back to article Broadcom to divest VMware's end-user computing and Carbon Black units

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan has announced his intention to divest VMware's end-user computing and Carbon Black units, and signalled a rapid shift to subscription licenses of bigger software bundles. Speaking on Broadcom's Q4 2023 earnings call, Tan told investors "We are now refocusing VMware on its core business of creating private …

  1. jeff_w87

    Time to move on....

    Looks like Broadcom is going to be a poison on the Vmware products that we've come to depend on. Definitely time to start looking at alternatives (even in the DoD environment that I work in).

  2. 43300 Silver badge

    Not sure that the desktop virtualisation products really can be sold off - their commonality with ESXi is what makes them useful. Take that away, and you may as well use one of the free alternatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Horizon

      Horizon runs great on ESX and various clouds now. I'm sure a future EUC will continue to work with VMware.

    2. CasualBrowsing

      Definitely true for Horizon but a few other EUC products like Airwatch/UEM blazed their own trail and don't have much reliance on vSphere, were actively working with things like Intune integration, and other platform agnostic software/app technologies.

      Depressingly there were products in the stable that were just beginning to look interesting like updates coming to DEM and App Volumes with the completely new architecture. I'm going to assume whoever buys the EUC business will probably let them die off, but they are really just coming into their own with the rise in popularity of things like AVD where MS only solutions are lacking.

      Best wishes to all those in the affected units - There are a lot of good people there.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same technical situation as Symantec (enterprise software) & Norton (yellow boxes at Best Buy) where there was much shared common technology under the hood. Broadcom managed to break that up in to different companies.

      Not saying I agree or disagree with the strategy. Just saying this is road Broadcom has traveled before.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I speculate VMware/Broadcom will license vSphere to be resold with Horizon. It may be the only way to get stand alone vSphere without being a part of VCF.

      Beyond that, Horizon can run on ANY hypervisor if the VMs are unmanaged (meaning not created through vCenter). I’m betting you’ll see a few hypervisor partnerships before long. Also, as someone else mentioned, Horizon can run on pretty much any cloud provider. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of those cloud providers is a prospective buyer.

  3. Rgen

    It’s time to move on. They are going to drive up prices and force you to sign subscriptions

    1. idoxde

      My exact thought the second I saw the word "subscription"

  4. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

    VMWare just became irrelevant to me.

    Fortunately my VMWare Workstation 17.5 license is not time-limited, so I don't have to jump off the tool base yet.

    But the writing is on the wall. A new solution must be found that provides me with the same key capabilities, and perhaps some new twists and improvements.

    It isn't like spinning a VM in a new VM hosting environment takes all that long with modern hardware and so much of my work out on the network in the first place. As long as it runs Ubuntu 22.04 LTS amd64, I'm golden.

    1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

      > Fortunately my VMWare Workstation 17.5 license is not time-limited,

      For now......

      1. l8gravely

        KVM on linux works nicely...

        KVM can be clunky at times, but it does work and work well. It's the VMotion that people will miss the most. But Cisco has been screwing that up with their various software packages that freak out for some reason if you VMotion them, which kinda defeats the entire purpose of having them be VMs in the first place....

        1. TheVogon

          Re: KVM on linux works nicely...

          Vmotion equivalent is completely free on Hyper-V Server 2019 and supported for a while yet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: KVM on linux works nicely...

            "Vmotion equivalent is completely free on Hyper-V Server 2019 and supported for a while yet."

            The same Hyper-V which, aside from being a bug-ridden shit show, is being replaced by the costly (and even more buggy) Azure Stack HCI, a product which really only exists to push Microsoft customers hostages into the cloud?

            So from the frying pan into the fire?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: KVM on linux works nicely...

              Azure HCI doesn't replace Hyper-V. That is hybrid cloud. Difference use case / product.

