Oct 232011

Fresh off the upgrade to the vSphere client for iPad comes an updated View client.  You can head right to the download in iTunes here for the upgrade.  As always, here’s the What’s new from iTunes:

What’s New in version 1.2

  • Optimized for VMware View 5 with improved performance
  • Support for iOS 5 including Airplay
  • Presentation Mode for use with external display and Airplay
  • Embedded RSA soft token simplifies login to desktop
  • Background tasking to move between Windows and iOS apps
  • Updated look and feel
  • Integrated online help
  • Buffered text input for multibyte text entry
  • Now in French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese
  • Bug fixes
Oct 192011

Skimming thru the day’s technology’s articles, I came across this one.  It is a interview with Drew Houston, one of the founders of Dropbox.  Dropbox is a great piece of software that lets you share files in the cloud across all of your devices.  I was interested to read that Steve Jobs and Apple had met to discuss Apple acquiring Dropbox for 800 million.  When Dropbox declined the offer, according to the article, Houston recalls the response from Steve Jobs: “He said we were a feature and not a product.”

This statement sounded somewhat familiar to me, somewhere I had heard this before.  I did some digging and I found why this rang such a bell.  Flash back four and a half years ago.  I remembered this article from the NY Times in February of 2007.  In it was an introduction to a little company called VMware.  It describes this little company and how it was taking on the Goliath Microsoft.  My favorite part was a quote in the article from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who said: “Our view is that virtualization is something that should be built into the operating system.”  Essentially, virtualization is a feature and not a product.  Funny how times change.  VMware, who was selling a “feature,” just yesterday reported revenue of $941.9 million for the just-ended third quarter.  Vmware is projecting Q4 revenue to be between 1.03 and 1.06 billion.  Not bad for a “feature.”

In this day and age Apple is the Goliath and the biggest kid on the block.

Dropbox, only yesterday, scored $250 million in funding and appears to be growing well.

It amazes me sometimes how what comes around, goes around.  Never underestimate the power of a competitor and the “feature” they might be selling.  Who knows where Dropbox might be 4 years from now.  Maybe they are the next VMware.

Oct 172011

Fresh out of the app store comes the VMware vSphere Client for iPad v1.2.0.  You rush right over to the download section in iTues here.  If you already have it downloaded, visit the app store on your device and download the update.  Here’s What’s New from the App Store:

New in v1.2 (see notes below):

  • Migrate virtual machines without downtime using vMotion.  This feature is available via Host & VM action menus.  Virtual machines can also be two-finger flicked/dragged from the Host detail view to enter vMotion mode
  • Ability to email vMotion validation error details to others
  • View task progress reporting on VM cards
  • Ability to refresh vCenter host list
  • Support of ESX 3.5
  • Support for vSphere 5.0

Release Notes:

  • This version requires vCMA 1.2, available at: http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vcma
  • Min iOS version: 4.0


Oct 172011

I’ve said time and time again that SRM has always been my favorite non-vSphere 5 product.  There are some great new features in SRM5 that definitely warrant an eval at the least (Failback, Host-based replication, etc).  I was also excited that VMware released a new licensing model with SRM5.  All existing customers would automatically upgrade to the new Enterprise Edition.  The cost for Enterprise edition was the same as it always has been for SRM, roughly $495 list price per-vm plus SnS and sold in packs of 25 VMs.  VMware wanted to take SRM down a notch to the SMB market which is why they created the new Standard Edition.  The new standard edition is priced much more SMB friendly at $195 list price per-vm, plus SnS and sold in packs of 25 VMs.  The Standard and Enterprise editions are feature-identical.  Host based replication, fallback, and all the new features are included in both editions.  The difference between the two editions is that Standard Edition can protect a site up to 75 VMs.  When a customer grows past 75 VMs at a site, they must upgrade to SRM Enterprise Edition to protect up to 1,000 VMs (a technical limit, 500 VMs is the technical limit if using Host Based Replication).

Here lies the problem and the reason for my post.  Remember that the licensing is sold in packs of 25 VMs so we can add SRM capacity in blocks of 25.  When we cross that 75 to 100 in capacity required, we need to upgrade our existing Standard Licenses to Enterprise and purchase a 25-pack of Enterprise to protect the additional VMs.    In list price terms, the 76th VM will cost $49,501.  That price includes 3 of the 25-VM Upgrade packs for SRM Standard to Enterprise (to upgrade the existing licensing for that site), a 25-VM Pack of SRM Enterprise and 4 x 1-year SnS for SRM Enterprise (the upgrade packs require SnS at purchase).

I created a chart showing List Prices and the acquisition cost and total investment in SRM.  From left to right shows the number of licensed VMs protected.  This chart assumes you start purchasing SRM Standard for a site with 75 or less VMs protected and then grow the site to larger than 75 VMs protected.

You can see from the greenish line that the total cost takes a significant jump from the 75-to-100 number of VMs protected.  Please keep in mind that these are list prices and assume that you are going to start with Standard Edition.

I was curious to know how this model would compare if we purchased SRM Enterprise licenses from the start.  I created this graph below for comparison.

You can see the blue 25-VM pack acquisition costs are a constant and predictable for each 25-VM pack.  The red total cost line is also a constant rate.   You’ll also notice that at 100 VMs and on, total costs are lower when you use Enterprise from the start.

There are a couple important observations that I have made from this analysis.  First, Standard Edition is a great way for customers to get into SRM at a much lower price point.  Please understand the risks if there is potential for that site to grow large enough to protect more than 75 VMs from it.

Second, and most important, this article is not meant as a criticism of VMware licensing practices (I’ll let others write those).  This article is meant to inform the customers:  If you need to protect a site with SRM and you think that you will eventually grow that site past the 75-protected-VM mark, you may want to consider purchasing SRM Enterprise now to balance out your costs and save some money in the end.  I really do not want to have to explain this licensing to you when started by purchasing SRM Standard Edition and now you need to protect the 76th VM.

Good luck and good computing.