VMware licensing change: What the updated per-CPU pricing model means for you

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VMware recently announced changes to its per-CPU pricing model that will help further align it with the industry standard model of core-based pricing.

Starting April 2, 2020, one CPU license will now cover up to 32 cores. If a CPU has more than 32 cores, you will need to purchase additional CPU licenses.

For example, a server with two CPUs, each with 64 cores, will now require four licenses.

Image credit: VMware

This news will not impact most VMware customers, as very few CPUs available today have over 32 cores.

However, if you’re currently using large CPUs for your servers – or plan to do so in the future – you need to understand what these changes mean and how best to proceed.

What if I currently have servers deployed with more than 32 cores per CPU?

If you’re a current customer deploying VMware software on CPUs with more than 32 cores, you will be given a grace period that extends from April 2, 2020 to April 30, 2020.

If you purchase additional VMware software licenses prior to April 30, 2020, you will be eligible for an additional VMware CPU license and Support and Subscription (SnS) for free. Other important criteria:

  • You must have an active SnS contract
  • You will be required to purchase SnS when existing licenses are up for renewal
  • You must submit a support request to get the free license by Jan. 29, 2021

Should you fail to apply these required additional licenses to your servers, you will be deemed out of compliance by VMware and increase the likelihood of an audit.

What if I’m looking to purchase large servers with more than 32 cores per CPU?

If you’re in this position, you will receive the same grace period extended to current customers. Other information to consider:

  • You will receive a free license to cover the additional cores over 32 per CPU, if you purchase licenses before April 30, 2020
  • You must purchase your server hardware prior to April 30, 2020
  • You must submit a support request to get the free license, with proof of server purchase, before Jan. 29, 2021

Again, if you don’t apply the license, you will be out of compliance.

April isn’t too far off

April is right around the corner, and before you know it, this VMware licensing change will be in effect. Again, this news won’t impact most customers, but it’s something to be aware of – especially if you’re currently using larger CPUs for your servers, or plan to in the future.

If you have additional questions about VMware’s impending licensing change, contact your SHI account executive.