So VMware has revised licensing, you can now allocate 96GB or RAM to VMs per EnterprisePlus license, 64 for Enterprise and 32/CPU license for all other levels. It’s been confirmed you can also manage multiple vSphere license levels from one vCenter server (the 4.x EULA prevented that)
Some interesting tidbits:
ESXi Standalone now has a 32GB physical RAM and vRAM limit, both of which are hard limits.
ESS/ESS+ now have a 192GB hard vRAM limit – you won’t be able to power up more than 192GB of VMs and you still can’t use Linked Mode with ESS/ESS+
VM vRAM counted against the cap will be limited to 96GB – ie VMs that have 96GB, 128GB, 512GB and 1024GB of vRAM will each count 96GB against the cap. (which is very interesting when considering the “pay-for-the-use” philosophy of the new licensing.)
However, the GA code will not include that math.
Soft vs Hard
The vRAM limit will be a soft limit. vCenter will report your entitlement and how much is in use (and will report on a per-cluster basis). If you exceed the vRAM you are entitled to, it will just alarm (if you create an alarm for that).
You will be EULA-allowed to exceed your vRAM entitlement, as long as the daily average over 12-months is less than the cap.
Which is actually even more complicated – if you are close to your limit and want to power up a test/dev environment you’ll need to carefully do the math to make sure you don’t exceed your average.
vRAM entitlement – production average = cap gap
If (cap gap + vRAM for test/dev > vRAM entitlement) then
(cap gap – vRAM for test/dev) * days to run test/dev = vRAM burst size
If (Cap gap * (365 – days to run test dev) > vRAM Burst size
then purchase more vRAM entitlements
VMware says they will ship trending calculators and sizing guides and current-vRAM entitlement guides “soon”
I still have not been able to confirm my concern that any increase to a server’s vRAM entitlement will require a call to VMware Licensing in order to build the proper license string.
Cisco UCS and other build-up scenarios (192GB+ assuming Ent+ and 2 CPUs / 384GB+ assuming Ent+ and 4 CPUs) will still require additional licensing, but now it will be fewer at least (50% for Ent/Ent+ and 25% fewer for Std)