So yesterday VMware announced a new licensing model for NSX – VMware’s Software-Defined Network product.
Up until now, VMware have only had a single version of NSX available to buy – which customers were not too fond off – it was an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach to SDN which customers found too restricting. I’m glad to see that VMware have taken on board all the feedback from customers and partners and amended their licensing model.
NSX is now available in three editions: Standard, Advanced and Enterprise – all licensed per socket (although there is a per-user license model for the Advanced edition to align with VDI deployments).
Existing NSX for vSphere customers automatically get allocated with Enterprise edition licenses. Existing NSX for Horizon customers automatically get allocated NSX Advanced edition licenses. The existing NSX for vSphere and Horizon offerings reached End of Availability on 3rd May 2016.
VMware have positioned the three new editions according to the three main use cases:
- Automation (virtual networking, automatically deploy network services via vRealize Automation)
- Security (Micro-segmentation, 3rd party integration, securing VDI)
- Application Continuity (Multi-site NSX deployments, DR, Hybrid Cloud networking)
So if all you want are the benefits of virtual networks – collapsing the switching and routing into the kernel, shortening network provisioning times, automating network configuration – then you will only require the Standard edition (and at roughly £1500 per cpu license, it’s around a third of the original NSX price).
In reality, a lot of customers will probably purchase the Advanced edition (at roughly £3400 per cpu license) as they will want the security features (distributed firewall) to allow them to implement micro-segmentation, as well as the ability for 3rd party integration with the likes of Trend Micro, Palo Alto Networks, Checkpoint, etc.
So whilst the Advanced edition will work out nearly £1000 less per CPU, it’s interesting that the Enterprise edition is going to be almost £1000 more expensive than the original price for NSX – and for pretty much the same product feature set! The only new feature that I can see in the Enterprise edition is possibly the increased support of Hardware VTEPs (from Arista, Dell, Juniper, maybe Cisco) – pretty much every other feature is currently available in the NSX for vSphere product…. so I’m not sure how VMware can justify the price hike for exactly the same product?!?
In fact this was raised by a number of partners today during a NSX Partner Round-table that I attended. I can only assume that the price hike is to cover any new features that might be in future roadmaps??
One thing worth noting is that NSX licensing applies to any active workload in a DR
site. This means there is no requirement for NSX licenses at the DR site as long as there are no active workloads running there!