Building Clouds on vSphere: vOneCloud vs vCloud Competitive Pricing Review

This case study assumes you want to build a private cloud on top of an existing virtualized datacenter composed of ten hosts (servers) running vSphere and managed by one vCenter instance. It is understood that you do not want to abandon your investment in VMware by retooling the entire stack. You want to continue managing your infrastructure with already familiar and powerful VMware tools, such as vSphere and vCenter Operations Manager. Your goal is to create a self-service cloud environment on top of your vSphere infrastructure to provide your users with a simple cloud interface featuring elasticity, multi-tenancy and self-service provisioning.

This post compares the pricing of two different approaches to build this cloud environment, the deployment of vOneCloud (an open-source replacement for vCloud based on OpenNebula) on your existing vSphere/vCenter environment versus the adoption of VMware vCloud Suite:

  • The latest version of the vCloud Suite (5.8) brings all the components needed to build and manage a vSphere-based private cloud. The three product editions, Standard, Advanced and Enterprise, include vSphere Enterprise Plus and vCloud Director. According to VMware’s official price list, the average cost (including license and support) per server (2 processors) and year (license cost prorated in three years) of vCloud Standard is €4,883.41 and € 5,243.13 for basic and production support level respectively.
  • vOneCloud requires vSphere (Standard edition is enough) and vCenter Standard. According to VMware’s official price list, the average cost (including license and support) per server (2 processors) and year (license cost prorated in three years) of vSphere Standard is €1,087.35 and €1,177.27 for basic and production support level respectively. If we add the cost of vCenter Standard (we consider a cloud consisting of 10 servers), the overall cost per server and year is €1,331.52 and €1,439.44 for basic and production support level respectively. vOneCloud is free, open-source software, and the cost of an enterprise support subscription (we consider a cloud consisting of 10 servers) per server and year is between €100 and €500 for basic and premium support.

This case study reveals savings of more than €3,000 a year per server using vOneCloud over vSphere/vCenter to build the cloud. The saving is much higher if you are using servers with more than 2 processors or building a cloud with more than 10 servers, given that vCloud licensing/support costs are per processor while vOneCloud support costs are per vCenter instance for unlimited number of processors and servers. For example, in infrastructures with 4-CPU servers, savings would be more than €6,000 per server and year. In a private cloud consisting of 10 servers, the saving would be between €30,000 and €60,000 a year.

vCloud defenders will argue that vCloud suite incorporates more features than vOneCloud on top of vSphere/vCenter. However the same arguments could be used in favor of vOneCloud, which offers features for hybrid cloud or federation that are not offered by the vCloud suite (your would require vRealize). In any case, the right cloud tool depends on your specific needs, our experience is that vOneCloud exceeds the cloud management requirements of most users.

The main advantage of vOneCloud is the strategic path to openness as you move beyond virtualization toward a private cloud. Adopting vOneCloud, you take a step toward liberating your stack from vendor lock-in. Being platform independent software, you can gradually migrate to other virtualization platforms. vOneCloud can leverage your existing VMware infrastructure, protecting IT investments, and at the same time avoid future vendor lock-in, strengthening the negotiating position of your company.

Why not give it a try?. The vOneCloud appliance does not interfere in existing vSphere configurations, procedures and workflows. This means that you can try it and if you decide not to adopt it, you can just delete it.

Update: This post was updated on January 2nd 2015 to include the new pricing plans for vOneCloud enterprise support. The new support subscription prices are per vCenter instance for unlimited number of servers.

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