Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Microsoft Windows 2016 Licensing Calculation

Windows 2016 is announced and there are many great features included especially containers support.  One of the major improvement is reducing the number of management console as well which is greatly appreciated.

There are also some changes to the licenses. Remember the licensing cost in Windows 2012R2 Datacenter edition was increased compared to Windows 2012?  Windows 2016 has also some changes not in price but in the way it is licensed stated here.  Refer to Question 7 of the FAQ.

Below is the table to see the pricing since Windows 2012 to Windows 2016.

Windows 2012
Windows 2012 R2
Windows 2016

Taking Datacenter Edition, it seems that from Window 2012 to Windows 2012R2 was the only price increased and Microsoft has kept the cost the same for Windows 2016.  However, there are some changes not known unless you read the pricing document.

Do note of the caveats.  For Windows 2016 Standard, it allows two OS Instances running on two CPUs.  For Windows 2016 Datacenter, it allows unlimited OS Instances running on two CPUs.

Source: extracted from FAQ doc above.

As from the FAQ document, it has explained. Referring to the diagram above you might get a little confused like I do the first time.

First, look at the left it tells you how many physical CPU your server has.  If it has 2, then refer to the top row on the number of physical cores per CPU.  If it has 10 cores per CPU and you have 2 CPU, you will need more than one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license.  That is also why it is highlighted in grey.  Doesn't sound right, does it?  Yes if you are still using Windows 2012R2, it does not matter how many cores you have as long its 2 CPUs, you are covered with just one license of Datacenter edition.

The new licensing in Windows 2016 has included a core factor which likely cost more especially in today's context of server CPU which comes with at least 10 cores and above.  Logically no one is going to just use one CPU server so the price is going to be different as you will definitely use more than 1 license which also means higher cost.  Unless you try to save licenses by having one CPU servers then your cost of the server will be increased.

From Question 7 from the FAQ, you will minimum need an eight cores license for each physical CPU (comprises of 4 x two cores pack).  With each two cores pack can only be used to top up with a CPU has more than 8 cores.  Each server must be licensed with at least 16 cores  (comprises of 2 x eight cores pack).

What this means to me, one physical server including those with one CPU will minimum need to be licensed with a 16 cores license (One Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license).  Additional cores that are in the server need to be licensed in increments of 2 cores pack (1/8 of a 16 cores license = $769).  If an additional CPU has less than 8 cores, it will be licensed with 8 cores license pack (minimum = rip off).

To start how do you proceed?  You will ask yourself the below:
1) How many CPU does one server have?
  • 1 CPU =  one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license
  • 2 CPUs, less or equal to 8 cores per CPU = one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license
  • 2 CPUs, more than 8 cores per CPU = one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license + increment of 1/8 (2 cores pack) of one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license

Example of some scenarios with Windows 2016 in comparison to Windows 2012R2
1 CPU with 6 or 8 or 10 cores up to 16 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 = $6,155
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - SAME

2 CPUs with every 6 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 = $6,155
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - SAME

2 CPUs with each 10 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 + 2/8 * $6,155 = $7,693.75
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - 25% Increased

2 CPUs with each 16 cores the price of the licensing will be
2 x $6,155 = $12,210
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - 200% increased

The more cores you have per processor beyond 8 cores per CPU on a 2 CPUs server, the more expensive it will be compared to Windows 2012R2.  Very frightening indeed.

If such licensing on cores, will companies adopt Windows 2016 or stay on Windows 2012R2.

Feel free to comment if I missed out or got anything wrong.

If such new licensing releasing from Microsoft, wonder if VMware will change any in licensing since the last one on vMemory was not successful.

Update 19th Jun 2019
HPE has a nice calculator to see how much license you would need basd on CPU type and numbers.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

VMware Education Revive VCAP Certification in 6

With the release of vSphere 6, there were some changes to the certification as posted earlier.
VMware announced the retirement of VCAP for vSphere Design and Administration and replaced it with VCIX which requires equivalent of both VCAP category exam with half the exam time.

As announced recently, VMware Education has listen to feedbacks and instead of retiring VCAP certification all together it will still have it valid however VCIX will only been granted to individual with double VCAP for each track in Design and Administration except for VCIX-NV which will be the only direct VCIX certification with no option of VCAP.

With this announcement, individual can now still be recognize in passing one of the category in each track and granted VCAP or VCIX for earning a double VCAP in any track.

The upgrade path for existing VCAP does not change as announced earlier.  To achieve VCIX, existing VCAP with either category need just pass the other category in version 6.

Update 14th Dec 2015
Some asked if this is an auto upgrade for existing VCAP5?  Answer is no.  You still have to take the respective VCAP6 of you category to be upgrade to VCAP6.  Some examples on vSphere below:

VCAP5-DCD + VCAP6 Administration =  VCIX6-DCV
VCAP5-DCA + VCAP6 Administration =  VCAP6-DCA

The same applies unless otherwise stated, passing your VCAP automatically upgrade your VCP if it has not expired.  If your VCP has expired, you can upgrade only the VCAP track you have but your VCP will not be upgraded.  Thus if you want to take other VCP track, you will need to certify your VCP all again with course and exam.

