Price Commitment for Windows Server Workloads

It seems that many missed this recent piece of good news from Microsoft — buried at the end of a gigantic FUD post that few would have the patience to read.  Along with a full load of misinformation, Jeff Woolsey, evidently on behalf of Microsoft Corporation, closes up that monster with the following commitment on Windows pricing:

Next question: Does Microsoft plan to do anything similar to the vTax?

NO, we have no intention of imposing:

  • A VM Memory vTax
  • A VM Core vTax
  • A VM Replication vTax

This is great for vSphere customers, who often license Windows Server Datacenter Edition — per CPU socket — to run an unlimited number of VMs on an ESXi host.  As CPU cores and DIMM capacities continue to increase and Windows pricing remains constant, customers everywhere stand to save considerably on Microsoft licensing by consolidating Windows workloads onto fewer and fewer sockets.

It’s unusual to see a long-term price commitment like this from a strategic* enterprise software provider — especially one that, not long ago, introduced a new premium license for SQL Server weighing in at $55,000 per socket and clearly intended to maximize revenues from virtualized databases.

*Inside joke.  Did you get it?

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7 Responses to Price Commitment for Windows Server Workloads

  1. Larry says:

    Did you really write this “This is great for vSphere customers” ?

    Great how? By building GIANT vSphere servers the price of Windows goes down (more Windows VM’s on the same box with a Datacenter license) and the price of vSphere goes up via vTax.

    Great logic.

    How about those “vSphere Customers” just save the money spent on vSphere and build GAINT Hyper V servers. The cost savings alone would pay for the DataCenter license.

  2. Ed Bontempo says:

    But this is great for vSphere customers. We switched to Datacenter licensing for Windows guests some time ago, and even at our current ESX 4.1 consolidation levels (which are well under the initial vSphere 5 “vTax” numbers, let alone the current ones) we’re seeing significant licensing cost savings.

  3. tony roth says:

    your sql example is no where near an apples to apples comparison ms did not take features away for the same price which vmware seems to be doing. they just added a new version with new features for a higher price.

    • Eric Gray says:


      That’s incorrect. Previously, SQL Enterprise licenses entitled customers to unlimited VMs on a host. After the introduction of Datacenter, Enterprise was chopped down to 4 VMs. On top of that, prices were increased for Enterprise and Standard.

      To put it another way, Microsoft took features away and raised prices. Which they have every right to do.

      For the vast majority of customers, pricing for vSphere 5 will not increase, and new features such as Storage DRS have been added.


  4. tony roth says:

    have you actually purchased the product, I have and didn’t notice any price changes for us.

  5. JD says:

    I enjoy the technical information from your web site, but seriously, your constant bickering on Microsoft the competition is getting really tiring and old. I prefer VMWare as my solution, but all this non-sense from you in annoying. Stop with it already.

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