Broadcom VMware vSphere Licensing Packages (for Small Deployments)

By | 16 Ocak 2024

vSphere Subscription Packages and Pricing

First of all, what do you get with each Edition? And what features are included in each edition? I’ll answer the last question first. As far as I know, the features within vSphere Standard and vSphere Essentials Plus are not changing. For example, Essentials Plus still includes vMotion, and Standard still includes Storage vMotion, etc. Second, what is this thing priced at?

PackagePer Core MSRPLicenses Included/Notes
vSphere Cloud Foundation$350vSphere Enterprise Plus, vSAN Enterprise, Aria Suite Enterprise, NSX Networking for VCF, HCX Enterprise, Aria Operations for Networks Enterprise, SDDC Manager
vSAN Enterprise 1 TiB free per-core licensed to be included in vSphere Cloud Foundation software release
vSphere Foundation$135vSphere Enterprise Plus, vCenter Server Standard, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, Aria Suite Standard, available Add-On’s
vSAN Enterprise 100GiB free per-core licensed to be included in vSphere Foundation software release
vSphere Standard$50vSphere Standard, vCenter Server Standard
vSphere Essentials Plus Kit$35vSphere Essentials Plus, vCenter Server Essentials
*sold per 96-core kit, maximum of 3 hosts

vSphere Subscription Licenses included per License Package

And now for some context. The pricing listed above is 3-year ACV. I missed the ACV, and actually had to look that up after it was explained to me by our distributors. This pricing is the “Annual Contract Value”. Meaning, if the contract is for 3 years for $35/core, the annual pricing is $35, but the overall contract amount will be $105/core. Note that there are 1, 3 and 5 year terms available and your price per core can vary between them.

Also note that there is now a 16-core minimum license per-processor as well, meaning that even if your single-socket server has 12 cores, you’re going to need to pay for 16 cores. Of course, if your processor has more than 16 cores, or if you have dual (or even quad sockets, you’re going to have to pay more. This falls in line with how Microsoft licenses Windows Server with a 16-core minimum, so those familiar with Windows licensing should be pretty comfortable with this.

EDIT:  I mistakenly posted there is a 16-core minimum per server, but @jon_may noted that it’s actually listed as 16-cores per processor, so if you have a two 8-core proc’s in your server, you actually need to buy 32 cores.  I’ll reach back out for further clarification on this.

See that asterisk and note on the Essentials Plus Kit licensing? While vSphere Foundation and vSphere Standard are sold per-core, Essentials Plus Kit’s are sold only as a 96-core kit. This means that if you have a small environment like many of my clients do using 2 (or 3) hosts with a single 16-core processor, you’re still going to need to pay for the 96-core kit when using Essentials Plus. This actually makes Essentials Plus more expensive than vSphere Standard where you license what you need. So, to make that a bit easier to understand, below are a few scenarios I came up with that I find to be more common in the SMB space.

vSphere Subscription Licensing Scenarios

Host/Core CountvSphere PackageTotal CoresMSRPvSphere Package
(2) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Essentials Plus32$10,0803-Year Term, Licensed as a 96-Core Kit
(3) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Essentials Plus48$10,0803-Year Term, Licensed as a 96-Core Kit
(3) Hosts, 32 Total Cores per HostvSphere Essentials Plus96$10,0803-Year Term, Licensed as a 96-Core Kit
(1) Host, 16 Total Cores (or less)vSphere Standard16$2,4003-Year Term, Standalone Host
(2) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Standard32$4,8003-Year Term
(2) Hosts, 24 Total Cores per HostvSphere Standard48$7,2003-Year Term
(3) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Standard48$7,2003-Year Term
(3) Hosts, 24 Total Cores per HostvSphere Standard72$10,8003-Year Term
(3) Hosts, 32 Total Cores per HostvSphere Standard96$14,4003-Year Term
(4) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Standard64$9,6003-Year Term
(5) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Standard80$12,0003-Year Term
(2) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Foundation32$12,9603-Year Term
(3) Hosts, 16 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Foundation48$19,4403-Year Term
(3) Hosts, 32 Total Cores per Host (or less)vSphere Foundation96$38,8803-Year Term

vSphere Subscription Licensing Scenarios for Small Deployments

As a brief summary of the above table, if you are a small or medium sized business and have a small server footprint running your virtual environment, you’ll find that vSphere standard may fit the bill better than Essentials Plus. If you running single-socket hosts, or are running a less than a total of 24 cores per host, it’s going to be to your advantage to license the more feature-rich and pay less than the cost of the Essentials Plus Kit. However, if you’re running with a higher core count or multiple processors, and are utilizing up to 3 hosts, Essentials Plus Kit’s do have a space in which they’ll cost less than the Standard licenses, assuming that you don’t need the additional features included in the vSphere ESXI Standard licenses. If you’re in the larger Enterprise Plus space, vSphere Foundation includes some great features including some vSAN licensing included, and this pricing may be lower than you’re currently paying for Enterprise Plus, but you already know it’s going to still be more than pretty much any of the variations of the Essentials Plus and Standard licensing.

vSphere Perpetual to Subscription Migrations

I should note that pretty much all of this pricing applies to more of the greenfield territory where you’re purchasing licensing for the first time. If you already have vSphere licensing in place, and you’re using Essentials or Essentials Plus licensing, your VMware costs are almost certainly going to rise over what you may have been paying already for SnS (Software & Support) renewals although it should also be noted that VMware has listed that there will be “Attractive pricing for customers migrating from perpetual licenses”. I don’t have any details on what the cost will be to migrate from existing perpetual licenses, but hopefully that will help alleviate the sting, at least a little bit, for those using Essentials and Essentials Plus kits currently.