Broadcom and the transformation of VMware: Impact and alternatives

The acquisition of VMware by Broadcom has triggered significant changes in the licensing strategy, directly affecting VMware users. The decision to eliminate VMware’s perpetual licenses is pushing customers towards subscription models, with less predictable and potentially increasing costs. This situation has created an environment conducive to considering more economical or free alternatives such as KVM, XCP-ng, or Proxmox.

End of VMware’s perpetual licenses

As of November 15, 2023, VMware, now under Broadcom’s management, has announced the end of support for perpetual licenses for several key products, including VMware vSphere, vSAN, NSX, among others. This move means that customers will no longer be able to renew support and subscriptions for these licenses, leaving them without updates or technical support.

Implications for users

The elimination of perpetual licenses marks the end of a “buy once, use forever” model and forces users to adopt a “never buy, but pay forever” model. VMware users with a large number of perpetual licenses are particularly affected, facing the decision to accept this change or seek alternatives.

Broadcom’s options and market reaction

Broadcom is offering incentives for the transition, such as cutting the price of VMware Cloud Foundation subscriptions in half and improving support levels. However, this strategy may not be enough to convince all users, especially those concerned about rising costs and loss of control over their software investments.

Economical and free alternatives

Faced with this situation, many companies and users are considering alternatives to VMware. Some of the most attractive options include:

KVM: An open-source virtualization solution integrated into Linux, offering a robust platform with no licensing costs.

XCP-ng: Based on XenServer, it provides a complete open-source virtualization solution.

Proxmox: A virtualization and container management platform that combines the functionalities of KVM and LXC, offering a comprehensive and flexible solution.

Considerations for the Transition

For users considering migrating to these alternatives, it is essential to evaluate aspects such as compatibility, the ability to migrate existing virtual machines, and the level of community or commercial support available. Additionally, training and adapting IT staff to the new platforms also play a crucial role in this process.

In summary

Broadcom’s strategy change with VMware represents a turning point for many virtualization users. While some may choose to adapt to the subscription model, others may see this change as an opportunity to explore more flexible and economical alternatives. The choice will depend on factors such as cost, the need for stability and support, and the willingness to adapt to new technologies.

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