licenses for each per processor license.

VMware will provide more details for existing customers in the coming weeks.

Moving to Per VM Licensing

  • vCenter AppSpeed
  • vCenter CapacityIQ (offered in a per VM model late 2010 / early 2011)
  • vCenter Chargeback
  • vCenter Site Recovery Manager

Continuing with Existing Licensing Models

  • VMware vSphere
  • vCenter Server
  • vCenter Server Heartbeat
  • vCenter Lab Manager
  • vCenter Lifecycle Manager

How This Affects You

If you are new to the VMware vCenter products, you will benefit from the new pricing model which makes it easier and less expensive to take advantage of the vCenter product capabilities.

If you have previously purchased per processor licenses for vCenter AppSpeed, vCenter CapacityIQ, vCenter Chargeback or vCenter Site Recovery Manager, VMware will provide a transition plan that allows you to exchange your current per processor licenses for ones that are based on the new per VM licensing model. If you own per processor licenses for the above products as of September 1, 2010 you will be able to exchange them for per VM licenses.

Do I Need to Convert to Per VM Licenses?

No. You can continue to use the per processor licenses you already own. You can continue to renew VMware Support and Subscription (SnS) for the per processor licenses using your regular renewal terms.

If you have purchased per processor licenses and wish to continue with this model, you will also be able to continue purchasing per processor licenses through December 15, 2010. However, after December 15, 2010, you will only be able to buy Per VM licenses for vCenter AppSpeed, vCenter CapacityIQ, vCenter Chargeback and vCenter Site Recovery Manager. These products will be sold in increments of 25 VMs per license.

How Per VM Licensing Works

Per VM licensing is more flexible. Rather than requiring licenses for every server deployed, you will only need licenses foraverage maximum number of virtual machines that are managed. Let’s look at an example:


Per VM licensing is based on a rolling average of the highest number of VMs over the last 12 months.

  • You want to manage cost reporting effectively and decide to buy VMware vCenter Chargeback.
  • On an average day, you run between 90 and 125 virtual machines.
  • As shown in the chart above, at the end of the year, usage typically spikes to 200 to 250 virtual machines for two months.
  • The daily maximum total virtual machines still averages only about 130 virtual machines.
  • You would only need enough licenses for 130 VMs – the average high watermark over the course of the trailing12 months. In this case, the customer would buy six licenses for a total of 150 VMs (each license contains a pack of 25 VMs).
  • If the average usage over time exceeds 150 VMs, you will receive an alert through VMware vCenter Server, but will be able to continue managing the environment without restrictions.

Source.