back to article 1 in 5 VMware customers plan to jump off its stack next year

Forrester reckons that up to 20 percent of VMware enterprise customers plan to escape its extensive virtualization stack in the coming year. In its predictions for 2024, the global IT market researcher said the impending $61 billion acquisition of VMware by telecoms giant Broadcom has "cast a shadow on an already beleaguered …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are considering migrating off of Vsphere, but we have not yet decided where we are going to land.

    1. MegaSloth

      This is the problem, there don’t appear to be many options

      1. Peter-Waterman1

        I think options for VMs are limited and the world has moved on, and while there is a large base of folks caring for their static VMs on VMWare farms, from what I see, most new workloads take advantage of event-driven architecture, and they dont really make a lot of sense to run on a VMWare stack.

      2. rcxb Silver badge

        there don’t appear to be many options

        How many supported enterprise level virtualization systems do you think the world needs?

        Citrix Xen



        Red Hat Virtualization


        Most have a pretty good free tier if you have in-house techs.

        Several more options if you consider containers.

        1. Bebu Silver badge

          How many supported enterprise level virtualization systems ...

          I would add SmartOS which is based on sysv.4 (OpenSolaris/Illumos) and supports KVM and Bhyve VMs.

          There are SmartOS based commercial offerings from Triton.

          Spoilt for choice ;)

          1. thondwe

            Re: How many supported enterprise level virtualization systems ...

            Throw in Xen-NG/Xen Orchestra and SUSE new "Harvester" thing looks interesting.

            SaaS and Cloud IaaS is eating into this space and I think VMware's share will just drop, and suffer as a result? Expecting a slow death as it becomes a niche market product?

        2. FOA_35


          We still think that it should be possible to run a business without inhouse virtualization experts.

          Managed cloud platform that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg would be a good addition to the list. I’d add (biased) that is planning to do ESXi with a fraction of the cost.

          Very interesting topic for us. Much trouble for anyone who needs to make a decision on migration.

          1. 43300 Silver badge

            Re: Biased

            "We still think that it should be possible to run a business without inhouse virtualization experts."

            Well, things are going in the opposite direction with the move to cloudy hosting. Azure is massively more complicated to manage than the common on-prem platforms. I assume the same applies to AWS and Google Cloud (I've not got practical experience of them)?

        3. adamr001

          There are many virtualization options, but what network virtualization options do any of those support? As far as I know, none of them have anything that comes close to NSX.

          Side note, Red Hat Virtualization is basically dead and "replaced" by OpenShift Virtualization.

        4. 43300 Silver badge

          "How many supported enterprise level virtualization systems do you think the world needs?"

          But if you need more than the free tier offerings, and want something which is developed by a company which also offers support, and you have a lot of Windows workloads, what are the practical alternatives?

          There's Hyper-V, which isn't as easy to manage as ESXi, and needs patching and rebooting more often. And is a more 'heavyweight' install on the hosts. How practical are the other options?

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge

    "This is the problem, there don’t appear to be many options"

    There's lots of options, but very few Enterprise level ones with viable support. Anyone leaving VMWare objecting to the pricing is only going to get screwed over by the others in the space. Those opting for Open Source have few options for support.

    Another once brilliant company reduced to an IP asset through a corporate buyout. How the mighty have fallen.

    1. Sudosu Bronze badge

      Being a bit of a proxmox fanboy, I took a look to see if I could I could find a larger enterprise using their hypervisor...but could not find much node count information unfortunately.

      I suppose hyper-v would be another contender for enterprise, but I have never used it.

      1. ChipsforBreakfast

        We are currently a mixed shop, roughly 50/50 between Hyper-V and VMware, looking at options.

        We find Hyper-V is good for smaller scale deployments but lacking for larger scale situations where it becomes complex to manage and maintain.Like many, VMware's price hikes and uncertainty surrounding the takeover have left us wondering whether to move elsewhere. We did consider standardizing on Hyper-V for everything but Microsoft have quietly dropped the free standalone hypervisor making us question just how committed they are to the technology, seeming as they do to prefer pushing people towards Azure subscriptions.