The next question I am wondering is the VCAP6 are the exam time also 2 hours instead of 4 this time round?  Will check that out.

Update 6th Jan 2016
On a quick check, the Design exam will remain at 2 hours while the administration will be at 3 hours. However this is still at beta stage and can change after it GA.

Update 8th Jun 2016
Update on expired VCP while upgrading VCAP.

Friday, November 20, 2015

VMware Thinapp Support Windows 10

Today release of Thinapp 5.2 which will support Windows 10.  This comes as a good news especially where users are migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 with little on Windows 8 or 8.1.

This also resolved most but not all bugs.  But this is little problem.

You can download it here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

VMware Support on Guest Upgrade

Many like me are not aware of that VMware only support patches release of OS or minor update release of OS e.g. Windows 7 to Windows 7 Service Pack 1, RHEL 6 to RHEL 6.1 as refer to this KB.

So what does this means?  If you are doing an in place upgrade of OS from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 which is considered a major update release, this will not be supported by VMware although OS vendor supports this.  To be specific, the whole VM is not supported right after you have did an in place upgrade.

As stated in the KB, it is recommended to install major update release in a new VM.  I see this a hassle as most users would just do an in place upgrade as long their software still works in the latter version.  In such a scenario, during an in place upgrade, any issue will need to be supported by the OS vendor and not VMware.  This is something I am totally caught unaware and not agreeable.

However for customers upgrading form Windows 2003, due to the large demand of such scenario (guess no one really love Windows 2008 and above), VMware has made an exception as stated in this KB.  Thanks to my colleague, Andy Chan for bring this out.

I still see quite a lot of Windows 2003 around even though Microsoft has ended its support.  With exception support from VMware on Windows 2003 major release upgrade to Windows 2008, it should be taken into consideration fast to do it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

VMware vExpert 2016 Application is Now Open!

If you have been active in contributing in the VMware communities, time to get your presence felt and recognize.  Head on to the link and read what it takes to be one.  For existing vExpert, if you are still keeping up, get it renewed.

Once applied you will received a confirmation email like the one below:

Now sit back and relax and wait for the results.

Friday, October 16, 2015

VMware Horizon 6 Bundle Licensing Confusion

There are some confusion out there on VMware Horizon 6 Bundle.  You can take a look at the available products that are in Horizon Standard, Advanced and Enterprise Edition https://www.vmware.com/products/horizon-view/compare.

Here we will use the Horizon Enterprise bundle as an example as the products which are available in the Advanced Edition will be what we will be going through.

All editions from the bundle except Horizon Standard (only CCU) comes in both Named Users (NU) and Concurrent Users (CCU) licensing.  However there are products in the bundle that has no way in doing a CCU licensing even if you have purchase the CCU licensing.  This is because the way it is used is an active connections or active user and not possible to be a concurrent connection method.

Let's take for example: Horizon View, this can be in NU or CCU.  Reason is simple you can have a fixed number of users who will always access the virtual desktops, that will help with a NU licensing.  However if users are working in shift and sharing the same desktop in e.g. a call center environment, then concurrent connection might be a better licensing and CCU will be more appropriate.  In NU, the user will be tie to the license and replacement can be done once a user leave the company or do not use anymore.  Where CCU licensing, user is not a licensing criteria but rather the active connection that is been connected.  So as a product Horizon View can work in a NU or CCU licensing although in Horizon Standard it does not comes in NU licensing.

Now what products in the bundle will remain NU even if you are on CCU licensing?  They are VMware Identify Manager (vIDM), User Environment Manager (UEM) and Horizon Mirage.  Strangely you might ask.  Let me take Horizon Mirage for explanation since the solution has been there for awhile.

Horizon Mirage is used to managed main physical desktop.  So a user can own many desktops however Horizon Mirage is tie to a user so as long it belongs to one user it will allowed to manage even with one user license.  However since it is managing by user, it will consider this fixed user all the time.  In such, this cannot be use with a CCU licensing.  Unless you always remove the managed device and manage the other user and doing it all over again.  This is a reason why products like Horizon Mirage will remain as NU licensing even in a Horizon Bundle in CCU licensing.

Hope this allows you to plan better in doing a solution for a true End User solution.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Doing a contest seeking Help

This is not related to my blog post but currently participating in a contest and if you can just help me like a post.

Am participating in this contest below.
1) Login to your facebook https://www.facebook.com/logitechsingaporefan/photos/a.278574702253965.59398.274502252661210/769793463132084/
2) Click on the comments in the post.
3) Like my comment which looks like the below:

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Connecting to Multiple VMware Horizon Desktop

Recently been asked how can you connect to multiple Horizon Desktops from an endpoint.  Just to get things right there are just two ways depending where your virtual desktops are at.

Scenario 1
Multiple virtual desktops from the same connection server but in different desktop pools.

With Horizon Client, you will be able to connect multiple virtual desktops you are entitled to from just single instance whether on Mac of Windows as the Horizon Client window will be left open for you to select other virtual desktops to connect.

