Update: VMware made an official announcement on August 3, 2011 and I’ve covered it in detail here.
Since the announcement of vSphere 5.0, and the new licensing terms, much of the focus on the launch has sadly not been around the great new features but the changes in licensing terms. In fact, the many loyal customers in this thread on VMware forums are threatening to, or actually looking at alternatives, such as XenServer, Hyper-V, or KVM.
I have it on good authority that VMware is taking these complaints seriously and next week will announce some changes to address the situation.
The rumored changes may include:
1. Doubling the vRAM entitlements for Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions to 64GB and 96GB respectively. For example, a dual socket Enterprise Plus server would add 192GB of vRAM to your pool.
2. Essentials and Essentials Plus vRAM entitlement increased from 24GB to 32GB.
3. Capping the vRAM amount that counts against your licensed pool to 96GB per VM, even if the VM is allocated more, such as 1TB. Drops the cost of a 1TB VM from $75K to $3.4K for Enterprise Plus pools.
4. Licensing high water marks will be captured on a yearly basis vice a monthly basis.
Customers that have an ELA (enterprise licensing agreement) may be able to negotiate better terms, and should certainly try to do so with their rep if they feel the new licensing scheme will cost them additional dollars. Of course the details may change before the announcement, so take this information with a pinch of salt until something official comes out, probably next week.
Will this make everyone happy? No, but it is probably a good compromise and shows VMware does take feedback seriously. When the official changes are announced, the community scripts that have been floating around to estimate the licensing impact will need to be updated.