Vsphere 5.0 Licensing Overview = We Need More $$$
From the PDF...
Significant innovations in hardware design—such as CPUs with
ever-larger number of cores, high-density memory chips, solidstate drives and hyperthreading—were causing the hardware
limits in vSphere 4.x licensing to become outdated. In the 36
months since the release of vSphere 4.0, multicore capacity
of x86 CPUs grew from 2–4 cores per CPU to 8–12 per CPU.
Processor manufacturers have announced plans to introduce
CPUs that will exceed 12 cores. CPU manufacturers have
introduced or plan to introduce technologies—such as
hyperthreading—that work at the subcore level and increase
processing power by improving parallelization of computations.
Similar growth and innovation trends are also happening on the
memory side, with RAM chip density growing from 4GB per
DIMM to 8GB and 16GB per DIMM and new types of memory
technologies—such as solid-state-drive (SSD)—becoming
mainstream. *This innovation trend in server hardware technologies
is rapidly making the hardware restrictions of vSphere 4.x licenses
outdated posing difficulties for customers to plan future
investments in infrastructure and virtualization*.---
What they really mean: We couldn't make any more money because hardware was growing faster than our CPU licensing model, so we had to change it so that we could.
Marketing people must think we're idiots.