Announcement: VMware Core-Based Pricing Model Licensing Update

Posted on June 6, 2020 by rawee.k

If you manage a virtualized environments at your organization, you should be aware that effective April 2, 2020, VMware moved from a per-CPU pricing model to a core-based pricing model. As a result of this licensing change, VMware will require an additional CPU license if a server’s CPU has more than 32 physical cores.

Announced on a VMware company blog post, the infrastructure virtualization software company said the change is intended to simplify its software licensing with industry-standards by moving in lock-step with the direction of the server hardware market. (VMware’s Enterprise PKS and NSX Data Center subscriptions are some examples of the products that use CPU cores as the licensing metric).

VMware Core-based Pricing Model

With the change, if a VMware customer has a server with a CPU that has more than 32 cores, an additional per CPU license will need to be purchased. Customers who purchased VMware software per-CPU licenses prior to April 30, 2020 will be eligible for free per-CPU licenses to cover the additional  cores on those CPUs.

Under the new core-based pricing model, one CPU license covers up to 32 cores in a single CPU. If a VMware customer has a server with a CPU that has more than 32 physical cores, an additional per CPU license will need to be purchased (e.g. If a customer has a 64-core processor, the business will need to purchase two VMware CPU licenses). To provide some examples:


What this means for Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC Users

In recent years, both current-generation Intel Xeon Scalable and AMD EPYC 7002 Series processors have moved toward x86 architectures increased core-counts per socket. These higher core-count CPUs with increased clock-speeds deliver more cycles and more caching capabilities for data to interact with applications or high-transaction workloads – ideal for virtualization. VMware’s licensing change will impact data center processors with high core counts such as AMD’s EPYC Rome and Intel’s upcoming 56-core Cooper Lake models, effectively doubling the price for VMware licenses for 48-core or 64-core models.

The company believes that changing the pricing model will not impact on the vast majority its customers that are at (or below) the 32-core threshold on Intel and AMD-based servers.

For the few customers who are currently deploying VMware on CPUs with more than 32 cores, or for those that are in the process of purchasing physical servers with more than 32 cores per CPU, we are providing a grace period after the licensing metric change goes into effect on April 2, 2020.

Any customer who purchased 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.

Questions about your VMware deployment? Schedule a time or give us a call at (888) 828-7646 to learn more about how VMware’s new pricing model will impact your server infrastructure.