Company claims many customers are better off after controversial licensing changes, while CEO Paul Maritz says industry will shift to new licensing model
VMworld Europe, Copenhagen: VMware has defended the changes it made to its licensing model with the release of vSphere earlier this year.
In July the virtualisation maven revealed details of version 5 of its cloud infrastructure platform vSphere, which CEO Paul Maritz said at the time was the, "first step along the road to a more automated world where infrastructure is something people can just rely on."
At the same time the company unveiled changes to its licensing model, which angered many of VMware’s existing customers. CMO Rick Jackson said than that customers found existing packages confusing and this was an attempt to simplify the licensing process.
However the changes did not go down well and users flooded VMware forums. "What I used to be able to do with 2 CPU licenses now takes 4. Incredible. It’s almost as if VMware is putting a penalty on density and encouraging users to buy hardware with more sockets rather than less," said one user.
At the company’s European conference being held in Copenhagen, Jackson again defended the company’s move, insisting that many users are actually better off.
"We as an industry are looking at a lot of changes that are going to need to happen around software licensing because we come from an era where we really based things on physical architectures, and that’s not going to work as we move to multi cloud provider environment," he said.
"We find for many customers that it is a more flexible and easy to manage their environment," Jackson continued. "Initially our price constrainsts were a little tight; we heard that feedback loud and clear and based on that we went back to the drawing board. The adjustments we made in the pricing model quite frankly have almost become a non-issue for us."
"There will always be some customers that are affected. A broad range of customers have actually benefited in that their costs are lower than the old model. But inevitably there are customers that are at the other end of the scale that are really pushing the envelope in terms of capacity that may have a negative impact on their price. Our estimates suggest that is less than 2% of our customers base," Jackson concluded.
UPDATE: During a press conference at the event, VMware CEO Paul Maritz also had his say on the licensing issue, saying that the company could not rule out making more changes in the future.
"Traditionally licensing has been done of an infrastructure basis but the industry will have to move to a consumption-based model," he said during a Q&A session. "We’re trying to keep [the licensing model] stable and don’t have any intention of changing it but in 10 years things could have changed radically."