The new vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 is now generally available, and one of many improvements from v5.5 is the new licensing scheme.
The new foundation edition, is the new entry-level edition which from now on is included in every licensed vSphere edition free of charge. That´s right, you can now run vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 Foundation without purchasing any additional licenses.
vCenter Operations Manager now comes in the following flavors:
vCenter Operations Manager Foundation
vCenter Operations Management Suite Standard
vCenter Operations Management Suite Advanced
vCenter Operations Management Suite Enterprise
For more details on the different editions and comparisons between them have a look VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite
Of course, vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 is compatible with the new vCenter 5.1 Web Client, integrating directly into the web interface. Details on other new features and fixes in v5.6 is available in the What´s New section of the official release notes.
Also worth noting is that vCenter Operations Manager 5.6 VMware vCenter Server 4.0 Update 2 and later, managing hosts running ESX/ESXi 4.0 and later, which means that if you have an active SnS with VMware, you should be entitled to run the new foundation edition even if you haven´t upgraded your infrastructure to v5.1 just yet.
In fact, you no longer have no excuse to not have a current health status for your critical virtual infrastructure.