VMWare and virtual server pricing

We have a lot of discussion about pricing for VMWare or other virtualized environments – probably the same as most other software companies.

By way of background, Nimsoft provides a very complete monitoring solution for VMWare. We can interface with Virtual Center and pull the information out, but we also provide agent-based monitoring on the virtual machines themselves and we also have the ability to bypass Virtual Center if the customer does not wish to license VC and have access to all the same information.

Anyhow, on to pricing….

There are a couple of ways to price a product like ours for server monitoring. We could price:

a) Per instance of the operating system
b) Per the size of the physical server (including # of processors etc)

We have always chosen to price per OS rather than on the size of the server itself. Our feeling has always been that customers really dislike having to count the number of processors in each server and license on a per processor basis. This gets even more confusing with the advent of multi-core processors (dual today and quad coming) ? I believe that Oracle are pricing on a ?per core? basis.

For us, we have been prepared to ?leave money on the table? in return for simplified customer administration. Excellent customer satisfaction is always top of the agenda.

Some tell us that our pricing should be lower or free for virtual server machine monitoring compared to physical server monitoring. Our software is doing exactly the same job, providing exactly the same (if not more) value and running on exactly the same operating system whether it is a virtual or a physical server ? so I find that argument to be difficult to understand fully.

Of course, this is a view that is perpetuated by VMWare themselves as it provides a greater ROI on the VMWare investment (although it?s interesting to see that VMWare charge based on # of processors and limit their licenses to quad-core). ***Thanks to Eric Miller at Genesis Multimedia Solutions who helped me correct a previous post on this***

So, we feel our pricing is fair and is customer friendly. As with anything, we are always open to discuss other pricing models with our customers and if we need to change things then we will.

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