There’s a lot of talk right now in the blogosphere about VMware’s recent announcement of vSphere 5 licensing, that pools of vRAM (allocated memory across VMs) will be used as a key basis for licensing in vSphere 5.  This is a great opportunity to explore the flexibility of the Virtualization Manager product (previously Hyper9) to produce some widgets and a dashboard that can help.  Thank you to Edward Haletky for reaching out on this.

First up – how do you calculate the total vRAM pool?  The details are spelled out in http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf but this is basically the total of the allocated memory across all of your Powered ON VMs.  That’s really easy to create as a “trend” in virtualization manager – a trend is simply the result of a search plotted over time.  Let’s start with finding all of the virtual machines in our environment that are Powered ON.  The built in query builder makes this really easy:

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Lets now create a “trend” out of this and add up the allocated memory of all those Powered ON VMs to give us our total vRAM pool.

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Now we can save it and add it to our “vSphere 5 Licensing” Dashboard.  We have our first widget.

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Let’s take this a step further.  Again according to http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf, the vRAM entitlement per CPU socket is

  • 24GB RAM for Essentials, Essentials Plus or Standard Editions
  • 32GB RAM for Enterprise Edition
  • 48GB RAM for Enterprise Plus Edition

We can now create trends that will calculate the number of licenses we would need of each edition, by dividing our total vRAM pool by the numbers above.  Lets’ do that for the essentials case:

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Memory is stored in MB in virtualization manager so we simply divide by 1024 to get it into GB and then by 24 (or just divide by 24*1024=24576) to get the the number of Essentials licenses that are needed to support the vRAM pool.  We can do the same thing for the enterprise and enterprise plus editions, and add the result to our dashboard.

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Finally, let’s go ahead and add the total number of CPU sockets to our vSphere 5 licensing dashboard which is a trend provided out of the box.  Since a vSphere 5 license is still required for each CPU socket, it is interesting to know if the licenses required for the vRAM pool exceed the number of CPU sockets.  In our case, that is clearly not the case (there happen to be a lot of Powered OFF VMs in this particular environment).

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That’s all there it to it!  Find the vSphere 5 Licensing Dashboard on the community exchange at vSphere 5 Licensing Dashboard UPDATED and import it into your Virtualization Manager.