Socket to me: Veeam instance license confusion

Socket-based licensing Veeam users are getting alarmed about Veeam Universal License Perpetual costs amidst Veeam’s plans to phase out socket-based licenses.

Certain Veeam data protection products, such as Veeam Backup & Recovery and the Veeam Availability Suite, could be licensed per socket and on a perpetual basis in the past. Veeam products could also be licensed using a Veeam Instance Licensing (VIL) arrangement. Such instance licensing was also used for Veeam public-cloud-based services. An instance is a unit or token of Veeam software workload capacity that is used in subscription pricing.

Veeam wants to phase out socket-based licensing. This is causing problems to some users. Poster “pirx” on the Veeam Community Forum  complained of  “a massive price increase (6 digit) due to the higher subscription renewal fee” and said there was a high frustration level about it.

When Veeam introduced its Veeam Universal License (VUL) this portable license could be used interchangeably across Veeam products and workloads, whether they be virtual, physical or in the cloud. They came in two flavors, both instance-based: Subscription and Perpetual. Existing socket-based Veeam licensees can face socket-to-instance conversion pricing problems when migrating to VUL, which have surfaced in the forum.

Just silly

Poster Chris Gundry said migrating from socket-based licensing to VUL Subscription was semi-reasonable in price and he might see a cost reduction over three years if he didn’t increase his count of backed-up virtual machines. But migrating to VUL Perpetual “was just silly in my opinion. Yr1 was 2.6x our current perpetual socket renewal cost and yr2 onwards renewal costs were 2.2x our current renewal costs, only marginally lower than the yr1 costs.” 

Anton Gostev.

Anton Gostev, SVP for Product Management at Veeam, said there was a standard process for migrating Perpetual Socket licenses to VUL Subscription licenses but no similar process for migrating Perpetual Sockets to VUL Perpetual licenses. 

Gostev posted: “Such migrations are currently done on case-by-case basis, as exceptions and via a custom process.” There was no standard process because there was insufficuent  demand for one.

He said: “The biggest challenge they are facing is that no particular customer is a reflection of all customers as it comes to migrating off of a Socket license. For instance, with low density customers, migrating to VUL Subscription can be quite the savings and we see lots of such customers migrating. Also for lower edition customers, migrating to VUL can again be a great deal.”

For other customers this might not be the case. In that circumstance “Veeam should just let those remaining customers stay on Socket for as long as they want. With the caveat being periodic indexation of a Socket renewal price, to account for growing VM density per socket due to hardware advancements (like we’ve already been doing for some time).“

Pricing shock

But, because there’s no standard process users like “pirx” can react by looking to move away from Veeam when they get a price shock.

Gostev replied to “pirx” that “one of the core concepts of our VUL migration policy is a perpetual discount on future subscription renewals, which is specifically designed to ensure your subscription renewal costs are in line with what they were with the socket license.” 

In fact: “If you like the VUL migration offer, take it. If you don’t like the offer, vote against it by staying on sockets — and so long as many customers keep refusing it, further migration policy changes will be made to make it more attractive.”

Unless Veeam can come up with acceptable case-by-case sockets-to-instance conversion pricing then Perpetual Sockets-based licensees will not move to VUL Perpetual instance-based licenses, and may even move away from Veeam altogether.