        Azure, AWS and the rest of the public cloud vendors.... well, if there were to charge a quarter of the price and make the pricing structure intelligible to mere mortals we might think about it...

        So we started looking around. Proxmox was suggested to us and we decided to put it through it's paces and it has performed remarkably well. We now have it deployed in several small clusters and recently handed over a large, multi-DC distributed system which was built & tested in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost that would have been involved for a comparable Hyper-V deployment. It's fair to say we are very impressed with Proxmox so far and are currently planning a phased migration from Hyper-V initially and ultimately VMware (the VMware clusters are more complex and will take a lot more planning to migrate).

        My only criticism of Proxmox (and it's not really Proxmox to blame!) is the absence of enterprise-level backup tools such a Veeam and the manual nature of the migration process - it'd be very nice to be able to simply import VM's from Hyper-V or VMware and let the system handle all the conversions.

        1. Sudosu Bronze badge

          Thanks for sharing your Proxmox experience as I'm always curious if I have made a good choice or if there is something newer and better out there.

          Promox does have a free dedicated backup solution in addition to the built in backup options, though I have only played with it about a year ago and have not really implemented it for any of my customers yet.

          It seemed fairly functional, but I would need a lot more experience with it before really recommending it.

          I actually migrated from VMWare (which I previously migrated to from Microsoft Virtual Server) to Promox when VMWare licensing became too onerous for smaller installations.

          Actually losing access to backups for my lab without paying for Essentials was my reason for even looking at other options. Xen seemed ok but I found Proxmox more feature rich and easier to mange at the time.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leaving VMware?

    I'm not a big fan of Forrester (or any other analyst firm - they get it wrong more often than right), but I do agree with the quote: "Many are exhausted by significant price hikes, degrading support, and mandatory subscription to software bundles in which some modules such as NSX and Aria Suite/vRealize Suite end up as shelfware."

    All of my customers (I'm on the partner side) are saying the same thing, but all they are doing at this point is complaining, not moving away from VMware. Some are actively searching for alternatives, none are looking at growing their VMware environment, but none are actively moving away. There's no way 20% of VMware customers leave next year - simply because they can't move that fast. The article does say: "In 2024, Forrester predicts that 20 percent will begin their escape" - which is not the same as 20% will leave so that's Forrester's out when the 20% drop in customers doesn't materialize.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Leaving VMware?

      I think it depends where you are. My experience is that in Europe VMware has a stronger footprint but elsewhere, particularly the US people are more likely to move to Hyper-V (This was back in 2019).

      More recently what I am seeing across customers is the following:

      VMs are moved from on-prem into Azure or AWS, the source is mostly VMware or Hyper-V. Some customers replicate their on-prem data centre in the cloud provider and pretty much continue as before. Now in terms of costs I cannot comment but I simply struggle to see how it can be that much cheaper that running your own. Look at some of the cost projections the $$$$$ are mindboggling. The next step is shoving databases into MS SQL instance because they are easier to mange, perceived to be cheaper or more flexible. Again much of this al appears to be driven by the ruch that is something is not in "The Cloud" you are somehow disadvantaged.

      Probably the most ludicrous option is to uplift VMware and run it as AVS. I see a surprising number.......

      Back to the original question, are 20% of customers going to dump VMware?

      Possibly but not necessarily for the reason that they are fed up with costs.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We’ve heard this a million times for years.

    Sure, the BC thing is definitely a motivator but is there really a better solution out there yet?

    I totally agree with the comments on VMware support. It’s been garbage lately.

    1. elip

      I've been managing production applications across many disparate industries on KVM (and other open source hypervisors) for well over a decade now. Nobody needs a 'better solution', just good enough. There are many options. Nobody really needs or fully utilizes VMware's bloated crap.

  5. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

    I'm taking a "wait and see" attitude - what they do with pricing and feature sets for VMWare Workstation is my decision point, but I have to admit shifting stacks would be far from trivial and I'm loathe to do it in a panic or knee-jerk reaction.

