This article is more than 1 year old

VMware’s subscriptions start at 16 cores, prices won't be made public

Prepaid one-, three-, or five-year terms preferred for big bundles

VMware will not publicly disclose the price of its vSphere+ and VSAN+ subscription bundles, though the virtualization giant’s partners have been given a figure to discuss.

vSphere+ and VSAN+ are VMware’s first big move into subscription services. When VMware announced the suites a month ago, The Register was told pricing would be revealed about now.

And it was – but not to the public.

“In July, the channel price book was published with vSphere+ and vSAN+ price details. The price book details will not be published publicly,” a VMware spokesperson told The Register in response to our inquiries, which we made after VMware president Sumit Dhawan last week indicated a pricing announcement was likely this week.

Fortunately, some info about the bundles has emerged.

In this VMware Licensing, pricing and packaging white paper [PDF] the company reveals vSphere+ will be licensed per core and will be offered “on a commit + overage billing model as opposed to the perpetual licensing model.”

As explained in this pricing FAQ [PDF], the “commit + overage” model means “a customer must commit to a specific amount, and any metered usage that exceeds the commit subscription will incur overages charges and will be billed monthly in arrears.”

The FAQ states that vSphere+ and VSAN+ are licensed per physical core “and there is a licensing requirement of a minimum of 16 cores per CPU.” If your processors each have fewer than 16 cores, you’ll pay for 16 cores anyway.

The bundle will be sold as a prepaid commitment for one, three, or five year terms.

Holders of perpetual licences can shift to vSphere+ if they choose. It’s also possible to run mixed subscription and perpetual licences – but VMware has not made that easy because vCenter licensed under vSphere+ can only manage a vSphere+ ESXi, and a perpetual vCenter can only manage a perpetual vSphere/ESXi.

The white paper reveals what’s in the vSphere+ bundle – basically the entire VMware infrastructure stack other than NSX. The Tanzu Kubernetes deployment and management tools are present, as is the vSphere distributed switch, Nvidia GRID vGPU, the vSphere hypervisor, backup tools, vMotion tools, and plenty more.

VMware has not explained why it will not publicly reveal the price of vSphere+ and VSAN+.

The decision is odd, as prices are valuable information and are usually published even if public price lists are considered a starting point for negotiations rather than set in stone.

Not revealing the figures is doubly odd given VMware’s future owner – Broadcom – has pledged to rapidly shift the virtualization giant’s customer base to subscriptions and has a history of hiking prices. Surely making the prices public would have eased the anxiety VMware admits some customers feel about its acquisition?

Speaking of Broadcom, its CEO Hock Tan on Thursday sent a newsletter to VMware employees that reveals very little other than that the two companies have started talking about how to combine once the deal is done. The newsletter offers a gentle account of Tan’s career, values, and ambition to “build the world’s leading infrastructure technology company” once the deal closes.

The newsletter – very unusually – contains images depicting text, so cannot be easily shared or copied and pasted.

The Register has not observed that tactic in previous Broadcom or VMware communications, a detail we mention as a second example – after the non-reveal of pricing – of crimped information flow from VMware. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like