VxRail Licensing Explained

VCE had their big launch of VxRail last month. This is their first real step into the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure market (Just like EMC, I am pretending VSPEX Blue never happened). One of the coolest things with VxRail that separates it from its competitors is that it bundles in vSphere Licensing or gives you the option to move over your current licensing to save on cost. The problem is that there has been some confusion as to what software is actually included and what level of VMware licensing you get with VxRail.

The current licensing documentation around VxRail licenses is inaccurate as it relates to Vsphere Enterprise + licenses. VxRail models ordered with the “bundled” vSphere license (also know as the non-VLP option) come with vSphere Standard licenses not vSphere Enterprise + licenses as I was originally told. This change allowed EMC to reduce the entry price for VxRail significantly for customers who do not need vSphere Enterprise+ making VxRail more price competitive.   Customers who want Enterprise functionality, in particular the ability to balance performance across the cluster (provided by VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler or DRS) need to choose the option to bring their own vSphere Enterprise+ licenses (also known as the VLP option). I have found that customers who want Enterprise+ functionality with vxRail commonly have existing ELA’s for vSphere and this option provides customers the most cost effective way to do so. These customers can also leverage a vSphere Enterprise+ license purchased through their preferred channel partner or directly from VMware. EMC will support it no matter where the license comes from (as long as it is on maintenance).

Note: vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) functionality is enabled on all VxRail models in all cases as part of VMware Virtual SAN, regardless of the vSphere license type.
Below is a list of VxRail licenses included with/without VLP:

VxRail Appliance without VLP (standard)

  • vSphere Standard 6.0U1x
  • vSAN 6.1
  • vCenter Server Appliance 6.0U1
  • Log Insight 2.5
  • RP4VM 4.3.1 (15 licenses are included)
  • CloudArray 6.03 (1TB license is included)
  • Virtual Data Protection 6.1.1
  • ESRS /VE 3.0.8

VxRail Appliance with VLP

  • vSAN 6.1
  • vCenter Server Appliance 6.0U1
  • Log Insight 2.5
    • The customer will need to generate a vSphere Enterprise + license 6.x from their ELA via my.vmware.com for the # of core CPUs of all nodes
  • RP4VM 4.3.1 (15 licenses are included)
  • CloudArray 6.03 (1TB license is included)
  • Virtual Data Protection 6.1.1
  • ESRS /VE 3.0.8

I expect there to be a lot more information being ironed out as we get closer to the first big update in June 30th for VxRail. As of right now though, this seems to be the current situation with VxRail’s licencing model.

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