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Update to VMware’s per-CPU Pricing Model

By VMware Team

February 5, 2020

Today we announced an important update to our per-CPU pricing model, reflecting our commitment to continue meeting our customers’ needs in an evolving industry landscape. This new pricing model will give our customers greater choice and allow us to better serve them.

While we will still be using a per-CPU approach, now, for any software offering that we license on a per-CPU basis, we will require one license for up to 32 physical cores. If a CPU has more than 32 cores, additional CPU licenses will be required. A FAQ related to this change is below.

Today’s announcement is a continuation of VMware’s journey to align our product offerings to industry standard pricing models. The change moves VMware closer to the current software industry standard model of core-based pricing. This approach will make it easier for customers to compare software licensing and pricing between VMware (using per-CPU with up to 32 cores) and other vendors (using per core pricing). It also helps us keep our pricing simple and relevant to where the hardware market is going.

The 32-core limit is designed to minimize customer impact given current core counts for most CPUs used in the industry. This change will likely have no impact on the vast majority of our current customers since they use Intel and AMD-based servers that are at or below the 32-core threshold. For the few customers who are currently deploying our software 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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is VMware announcing?

A: VMware is more closely aligning to the industry standard of licensing software based on CPU cores as a primary licensing metric. With this change, VMware is still using the per-CPU licensing model, but we will require one license for any software offering that we license on a per-CPU basis, for up to 32 physical cores. That is, the license will cover CPUs with up to 32 physical cores. This change is effective starting on April 2, 2020.

Q: Why is VMware updating its per-CPU licensing model?

A: VMware is working to align our product offerings to industry standard licensing models and projected changes in the hardware market. We cannot continue pricing on a per-CPU basis, where CPUs could have unlimited core counts. The 32-core limit is designed to minimize customer impact given current core counts generally used in the industry, and by the majority of our customers.

Any customer who purchases VMware software per-CPU licenses, to be deployed 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 cores on those CPUs.

Q: How is this change an alignment to industry standards?

A: CPU cores are the main software licensing metric across the industry. Customers today license software from other major software vendors based on CPU cores. Because VMware is moving to this standard, it is easier for customers to compare software licensing and pricing between VMware (using per-CPU with up to 32 cores) and other vendors (using per-core pricing).

Q: What existing VMware products already use CPU cores as the key licensing metric?

A: VMware Enterprise PKS and VMware NSX Data Center subscription are examples of some of the products that use CPU cores as the licensing metric.

Q. Can you help me understand the new model?

A: Under the new model, one CPU license covers up to 32 cores in a single CPU. If the CPU has more than 32 cores, additional CPU licenses are required. To provide some examples:

vmw-cpu-pricing

Q: What is the process for eligible customers to apply for additional licenses? 

A: Please contact a VMware Partner Reseller or VMware sales representative for additional information. Alternatively, a customer can contact VMware Support raise a ticket in My VMware.

Q: How many current customers are impacted by this change?

A: 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. Any existing customers who purchase VMware software licenses, to be deployed 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.

Q: What are the terms and conditions for customers who apply for additional free licenses to support deployments of VMware software on CPUs with more than 32 cores?

A: To be eligible:

  • Servers and VMware licenses must be purchased before 11:59 pm PST U.S. April 30, 2020
  • The request 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 at the time of the request for additional licenses.
  • Note that customers will be charged for Service and Support on the additional free licenses at the time the customer’s Service and Support contract for the existing licenses renews

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