VMware is claiming they’re doing current vSphere 4 Advanced customers a *favor* by upgrading them for “free” to the Enterprise license when they upgrade to vSphere 5, since Advanced is no longer offered. Now, despite this claim of “free upgrade”, what VMware is not talking about is that going forward, they will be charging Advanced customers that accept the (forced) upgrade to vSphere 5 Enterprise to stay current, the support cost of Enterprise! Depending on where you read, the cost of Enterprise per socket is 28-45% higher than Advanced. Since support costs are a percent of the license cost, that means that any customers that purchased Advanced licenses will now have to pay VMware 28-45% MORE per year in support, with no choice other than to walk away from their investment and switch hypervisors. That’s an insanely sharp spike in support costs for customers. If you had a $50,000 yearly VMware support contract renewal coming up and you had purchased Advanced, your renewal just jumped to between $64,000-$72,500.