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VMware has announced the End of Availability (“EoA”) of all versions of vSphere Enterprise, vSphere with Operations Management Standard and vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise. The EoA effective date is June 30, 2016. After these dates, you will only be able to purchase these products on an exception basis

VMware has also announced price changes for vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus from $4,245 per CPU to $4,395 per CPU, and VMware vCenter Server™ Standard from $4,995 per instance to $5,995 per instance (referenced pricing represents suggested MSRP for the U.S., in USD; regional prices will vary, please refer to regional pricing resources). These price increases will be effective April 1, 2016.

Considering the previous changes in licensing (two weeks ago there were some changes to the VMware Realize- and vCloud suite licensing model, and one year ago some changes in the bundle, to push more on the Operations product) the result can be a more maintenance cost for existing customers and, of course, an increased cost for new projects or new customers.

VMware justify this with the purpose of simplify the core vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management product lineup, but it’s also a way to move more customers to the Enterprise Plus edition (because you loose several features if you downgrade from Enterprise to the Standard) and to vRealize Operations. And also to vRealize Log Insight for vCenter Server, considering that now 25 Operating System Instance (OSI) pack of vRealize Log Insight for vCenter Server is now available to all vCenter Server Standard customers.

Features does not change and remain the same of the vSphere 6.0:

Product Features Standard vSphere Enterprise Plus vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus
Business Continuity and Security
+ Cross vSwitch
+ Cross vSwitch / Cross vCenter / Long Distance
+ Cross vSwitch / Cross vCenter / Long Distance
Storage vMotion  x  x x
High Availability  x  x  x
Data Protection  x  x  x
Fault Tolerance 2-vCPU 4-vCPU 4-vCPU
vShield Endpoint  x  x  x
vSphere Replication  x  x  x
Hot Add  x (added in v6)
 x  x
Resource Prioritization and Enhanced Application Performance
Virtual Volumes  x  x  x
Storage Policy-Based Management  x  x  x
Reliable Memory  x  x
Big Data Extensions  x  x
Virtual Serial Port Concentrator  x  x
Distributed Resources Scheduler (DRS), Distributed Power Management (DPM)  x  x
Storage DRS  x  x
Storage I/O Control  x  x
Network I/O Control  x  x
Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) Support  x  x
Automated Administration and Provisioning
Content Library  x x  x
Storage APIs for Array Integration, Multipathing  x x  x
Distributed Switch x
Host Profiles and Auto Deploy x  x
Operations Management
Consistent Management  x
Intelligent Operations  x
Operations Automation  x
Workload Balancing  x

Existing customers can continue to use their vSphere Enterprise licenses, but an upgrade promotion is provided: for a limited time you get 50% off when you upgrade from vSphere Enterprise to Enterprise Plus. The End of Support (EOS) date for vSphere Enterprise is March 12, 2020 for VMware customers who wish to remain on their current editions.