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VMware License Changes 2016 - vSphere Enterprise discontinued

VMware has announced a change in packaging and pricing for vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management. The End of Availability of vSphere Enterprise is June 30, 2016. After this date, these products are not available for purchase. Also discontinued are vSphere with Operations Management Standard and vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise bundles.

Packaging & Pricing Changes Summary

  • As of June 30, 2016 vSphere Enterprise, vSphere with Operations Management Standard/Enterprise are no longer available.
  • As of April 1, 2016 the price for vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus is increased from $4,245 per CPU to $4,395 per CPU.
  • As of April 1, 2016 the price for VMware vCenter Server Standard is increased from $4,995 per instance to $5,995 per instance.
  • VMware offers a 50% discount for customers that are affected by the change and want to upgrade to Enterprise Plus versions.
  • Customers that already own Enterprise versions are not affected. Their current editions will continue to be supported through the EOA of vSphere 6 which is March 12, 2020.

I've seen some negative comments on the EOA of vSphere Enterprise but when comparing the price and features of both editions I can't really understand the reason for buying vSphere Enterprise. Lets have a look at the current price model:


vSphere Standard costs $995,-

vSphere Enterprise costs $2,875.- which is a huge price increasement of 189% and includes the following features:

  • Reliable Memory
  • Big Data Extensions
  • Virtual Serial Port Concentrator
  • Distributed Resources Scheduler (DRS)
  • Distributed Power Management (DPM)

vSphere Enterprise Plus costs $3,495.- which is a relatively small price increasement of 22% and includes the following features:

  • Storage DRS
  • Storage I/O Control
  • Network I/O Control
  • Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV)
  • Flash Read Cache
  • Distributed Switch
  • Host Profiles
  • Auto Deploy

I've seen platforms of many different sizes but I've seen vSphere Enterprise very rarely. In small environment with up to 3-5 hosts customers typically have vSphere Standard or Kits. I don't see the reason to pay an 189% increasement just for DRS. Larger customers already use Enterprise Plus and are not affected by the changes.

Also, if you currently own Enterprise, you can stick with it till the EOA of vSphere 6.


3 thoughts on “VMware License Changes 2016 - vSphere Enterprise discontinued”

  1. You say I can’t really understand the reason for buying vSphere Enterprise, well maybe that is because you are comparing 5 standard to 5 enterprise, but in older releases there were bigger differences in standard vs enterprise. As always the "older" customers are being hit here. In vSphere 4 (if I remember correctly) standard edition had no vaai, no storage vmotion, no hot add, no multi pathing etc... Sure enterprise plus had distributed switched, but there was a bis plus in price, expecially if one bought enterprise as a kit, the difference between enterprise and enterprise plus was much more than 22% in that case. Anyway, a lot of other vendors discontinue editions, but mostly this will give you a "free" update except the maintenance fee which automatically get's higher which is fair enough if you ask me, anyway I had hoped VMware would have made that offer...

  2. You're missing the main point. Enterprise allows DRS!
    That's the main reason to upgrade from Standard.

    Even with the upgrade "discount" the support fees for Enterprise Plus are so high that you'd be better off waiting for Enterprise to go EOA on 03/12/2020 and upgrading at that time, even if you have to pay full price, instead of paying maintenance for the next 2-4 years.

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