What about VSAN for SMB/SME?

| 12/03/2014 | Tags: , , , , ,

VMware.jpgUnless you have been sleeping under a rock you will be aware that VSAN was launched last week and has gone GA today and from what I have seen so far I do think VSAN is a great product and I think VMware have done a superb job with it.

Aside from the -many- discussions on twitter and other channels regarding the then lack of licensing information and pricing I was eager to see if VMware would offer a “foundation” VSAN option for SMB/SME

Well with the Announcements I have seen today this would seem not to be the case.

VSAN requires a minimum of 3 hosts, so lets assume for arguments sake they will have 2 CPUs each, this will mean a VSAN install will set you back around a cool £9000 (happy to be corrected if this figure is now inaccurate) before you even go ahead and procure any disks etc. That is not exactly compelling me to rush out and buy it especially given a SAN in this area of the marketplace is not far above that price including disks.

So where is the SME/SMB love VMware? I am sure they are keenly aware that 50-60% of their business is SME/SMB (in the UK at least) so I am very disappointed to see little or no offerings for this marketplace.

Perhaps this comes down to their interpretation of an SME/SMB everyone I have so far spoken to has differing opinions so perhaps this should not be a surprise?

Perhaps they had no intention to pitch it at that marketplace?

Either way I will hold out hope that a “Foundation” option appears and SME/SMB businesses alike can share in the VSAN goodness.

If you work in an SME/SMB please let me know what you think. I am personally very keen for more opinions on the subject.


Online Archiving with Exchange 2010? Can’t see your Online Archive in Outlook?


Having recently managed several Exchange 2010 migration projects, one of the best new features which really sells it to systems administrators is the Online Archive. “No more managing PST files? When can we have it installed by?”

The problem is, once they’ve purchased licensing for Exchange 2010 and installed and configured the server, migrated the users’ mailboxes and decommissioned the old Exchange 2003 server, the Online Archive feature is not available. The users have been enabled, and as of SP1 we have a separate Archive mailbox database configured on slow (cheap) storage, but the Online Archive is nowhere to be found in Outlook. If the users log on using OWA, lo and behold the Online Archive is available.

Now, fair enough, Microsoft require an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) per user for this feature – it’s an Enterprise level feature and you pay for it. What is not so apparent unless you dig around the licensing site is that you also need the Volume Licensing version of Outlook 2010 or 2007 called “Pro Plus”. An OEM or Retail copy of Outlook will not cut it.

Where does this leave them then? Small companies who have shelled out for OEM/Retail copies of Office Professional cannot afford to simply purchase a whole new VLK copy and upgrade. You can’t upgrade and OEM/Retail license to a VLK license, there’s no path. These companies have paid for the Enterprise CALs to use Enterprise features, only to find out that it’s not just the CAL they need!

To me, this is a BIG flaw in the way Microsoft are selling Exchange 2010. Licensing is complex enough without adding this sort of gotcha to a solution, and the companies have paid for an Enterprise CAL. They’re not trying to use an Enterprise feature on a Standard license, they’ve paid for it!

And people like me can’t turn round and recommend an upgrade to a client without upgrading the entire Office licensing too. I hope Microsoft sort this out, I really do, because in all honesty, it puts a real downer on an otherwise superb product that up til now, I have had no hesitation in recommending.

I normally make it a rule that what I post on here is a solution, unfortunately in this case the solution is expensive and involves upgrading your licensing.