              The replacement to Hyper-V Server is later versions of Windows Server but the difference is that those cost money whereas as Hyper-V 2019 is completely free with all features enabled. And outperforms say KVM. With a much lower attack surface too as Hyper-V Server doesn't sit on top of a standard OS.

        2. Crypto Monad Silver badge

          Re: KVM on linux works nicely...

          KVM supports live migration (= VMotion) just fine. Live migration of block storage too.

          KVM is just the hypervisor: it's more a question of what tooling you're using to manage it. However, even libvirt + virt-manager can do live migration.

          For most people, Proxmox is a good place to start. You get a web interface, clustering, containers, ZFS, bundled Ceph, and a whole bunch of other stuff. You can apt install it on top of Debian, or you can just install their ISO image.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Workstation is not an EUC product.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's OK

      You were clearly irrelevant to them before the merger.

      Vmware didn't care about you, or most of it's Fusion customers, or any of the tiny essentials customers for ages now. But the smaller teams in VMware that supported them made modest but smaller cash flow, and had at least a few huge accounts that kept management from getting bored and walking away. For fusion it was exactly ONE big customer that was offering a mac based vm cloud, used extensively for testing and QA by basically everybody. (Not just vmware, they are also why there are rack mount kits for apple machines again on the apple store.)

      But really the warning signs have been there for a while, and the exodus has already started. Most of us can grumble and shuffle over to HyperV, or put on the big boy pants and containerize stuff for a hybrid/native cloud-lift.

      But anyone who's sane will jump early and not wait till the last min or till they are pushed. These aren't trivial migrations for anyone who isn't playing in a home lab. You should all be way past the "thinking about thinking about it" phase. You should at least have done the risk analysis and have a hypothetical migration plan mapped out, costed out, and sitting in a folder. Don't wait till the shoe drops. It's not like the warning signs haven't been clear enough.

  5. mevets

    spun out?

    The monitor is the same in desktop and server variants. So, if I buy this spun-out desktop division, I get the crown jewels with it? I can then use that to make my own junior-virtzilla ?

  6. MadocOwain
    Coat

    Thanks for the push!

    I had forgotten to get my update to 17.5 for Windows, now all I have to do is hold on to this version with it's permanent license until Microsoft breaks it.

  7. Mr D Spenser

    Get your popcorn ready

    Between this earnings call and what was said during the all employees meeting, Hock Tan has laid out the road map for the demise of VMware. Nothing he has said bodes well for customers or employees. No doubt we will see some high profile departures of both employees and customers over the next year. Anyone taking odds that Tan is one of them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get your popcorn ready

      Stock price December 1, 2013: $52.88

      A decade later, stock price today: $927

      Do you need me to connect the dots, or is the answer obvious for you? Blame Hock Tan & Broadcom all you want, but Wall Street loves this business strategy.

      1. JoeCool Bronze badge

        misdirection

        Op is talking about the VMware product. You are showing stock price, which BTW is driven by expected future earnings mostly, not love of a strategy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Mistaken as to who he's talking to at least

          This is the Register, an IT site, not the Wall Street Journal. We care about actually USING the products these companies intend to run into the ground, not how much you made of making it happen. Though that valuation is also a measure of how much the sellers took off the buyers here, and that beautiful shiny soap bubble will pop shortly when Broadcom starts to make the VMware buy look like Twitter.af

          I'd make sure someone else had the bag by then too. Plenty of VMWare people will be heading for the doors with their payout money after the merger and any waiting period. Then their stock will tank along with their projected earnings. CA's offerings had more lock in and less alternatives. Symantec sells snake oil to even bigger scammers like Best Buy. (go ahead and try to sue me, we all know where the bodies are buried, you paid bounties to employees to illegally search through peoples computers looking for porn, engaged in revolving billing scams, and put the hard sell on garbage warranties.)

