Debunking the Myth

See how VMware meets all your essential requirements to virtualize your data center at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than our competitors. Some vendors claim that VMware is five to sixteen times more expensive than their offerings but they base these claims only on upfront licensing costs (an inaccurate measure of cost) and don't take into account virtual machine density and operational cost savings.

Maximize Virtual Machine Density per Physical Server

Before virtualization, IT would run one application per physical server so cost-per-server was a quick way to compare costs—it was a one-to-one relationship.

But once you virtualize, many applications (each in its own virtual machine) run on each physical server—it is now a many-to-one relationship. So cost-per-server comparisons no longer make sense. A much more accurate metric is cost-per-application because you want to know how much it costs to run the entire set of applications required to maintain business operations. To illustrate with an analogy, it is like asking: “Which is more cost-effective, a 4-door sedan or a 50-passenger bus?” The sedan may cost less upfront, but if your requirement is to transport a football team, then the 50-passenger bus is clearly more cost-effective! The cost-per-passenger is much lower because the bus has a higher passenger-per-vehicle density. Density matters in a many-to-one relationship.

Calculate Your Cost Savings

Use the VMware Cost-per-Application Calculator to compare the costs of your different virtualization offerings.

Try It Now

VMware has invested in technologies to achieve very high VM density on ESX.

  • Memory Oversubscription - More efficient use of physical RAM enabled by multiple levels of technology: page sharing, reclaiming unused memory, memory compression. Memory oversubscription helps whether it is used continuously or only during periods of high demand.
  • DRS with Resource Pools - Dynamic load balancing of virtual machines across a cluster enables applications to get required resources when they need them—a “safety net” that lets administrators run individual servers at higher utilization levels while meeting service level agreements.”
  • High Performance “Gang” Scheduler - Ability to account for CPU and I/O needs of virtual machines by dynamically allocating more resources and larger processor time slices to virtual machines.
  • Direct Driver Model - vSphere can achieve very high I/O throughput and can handle the I/O requirements for more virtual machines simultaneously requesting hardware resources.
  • Logical resource pools - Ability to divide host clusters into pools of CPU, memory, networking and storage resources, and assign pools to business units, so they can manage resources independently and without wasteful dedication of hardware.

No other virtualization platform achieves the high virtual machine density of VMware vSphere ®  and still maintains consistent, high application performance across all running virtual machines. Virtual machine density per host (number of concurrent VMs that can run on a physical server) directly affects cost-per-application.

As you’ll see in the example below, the VMware solution can virtualize 200 applications at a much lower cost-per-application.

Number of applications virtualized 200 200 200 200 200
Number of VMs per host 29 29 29 24 24
Number of Dual-Socket Hosts 7 7 7 9 9
Infrastructure Costs $256,971 $256,971 $256,971 $328,575 $300,671
Software Costs $147,220 $134,504 $97,872 $104,418 $122,176
Total Costs $404,191 $391,475 $354,843 $432,992 $422,847
Cost-per-application $2,021 $1,957 $1,774 $2,165 $2,114

Being able to run your applications on fewer physical servers directly affects your bottom line by dramatically reducing hardware, software, power, cooling, and data center space costs.

Don’t be misled by other virtualization vendors claiming they are “free” and less expensive than VMware. They base these claims by only looking at one factor: license price comparison. Such comparisons are over-simplified, and misleading.