VMware by Broadcom eliminates the free ESXi hypervisor, forcing thousands of users to seek alternatives.

VMware, under the new management of Broadcom, has decided to discontinue the general availability of its popular free ESXi hypervisor, marking it as EOGA (End of General Availability). This change is part of a larger strategy by VMware to simplify its portfolio and transition to a subscription-based model. The company’s core offerings, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware vSphere Foundation, will now only be available as subscription software. This move signals a significant shift in how users will access and utilize these fundamental virtualization tools.

VMware’s strategy includes:

  • VMware Cloud Foundation: Solution for customers seeking value from a full stack infrastructure, offering vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and the full Aria management and orchestration suite.
  • VMware vSphere Foundation: Geared towards optimizing datacenters in traditional vSphere environments, it includes Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and Aria Operations, plus Aria Operations for Logs.

The company will also offer additional services with VMware vSphere Foundation and VMware Cloud Foundation to address specific use cases such as storage, security, disaster recovery, generative AI, among others. As a result, many of VMware’s software solutions will only be offered as part of these foundations and will not be available for purchase as standalone point solutions.

This change has prompted thousands of VMware users to seek alternatives, such as Proxmox, that offer greater trust and a community-based solution. VMware’s decision to transition to a subscription model and the end of perpetual licensing has caused uncertainty and prompted evaluation of migrations to alternative solutions by its customers.

Existing users of VMware products classified under EoA that are not yet close to their renewal do not need to take immediate action. VMware will continue to provide active support for the duration of their support contracts. However, at the time of renewal, users are encouraged to work with their VMware representative or VMware partner to align their requirements with VMware’s updated portfolio of offerings.

This moment represents a turning point for VMware and its users, marking the beginning of a new era in the company’s product strategy and in how users will interact with their virtualization solutions.

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