          VMware customers are a bit better informed, and the friction to port to another virtualization platform is MUCH lower. That will get the ball rolling, and Broadcom's management style will be to slash all the parts of the operation we care about most(Support, R&D, QA) and place the resources in the ones we can't stand (agressive robocalls and sales lead teams, superbowl ads that don't mean anything).

    2. Old_JP

      Re: Get your popcorn ready

      Started already in Ireland - 360 jobs going in the new year from the Cork operation

  8. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

    Losing strategy

    "Our strategy going forward is to enable global enterprises to run apps across datacenters and public clouds..."

    It's just wrong in so many ways. They are going after the deepest pockets, as if the global players don't know anything about accounting, when the world's largest enterprises got that way by providing goods and services to the consumer market. They should also consider that somewhere amongst the SMBs they are casting aside is the next Amazon. On the desktop side, many of the apps their target market wants to virtualize are destined for the desktop, but soon VMWare won't have a client for them.

    Retail stores understand that if you stock only high margin items then most customers won't even come in the door. Software is an even more difficult business because the low margin / high volume units are actually free as in beer. It's hard to quantify the benefits, but there is a reason why successful businesses give away some software while also selling similar software.

    Didn't RedHat just make the same mistake with CentOS? I predict both these moves fail. Expect a future earnings call explaining that targets were missed due to unexpected outside forces, followed by golden parachutes safely deploying.

  9. Fred Daggy Silver badge
    FAIL

    I must remember to short some of this stock

    "Developers, Developers, Developers"! Few fields are like IT, where practitioners might also ... just do it at home for fun. (I certainly hope the local brain surgeon doesn't take their work home, and doing the financial books for a local business over the Christmas break is not my idea of a relaxing holiday). Motor mechanics and perhaps Aviation fields. Balmers rant, really, was about mindshare.

    VMware used to be the answer to the virtualisation question. It used to be Nokia for pre-smart mobile phones.

    Broadcom basically have said ... we don't want the spare change. And there won't be any freebies either.

    Well, guess what, Broadcom just pissed away all the good will of the at home hobbyist, but paid for Infrastructure Engineer. There may be a short term uptick in revenues in one year converting to subs. But I think there will not be renewals as (nearly) everyone works out .... we can do all this somewhere else. Time for the bonus to be paid and the C-suite to jump on to the next Merry-Go-Round.

    But Vmware is a dead, corpse walking. Just like a Nokia charger cable in 2023.

    1. Matthew 25
      Go

      Re: I must remember to short some of this stock

      My Nokia charger has come in quite handy actually. I have a battery powered desk fan I have converted to run from it.

  10. trindflo Bronze badge

    "little succour"

    little succour "loser suckers!"

    I think that is more like what we are being offered.

  11. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Might want to be careful

    They might want to be careful there. I mean, if they totally ignore small users, then techs will not be able to cut their teeth on a small scale use of vmware, like it, recommend it for larger use. They may have decided they have plenty of customers already but that could certainly limit long term growth of their customer base.

  12. Platinum blond(e)

    The classic sausage game

    The thing to remember about AVGO is, their playbook has been the same through each and every acquisition. Target an entity who's dominant in a slowing market. Keep the groups with biggest profits and discard the rest. Jack up the prices while continually shaving heads to meet the AVGO margin requirements. In this way, squeeze every drop out of the acquisition as it slowly dies on the vine (looses customers and talent/employees). Line up the next target as soon as the last acquisition closes. Lather, rinse, repeat to generate buzz and keep fueling the margins and prop up the stock price.

    For those employees retained, AVGO dangles lots of RSUs. But the remaining heads will have to work harder and harder to cash those in. That works for many but not for all. For the other employees, AVGO provides reasons to consider moving on. Like currently for the VMW folks, get them upset about RTO.

    AVGO have done this for every acquisition. Why fix what ain't broke? And WallSt likes good margins, they dont look too closely how it gets done as long as it gets done.

    Source: I worked for an outfit before it was pulled into this meat grinder. Heard from many what it was like to be cast off. And retained.

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