One of the “gotchas” of server virtualization is that the benefits of server consolidation are not universal. The hardware benefits of deploying VMware are the ones often cited – fewer physical servers, less storage hardware, smaller footprint on data center floors and reductions in power, heating and cooling costs. However companies may see no such benefits from a software perspective as VMware can complicate the management of current software licensing schemes while increasing software licensing costs.
The ease of creating new virtual machines (VMs) is one of VMware’s more enticing features but contributes to this problem. Companies can quickly create new VMs to support new applications or for testing and development without needing to acquire more server and storage hardware. The trap companies can fall into is failing to license the needed software for each new VM. Each newly created VM requires a licensed version of the server operating system, server agents and whatever application software the VM needs to host.
While Asigra Televaulting can’t address all of a company’s concerns about licensing software on individual VMs, data protection software is typically used by all VMs. Though Asigra Televaulting uses an agentless architecture that helps expedite and simplify VM backups, it also uses a licensing model that is equally favorable to VMware since it keeps the backup software costs from getting out of control. Three specific features that make Asigra Televaulting’s licensing model favorable to VMware environments are:
- Capacity based licensing. Televaulting licensing is based on the total amount of data that is backed up, not the total number of VMs in the environment. This makes the number of VMware VMs irrelevant. It also eliminates the need for companies to track how many VMs they have and verify if each one is licensed to use Asigra’s Televaulting.
- Backup data is deduplicated. As companies create new VMs, data used by new VMs may be very similar if not exactly the same as the data that is used by the original VM. This especially holds true if a new VM is created for testing and development purposes and has data that mirrors production data. Since Televaulting deduplicates the data of the VM as it backs the data up, little or no new backup data is added to the backup store so the net cost to the company to protect this new data is minimal or potentially zero.
- Backup data is aggregated and globally deduplicated before calculating the final capacity. Asigra Televaulting uses its DS-Clients to backup server data and its DS-Servers to collect and aggregate data from the DS-Clients. Though each DS-Client deduplicates data, the central DS-Server performs a global deduplication that reduces the backup data store down to its smallest possible size. The globally deduplicated data store on the DS-Server is what companies use to calculate Televaulting’s licensing costs.
VMware comes with more than its fair share of “gotchas” for the uninitiated and software licensing costs for VMware VMs are one “gotcha” that may sneak up on unsuspecting companies. Asigra Televaulting’s capacity-based licensing model that is based on the size of the backup data store after it is globally deduplicated doesn’t really get any better from a cost and management perspective. Since backup software is typically viewed as an expense by companies anyway, this licensing model ensures all data remains protected while adding minimal costs to the corporate bottom line.