The Short-Term Future of Computer Virtualization with VMware

By now most VMware customers are aware of the Broadcom acquisition of the popular computer virtualization software. The purchase has created a lot of confusion and uncertainty in an area of IT often counted upon for predictability, and stability. IT decision makers are now required to re-evaluate not just future road maps, but also potentially, short term dramatic changes to their virtualization stack. This blog will layout the current situation, and some potential paths. 

VMware migration

At the end of 2023 Broadcom closed on its acquisition of VMware, and immediately changed how much of the VMware products are sold. One of the first changes made was to eliminate the free hypervisor only ESXi product that a lot of smaller organizations used to support a limited virtualization environment. Many other products are now bundled, resulting in an effective and often substantial price increase for customers. Finally (as of the posting of this blog) perpetual licenses have been removed, and replaced with subscription only options. 

With these fundamental changes in place, VMware customers must now figure out how to re-license their VMware infrastructure, and then determine what that will cost. In most cases, it is clear the cost will increase. For many, the price increase will be large enough to force them to, at a minimum, investigate alternatives.  


What is a Hypervisor? 

To put it simply, a hypervisor is software that lets a single computer emulate multiple “virtual” computers. The hypervisor is the foundational software in all computer virtualization environments, when the virtual computers are running in a cloud, like with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or with an on-premises virtualization environment like VMware. Most virtualization environments, even a bare bones one like VMware’s ESXi, then add layers of management software on top of the hypervisor. Often, people think of the management software as the whole solution and what makes AWS or VMware work as they do. VMware has historically had a very robust and expansive management software echo system around the hypervisor, which has been difficult for competitors to match. 


VMware Alternatives 


VMware Alternatives Public Clouds 

As mentioned above, every public cloud provider is an alternative to VMware. The growth of cloud computing may have played a large role in the sale of VMware to Broadcom and Broadcom’s subsequent product strategy. Often the best solution is for an organization to easily migrate workloads into public clouds and run them cost effectively. However, the ease of migration and costs may be unknown, particularly in organizations with limited experience using public clouds. Also, choosing which cloud provider can be daunting. iuvo can help organizations trying to navigate these unknowns as we have extensive experience with all of the major cloud providers and many of the minor providers. 

On-Premises Virtualization Solutions for VMwareOn-premises virtualization solutions 

There are often good reasons for keeping computer workloads on premises, and VMware is not the only way to do it. For organizations that are mostly or exclusively Microsoft Windows servers, Microsoft’s own Azure HCI product (which is descended from the earlier Microsoft Hyper-V) can be an excellent solution. As the name implies, it also works well with a hybrid cloud approach using Microsoft Azure, where some workloads are handled on-prem while others are run in the Microsoft Azure public cloud. 

Another robust solution is Proxmox VE by Proxmox Server Solutions. Proxmox added their own management software to the well-established and robust Qemu/KVM hypervisor. The other exceptional feature of Proxmox VE is that it is free. If an organization needs support (which we recommend) it can be purchased with a small per core subscription fee. Proxmox is open-source software which allows anyone to access the source code, propose changes, and easily create add-ons. Veeam a popular backup solution for VMware, for example, it now has a backup solution for Proxmox. We expect other vendors to support Proxmox as well. 

XCP-ng is another open-source virtualization platform built on the Xen hypervisor. Xen is also used as the hypervisor for Amazon Web Services. Like Proxmox, it can be used for free with an option to purchase support contracts if needed. 

Nutanix has more traditional commercial virtualization solutions, there is a lot of VMware commonality since they were founded by ex-VMware staff. 


Unfortunately changing a virtualization platform is not something to be done without a lot of care and consideration. For organizations that have been “VMware shops” forever, even knowing what the considerations are can be a challenge. iuvo can help. We have extensive experience with changing virtualization platforms and can assist you with determining the costs, benefits, and finding where the dangers are hidden. Contact us today. 




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