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VMware adds subscription version of basic vSphere for server consolidation

Why, when standard version costs a mere $1,349? Cloudy multi-premises management, perhaps

VMware has created a subscription service based on vSphere Standard, an edition of its flagship that's mostly aimed at server consolidation.

Sold for just $1,349 per year, vSphere Standard includes the virtualization, storage, networking and DR tools needed to run a small fleet of hosts and virtual machines. But it omits features and tools that drive hybrid clouds and their more complex networking and security requirements.

Like every other software vendor, VMware is under pressure to move to subscriptions so it can predict revenue more easily and doesn't have to upsell customers quite so often. vSphere users have also increasingly adopted – or found themselves managing – hybrid multi-clouds.

VMware's response to those circumstances was to launch vSphere+ – a subscription service for vSphere that adds a Cloud Console from which users can drive their on-prem or cloudy VMware environments.

Himanshu Singh, VMware’s director of product marketing for VMware's Cloud Platform, has wrote in a Tuesday blog post that vSphere+ is going great guns, and vSphere Standard users want in on the action.

So now VMware offers vSphere+ Standard edition – a subscription edition of the package, with access to the Cloud Console.

The new product comes with an attractively priced offer: if users convert their 32-core perpetual licences to subscriptions, they'll be offered 32 cloudy cores at the cost of 16. VMware clearly wants you to sign up for years of this offer, because upon first renewal the price will revert to the 32-core fee.

VMware does not reveal the price of vSphere+ – neither the Enterprise edition announced earlier this year nor the new Standard+ edition.

vSphere Standard is modestly priced, proven, and widely used.

Yet a subscription service may be attractive because it's entirely feasible that a VMware shop could have several instances of it in many smaller offices.

A subscription that covers those offices and offers a single cloudy console to manage them all could make life easier for many vAdmins.

We won't know if it works out, either. Since Broadcom announced its intention to acquire VMware, the virtualization giant doesn't stage earnings calls on which financial analysts question its execs – all we get is a press release and financial data.

But vSphere+ Standard edition is very much in line with both VMware's stated plans to introduce subscription editions of its wares, and Broadcom's pledge to move more customers to subscriptions. ®

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