Scenario 2
Mutiple virtual desktops from different connection servers.

In this case, you will need to launch another instance of Horizon Client to connect to every connection server.  In Windows, this is easily done however on Mac, this might be a challenge.  You can of cause run a commend as written by this author here, to run another instance on Mac via Terminal window and keep it on the dock so you get two instance anytime you need it.

Can I connect to multiple virtual desktops from the same desktop pool with the same user credential?

How can I connect to multiple desktops with same user credential?
Create multiple desktop pools as each user credential is only entitled to one desktop connection per desktop pool.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

VMware OEM Technical Support

Often come across this confusion between VMware License and VMware OEM License.  I wrote previously here the use of Open and OEM where VMware OEM license is some what different from other software OEM license e.g. Microsoft.

Now what about support.  What do you get from VMware OEM license support?  Here is an article from VMware and an uploaded copy here.

For VMware Support, you will contact VMware Support hotline or via myVMware license portal to seek for support request.  Level 1 to Level 3 support will come direct from VMware.

For VMware OEM Support, you will contact through respective OEM partner support center route.  You can refer to Page 7-8 of the above document, you can see that Level 1 and 2 will be provided by the OEM partner and ownership is by the partner.

Upon required the need of a Level 3 support, will it route to VMware Support as extracted the statement from the document.  At Level 3, the communication is only between customer and OEM partner support.  OEM partner will be the medium to communicate the two way communication between customer and VMware Level 3 Support.

"During Level 3 support interactions, the OEM Partner is responsible for managing the support relationship and ongoing communication with the customer including, requests by the customer for escalation"

Hope this clear up some of the questions the difference between both Support types.  The document also detailed other information like Severity, and more.

Which support would be your next question you should purchased?  This depends on your need and budget.  OEM support always comes at an attractive price with OEM License together.  If the lead time is acceptable and you are comfortable with the route of support arrangement, it is definitely OEM.  Time where direct support and lowest lead time is required its best to have a direct VMware Support.

Can you then mixed different type of licenses in an environment?  Advice is not to.  You might end up with different support.  Imagine logging a case with VMware and halfway down to see that other hosts are licensed via OEM, you just make troubleshooting difficult as that will not be covered.  Don't make your life difficult savibg a few bucks.

FAQ based on the document above

I have VMware OEM license from "A", can I log a VMware Support?
Yes via "A" partner support center contact.

Who will provide me VMware Support for OEM license?
The OEM partner will provide Level 1 and 2 support directly.

How will VMware Support comes in?
When issues cannot be resolve through OEM partner Level 1 and 2 support, OEM partner support will engaged VMware Level 3 support.  VMware Support will liaise directly with OEM Partner support who follow up customer who log the call.

Can I speak to a VMware Support staff directly calling OEM partner support route?
All communication will be through OEM partner support.

In what situation can I have direct support and use VMware hotline to raise a support ticket?
When you own VMware Open license and with valid Subscription and Support.

How long will OEM partner get back from VMware support if it has escalated to Level 3?
It depends as there are lead time between OEM Partner and VMware Support as well as the lead time from OEM partner to customer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What's New at VMworld 2015

With VMworld 2015 starting today, there will always be new announcement.  Here I am going to summarize what are the new stuff that will be release in a nutshell and detail some of them in later post.

vSphere 6.0 U1
- Tech preview of vSphere Web Client Update Manager
- able to migration embedded PSC to external PSC
- added vCloud Air web client to plugin

Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6.1
- stretch cluster in All-Flash VSAN
- 2 nodes ROBO office with witness in main site
- vSphere Replication to support 5 minutes RPO
vSphere with Operations Manager 6.1 (vSOM), vRealize Operations 6.1 (vR Ops), vRealize Operations Insight 6.1 (vROI)
vR Ops Standard Edition now comes with SDDC management packs which include VSAN, vCloud Ai, NSX Update 17th Sept 2015: Apparently vR Ops 6.1 Advanced and above will have these management packs.
- New OS & Applications monitoring starting with 5 supported apps.  More to come.
- Tech preview: Workload Placement Engine (WLP) working with DRS

vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6.1
- Support of Metro cluster vMotion during planned downtime across different physical sites

- Previously named as EVO:RACK in tech preview
- 1/3 rack minimum

-  available in 5 hardware profiles
- support up to 64 nodes with 16 appliances

vCloud Air Compliance (EAP-US)
- Realize visibility for continuous monitoring of compliance
- applicable for on premise and off premise services

Horizon 6.2
- Horizon for Linux vGPU and vSGA support on top of existing vDGA
- Support for Skype Business
- New AMD GPU support for vDGA
- All-Flash VSAN support
- Zero day support for Windows 10
- Announce of Project Enzo

VMware Identity Manager Advanced Edition
- Previously known as VMware Workspace
- Advanced added support on SSO with enrollment of mobile devices for use to access applications via iDM

vSphere Assessment Tool (vSAT)

If you are not aware, there is a new tool announced during VMworld US 2019. That is the vSphere Assessment Tool (vSAT). To access the sit...