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February 4, 2020updated 22 Jul 2022 10:47am

Core Blimey: VMware is Overhauling its Licensing. Here’s What’s Changing

New 32 core CPU limit per license introduced. Servers can be stacked with more until April 2...

By CBR Staff Writer

Virtualisation company VMware is introducing a new pricing model that will see it demand additional licenses for users running CPUs with more than 32 physical cores.

The move will apply for products licensed on a per-CPU basis and will, the company claimed, “help us keep our pricing… relevant to where the hardware market is going.”

Among those affected: VMware users running AMD’s new 64 EPYC Rome chips.

The change is effective April 2, 2020.

The company is softening the blow for those already running VMware software licenses on over-sized CPUs: they can carry on doing so, on the same licence, even past April 2.

VMware CPU Licensing: Don’t All Rush at Once… 

(We may not be alone in picturing IT teams rushing to stuff chunky CPUs into their servers, in a bid to make the most of existing VMware software licences. Those pursuing this route will need to prove they bought their servers before April 2).

“Any customer who purchases VMware software licenses, for deployment on a physical server with more than 32-cores per CPU, prior to April 30, 2020 will be eligible for additional free per-CPU licenses to cover the CPUs on that server” VMware said.

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The company explained the move by saying: “We cannot continue pricing on a per-CPU basis, where CPUs could have unlimited core counts.”

VMware Enterprise PKS and VMware NSX Data Center subscription are among the products affected, the company said, adding that the move brings it into alignment with other software vendors “making it easier for customers to compare software licensing and pricing between VMware (using per-CPU with up to 32 cores) and other vendors.”

The vast majority of the currently installed base of VMware software is deployed on existing Intel and AMD-based servers that are “at or below” the 32-core threshold, it added. Requests for additional licenses must be submitted before 11:59pm PST U.S. on January 29, 2021. Proof of server purchase prior to April 30, 2020 will be required.

Customers must be on active VMware support (SnS) contracts.

See also: VMware: vSphere’s Going Kubernetes-Native

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