Monday, August 27, 2012

VMware vCloud Blog: vRAM Pricing: What It Means for Service Providers

VMware vCloud Blog: vRAM Pricing: What It Means for Service Providers:
As we kick off another exciting VMworld, there’s a lot of excitement and discussion around the software-defined network and the new vCloud Suite 5.1. An important detail of the announcement is the removal of vRAM entitlement limits on vSphere licenses for customers. So what does this mean for vCloud Service Providers?
Key takeaways for service providers:
1) There are two bundles available in VSPP that will be updated to include VMware’s new cloud infrastructure & management products. The VMware vCloud Service Provider Bundles are expected to be available Sept. 11, 2012.
2) There are no changes to the licensing approach in VSPP. Reserved vRAM (“memory under management”) continues to be the licensing metric for VSPP – this model allows vCloud service providers the flexibility of a pay-as-you-go pricing model and the ability to exploit the powerful memory oversubscription capabilities of vSphere to deliver services to their customers.
VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) overview
As background, the VSPP is for partners offering cloud computing and hosted IT services built on VMware cloud infrastructure. Through a scalable pay-as-you-go license rental model, VSPP allows partners flexibility in service delivery with no up-front expenses. With over 8,500 partners in the program to date, the program continues to see rapid expansion due to strong market demand. Last week VMware announced continued momentum of its customers deploying public and hybrid clouds based on VMware cloud solutions. VMware and VSPP partners together form the number two public cloud ecosystem in the world.
New bundle packages for vCloud Service Providers
There are two vCloud Service Provider Bundles in VSPP – Standard and Premier.  These bundles have been well received by partners and helped pave the way for the introduction of the new vCloud Suites for end-users announced at VMworld. Many service providers who told us that the bundles are a great foundation for building a robust and secure multi-tenant vCloud Service, leveraging the core vSphere virtualization, cloud management, virtual networking and security capabilities.
The new 5.1 product versions add value to new and existing vCloud Services and help to further strengthen VMware vCloud as the preferred platform for service providers delivering Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings. The bundles are based on the latest 5.1 versions of vSphere, vCenter Management Server, vCloud Director and vCloud Networking and Security Advanced products. Each bundle also includes vCenter Chargeback and production-level technical support. With features like profile driven storage, HA firewall, and VXLAN software-defined networks, Service providers benefit from delivering improved performance and availability to their customers while lowering costs through more efficient and extensible service operations.

vRAM is still the licensing metric for VSPP
The VSPP program will continue to offer products to vCloud Service Providers on a subscription-billing model based on the reserved vRAM metric.  vRAM in VSPP has always been different to the perpetual (up front) VMware licensing. The model works well and supports our service providers’ need for a low up-front commitment, pay as you go model that scales with the value they derive from VMware and deliver to their customers.
In VSPP, vRAM is used to measure aggregate consumption and is not a limitation or cap on a license entitlement. Service providers can start delivering a vCloud Service to customers without paying anything up front for the licenses. At the end of each month, the total consumption of powered on VMs by the provider’s customers is billed. The benefit? Service providers can start small and then quickly scale as their business grows – no more, no less.
How is vRAM calculated and measured?
The reserved vRAM usage data is collected and calculated automatically by the vCloud Usage Meter tool, a software appliance that runs in the service provider’s datacenter. While there is some nuance in the calculation formula (well detailed in this previous post), the essence is that this model allows service providers to sell more computing capability from the same infrastructure, helping them to “sweat the assets” of their compute service on a fixed-cost basis. With reserved vRAM, a service provider controls the memory oversubscription and the service profit margin through the allocated vRAM delivered to customers.
How can I learn more?
More details around the new vCloud 5.1 products, packaging and benefits for service providers will be shared in an upcoming VMlive VSPP Solution Track webcast. Registered VSPP partners may sign up here. For those partners attending VMworld this week, I’d also encourage you to join me for session #PAR1519 “How to Sell and Deliver Services Powered by VMware vCloud.” The session is on Wed at 12:30 and accessible to registered VMware Partners in the PartnerTrack.
For future updates on VSPP and the VMware Service Provider community, follow @VMwareSP on Twitter.
For more information on VSPP, or how to become part of VMware’s service provider community, please visit the VMware Service Provider page.

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