vRAM entitlement + vSphere Desktop changes – WIN (kinda)

If I sold you a vehicle and told you I was only charging you by the number of tires that were on the vehicle and that was my standard for years, you might find that acceptable and affordable. But what if I told you that I was now going to charge you by the number of people you want to put in that vehicle and what their total weight could be? I'm sure you would be pretty frustrated! After hearing your frustration, I have now doubled the weight limit on who can be in your vehicle. Would that make things better?

I'm still not a fan of the vRAM entitlement on vSphere 5, but VMware has made an announcement that will help lessen the impact for a lot of customers. According to this chart, VMware has doubled the amount of entitlement for the top two tiers of licenses and increased slightly for the bottom three teirs of licenses.

 VMware also announced a vSphere Desktop license model. Thankfully, this takes away the vRAM entitlement limitations from the hosts. Is it a VMware View option only? Nope! Those who are hosting desktops on vSphere hosts with third party VDI brokers like Citrix XenDesktop or Quest vWorkspace fall under this license model.

"Customers currently using vSphere as backend for a 3rd party VDI deployment can continue to do so. Customers who purchased licenses for vSphere 4.x (or previous versions) prior to September 30, 2011 to host desktop virtualization, and hold current SnS agreements, may upgrade to vSphere 5.0 while retaining access to unlimited vRAM entitlement. Desktop licenses covered by this provision, however, may not be managed by the same instance of Virtual Center which is being used to manage non-desktop OS virtual machines."

So you must have a separate vCenter server and you must have Enterprise + licenses on your hosts in order to use VDI.

Does this mean you have to buy vSphere Desktop in 100 packs for all of your hosted VDI sessions? It does not appear so, at first. vSphere Desktop is licensed based on the total number of powered on VMs. But…

"Customers who purchased licenses for vSphere 4.x (or previous versions) to host desktop virtualization, and hold current SnS agreements, may upgrade to vSphere 5.0 while retaining their current licensing metric and thus have access to unlimited vRAM entitlement. vSphere Desktop extends only to the purchases of new vSphere licenses for desktop virtualization."

I'm not sure how this conversion is going to happen with existing VDI hosts with 3rd party solutions. But it appears that you will have to buy new vSphere Desktop licenses in 100 packs and enterprise+ licenses after Setp 30th, 2011.

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