  6. Hanin Elias

    No! There's no escaping here!

    There are no other choices with the support structure and reliability of VMWare, right now. As others have stated, the others will charge just as much, if not more, for a product stack that does not compare. With a competent IT team, things can be made to work with alternatives, but the cost of that team will easily go beyond what you would pay VMWare. They know this.

    I really don't want to go back to a non-VM world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Depends on your scale, but yes for a small environment with a couple hundred business critical VMs vSphere will probably make sense, even if bc don't care about customers that small. Once you get big then having admins on staff able to script/support enterprise level KVM may make a lot more sense than a multi million ELA.

  7. Sparkus

    Called it....

    as did several other as much as a year ago.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1. FreeTard

      Downvoted for what exactly? AHV is perfectly capable, I run my production workloads off of it on Dell XC nodes

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

  9. Dominic Thomas

    A convert

    I've been using VMware products since ESX v2.x back around the turn of the Millenium, up to V6.x a few years ago, and have loved them. They're not perfect, and indeed I blame most of my grey hairs on one particular large vSAN farm, but I never thought of recommending that we move away from the system. However, in the last few years I have found myself working on significantly smaller sites, and each and every one of them is using Hyper-V in one form or another. Some of them were single host servers, some were independent servers replicating to each other, and some were medium-sized implementations running on MS Cluster Services. The common factor is that once set up properly, they have all worked pretty well - with the clustered systems, especially, being fairly grown-up solutions. Oddly I have never worked on a site that uses SCVMM, which I gather adds some of the enormous flexibility that I was used to from a proper vCenter etc implementation, but honestly for these small and medium sites I have not missed it. Hyper-V is a very basic product compared to any of VMware’s offerings, but it is even before VMware’s price gouging over the last few years, and although I always looked down on it as a toy hypervisor I have very much reconsidered this attitude now.

    1. FishCounter

      Re: A convert

      I echo your sentiment and may have to give Hyper-V a chance and since we've already purchased CIS licensing, maybe we just go all-in.

  10. FishCounter

    If you can't quickly pivot your on-prem virtual infrastructure off-prem, you're stuck with looking for alternatives. Management has no appetite for open source and I'm loathe to abandon the infrastructure I've acquired. We only have one app that will be containerized with the newest version, but we're pretty entrenched with VMware.

  11. jfollows

    No context

    Firstly, 80% of existing customers won't leave next year.

    Secondly, what's the normal percentage of customers who leave each year?

    Without this information, this is fluff and not useful information.

  12. Paul Johnston


    I can see this being a fantastic time to be a snake oil salesperson.

    The Pitch

    So you have lost a lot of in house technical staff and you are being shafted with double digit price rises.

    Let us map moving off your complicated VMWare to AcmeSuperVirtualisation, only a couple of years at the brilliant rate of £1000 per day.

    Take the money when it all comes crashing down and retire to wherever you fancy.


    Not like we all have not seen that before!

  13. KSM-AZ

    What comes around goes round and round

    The problem is VMware is alienating smaller customers. Over time smaller customers become larger customers who are not using their products, over time the free and less expensive products become more robust, and then larger customers start looking at the less expensive alternatives. Microsoft did this to the IBM, Sun, SVR4, mini-midrange-mainframe market, and we are going to see another cycle probably much faster with VMware, since the core of technology stack (Virtualization) is a pure software play.

  14. Randall Shimizu

    Cost is the number one complaint I hear about Vmware. Vmware is oblivious to customer concerns about licensing costs. IBM & Microsoft are well positioned to take significant market share. IBM's huge customer base gives them a excellent opportunity to gain market share.

  15. Randall Shimizu

    Vmware seems oblivious to customer concerns about licensing costs. These days I rarely hear of businesses using Vwmware in the SMB market. There is many companies that are satisfied with Hyper-V. Now with Azure they migrate their workloads to the cloud. Vmware needs to adjust their licensing for the SMB market.

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