Virtualization Pro

Apr 13 2009   3:20PM GMT

Virtualization software vendors offer creative pricing — but is it enough?

HannahDrake Hannah Drake Profile: HannahDrake

In a push to keep sales figures up in a tough economy, several virtualization-oriented vendors have announced incentive pricing plans since the start of Q2.

Just last week, Columbus, OH.-based Veeam Software announced a program that will allow customers that currently pay for or have purchased competing software used to back up or replicate VMware ESX or ESXi to buy Veeam’s Backup and Replication products for 50% off. This promotion is going on through June 15th, 2009, and is available through Veeam’s reseller partners. Futher, any extended support plans can also be “rolled over” to Veeam at a 50% discount off of Veeam’s normal support price.

A week later, Iselin, N.J.-based eG Innovations followed suit with a slightly different plan. Its plan, named ExpertAssist, adds a buying option to its pricing lineup. The option is a Software as a Service (SaaS) license program that grants a renewable 90-day license for the eG Enterprise Suite with full tech support.

VMware has also put out its own buying incentive. If a shop wants to add VMware to its computing architecture and uses VMware Professional Services to do so, the business will not have to pay for the design and implementation components of the implementation until the business has saved at least 50% on server hardware, or a consolidation ratio of 2:1.

Of course, each of these programs has stipulations. VMware requires that the project must be for 200 – 1,000 servers, and not more or less than that. Veeam requires proof of purchase. And eG Innovations’ program is billed monthly with a minimum of a three-month purchase; the monthly license fee depends on the number of servers monitored.

Software vendors may be taking cue from hardware vendors such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, which  dropped U.S. server prices in December of 2008. Dell exceeded earning expectations in Q1 due to the price drop.

But while purchasing new hardware and virtualization platform software is a no-brainer as reported in recent story Economy forces CIOs to cut software spending, additional management software may be a tougher sell.

Futher, a recent story IT spending lull continues post-stimulus reported that IT shops aren’t spending right now unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Perhaps lowered and creative pricing plans are a silver lining to the down economy for IT shops. How much wiggle room a business has to make “nice to have but don’t need it immediately” purchases remains the bottom-line question.

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