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Small Virtual Infrastructure or Large Private Cloud, VMware TCO is Lowest – Here’s Proof

We’ve just updated the VMware TCO Comparison Calculator to help customers see the true Total Cost of Ownership differences between VMware and Microsoft. It’s easy to use – just enter the basic parameters for your virtual infrastructure or private cloud environment, such as the number of VMs, type of servers and storage, and the product edition or features you need. The calculator will generate a complete TCO analysis that includes all the necessary elements of capital and operational expenses.

We created the TCO Comparison Calculator after hearing from existing and prospective VMware customers who were being told that alternative solutions based on Hyper-V would be much less expensive, or even “free”. The calculator totals cost elements that our competition leaves out of their oversimplified comparisons, such as: the system administrator labor costs to operate the environment (the largest component of TCO and one that independent testing shows to be much lower for VMware); effects of VM density (where VMware has an advantage according to analysts like Gartner); 24×7 phone support; and the need for third-party software to fill feature gaps.

When all those cost elements are combined, the VMware TCO Comparison Calculator shows that VMware solutions, ranging from a small business virtual infrastructure built with vSphere Essentials to a full-featured large enterprise private cloud based on vCloud Suite Enterprise, have the lowest TCO – often by substantial margins.

When we updated the calculator, we saw that the VMware TCO advantage increased for some important reasons.

  • Our latest vCloud Suite editions now bundle the platform power of vSphere Enterprise Plus together with the management operations and automation efficiencies of vRealize Suite at very attractive pricing.
  • Log analytics powered by vRealize Log Insight is now included with any configuration that includes vCenter Server or vRealize Suite, making VMware solutions more economical than alternatives that must make up for that capability by adding third-party software.
  • Microsoft’s adoption of core-based pricing in their upcoming release of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 makes their solutions more expensive on mainstream servers that have higher core counts. The calculator assumes both VMware and Microsoft hosts are licensed for Windows Server Datacenter edition, so its core-based pricing penalizes customers of both vendors, but the lower VM density of Hyper-V means more Windows Server licenses are needed for a Microsoft platform. Also, System Center is needed to manage Hyper-V and its higher costs with core-based pricing fall entirely on the Microsoft side of the TCO comparison.

Another important enhancement we’ve made to the calculator is local currency support. Users can select USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, or JPY and the calculator will apply VMware and Microsoft list prices from those geographies.

This example from the VMware TCO Comparison Calculator shows that the 3-year TCO for a 500-VM environment built with vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus will be 33% less than a comparable solution based on Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center.


Our customers in the trenches running enterprise virtual infrastructures often tell us they know VMware offers the best and most cost effective solution, but they need help making the case for selecting VMware with purchasing managers or CFOs that have heard from other vendors claiming to be less expensive. If you find yourself in a similar position, use the VMware TCO Comparison Calculator to arm yourself with solid proof that VMware provides the lowest total costs.