VSAN 6.2 – Price Changes for Service Providers!

Who said big corporations don’t listen to their clients! VMware have come to the party in a huge way with the release of VSAN 6.2…and not only from a technical point of view. Ever since the release of VSAN the pricing structure for vCloud Air Service Provider partners has been off the mark in terms of the commercial viability in having VSAN deployed at scale. The existing model was hurting any potential uptake in the HCI platform beyond deployments for Management Clusters and alike.

I have been on VMware’s back since March 2014 when VSPP pricing was first revealed and I wrote a detailed blog post back in October where I compared the different vCAN bundles options and showed some examples of how it did not scale.

For me VMware need to look at slightly tweaking the vCAN cost model for VSAN to either allow some form of tiering (ie 0-500GB .08, 500-1000GB .05, 1TB-5TB .02 and so on) and/or change over the metering from allocated GB to consumed GB which allows Service Providers to take advantage of over provisioning and only pay for whats actually being consumed in the VSAN Cluster.

Since that post (obviously not only off the back of the noise I was making) the VSAN Product and Marketing teams have gone out to vCAN Partners and spent time going over possible tweaks to the billing structure for VSAN by surveying partners and trying to achieve the best balance going forward to help increase VSAN uptake.

With the release of VSAN 6.2 in ESXi 6.0 Update 2 this week, VMware have announced new pricing for vCAN Partners…the changes are significant and will represent a complete rethink of VSAN at scale for IaaS Providers. Furthermore the changes are also strategically important for VMware in an attempt to secure the storage market for existing vCAN partners.

The changes are indeed significant and not only is the billing metric based on used or consumed per GB storage now, but in somewhat of a surprise to me the VSPP Point Per Month component has been slashed. Further from that the Enterprise Plus was rumored to be listed at .18 VSPP Point per allocated GB which was going to price out AF even more…now with AF Enterprise costing as much as what the Standard cost in VSPP points per used GB that whole conversation has changed.

Below is an an example software only cost of 10 Hosts (64GB RAM) with 100TB of Storage (60% used capacity average) with an expected utilization of 80% assuming 2 hosts are reserved for HA. Old numbers are in the brackets to the right and is based on VSAN Standard. It must be noted that these are rough numbers based on the new pricing and for the specifics of the new costings you will need to engage with your local vCAN Partner Account manager.

VSAN 80TB Allocated
(48TB Used)
vRAM 410GB (205GB Reserved) Per Month
 $1,966 ($6,400) $1,433  $3,399 ($7,833)

If we scale that to 20 hosts with 128GB and 200TB of Storage (60% used capacity average) with an expected utilization of 80% assuming 4 hosts are reserved for HA.

VSAN 160TB Allocated
(96TB Used)
vRAM 1.6TB (820GB Reserved) Per Month
 $3,932 ($12,800) $5,734  $9,666 ($18,534)

In a real world example based on figures I’ve seen…Taking into account just VSAN…if you have 500TB worth of storage provisioned, of which 200TB was consumed with Advanced plus the Enterprise Add-On the approx. cost of running VSAN comes down from ~30K to ~6K per month.

The idea now that Service Providers can take advantage of thin provisioning plus the change in metric to used or consumed storage and makes VSAN a lot more attractive at scale…while there are still no break points in terms of total storage blocks the conversation around VSAN being to expensive has now, for the most disappeared.

Well done to the VSAN and vCAN product and marketing teams!

Disclaimer:

These figures are based on my own calculations and are based on the VSPP Point value being $1US. This value will be different for vCAN partners depending on the bundle and points level they are on through the program. I have been accurate with my figures but errors and omissions may exist.

One comment

  • Andy Williams

    About the change from allocated to consumed, does this take into account replicas? I.E. a 100GB VM with FTT=1 consumes 200GB of storage. If we’re paying based on the 200GB that would explain the per-point price reduction.

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