back to article VMware customer reaction to Broadcom may set the future of software licensing

Cancel your Netflix account. Delete Season 2 of House of the Dragon from your diary. This year’s must-watch drama will play out in three episodes that will appear in the early weeks of June, September, and December, when Broadcom reveals its financial results and perhaps also whether its model for software licenses is viable …

  1. Dimmer Bronze badge

    Know your customer

    Regardless of how you feel about it, Bud Lite is a good example. They had competition so they felt it immediately. I give it a year for other solutions to put a usable management interface on their product and Broadcom sees massive losses.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Know your customer

      Yes, if the product doesn't really add much value (and this can be convenience as much as functionality or performance) over a free alternative, then you should expect customers to wise up. And, let's face it, orchestrating VMs is as much down to the quality of the sysadmins as the hypervisor management. If this hasn't already, I'd expect this to drive the move towards env standardisation containers as a pre-cursor to something like Kubernetes (I know it's not suited for the job itself) to provision them. The exception being when you need Windows VMs for Exchange, MS Server, etc. But by then even Microsoft's offering might look appealing.

      And for companies that don't feel up the task themselves since they shot all their techies, there's a great opportunity for solution providers to come in and manage your server farm: the prospective savings on VM licences will more than pay for this.

      1. Dimmer Bronze badge

        Re: Know your customer

        We are doing a similar concept.

        We are all looking for a stable and affordable hypervisor.


        We are providing space on hardware at the Datacenter as a test environment for IT guys from different companies. We are working together as a group to find what works best with the idea of sharing what we find.

        Will try to post results. May take awhile.

    2. xyz123 Silver badge

      Re: Know your customer

      Didn't bud lite (the beer) sort of lose its existing customer base when they pivoted the product to be "THE beer for transexuals".....because what middle-america wants is to be (right or wrong) is associated with a transexual beer.

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: Know your customer

        Or, for people who aren’t complete cunts: they spent 0.00001% of their ad budget on a single trans influencer, and a million closet cases (like you?) got their panties (that they don’t want anyone to see!) all in a twist.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Know your customer

          The person making one of the biggest fusses about this was the imbecile known as Kid Rock. Seen shortly after his tantrum this in his club drinking Bud light. Recently appeared on Fox News wearing a Bud cap. He sells this shitty beer in his club, so after a brief period of virtue signaling he wants people drinking it again.

          Purely from a taste perspective and nothing to do with the politics or advertising, why does anyone drink Bud Light?

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Know your customer

            Honestly, I've heard more than one person say it's because they can drink more of it, since it contains relatively little alcohol.

            (I don't drink beer myself, so I have no personal experience in the area. If I did, though, I doubt I'd drink Bud Light, because water is cheaper.)

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    It would pay large Broadcom customers ...

    to get together and create a fund to pay to put missing features into an open source project. Then reap the benefit in a couple of years time.

    The trouble with this idea is the C-suit mentality "why should I pay for others to take for free" - thereby locking themselves into paying much more in the long term.

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    It takes time to change infrastructure, so Broadcom may well hit their next targets for the first couple of quarters as customer swallow the biiter pill. The real tell will be in a year or two's time. If revenues are still growing, they've pulled it off. If revenue starts to stagnate or drop, then they lost as customers have bailed.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      There'll also be a hard to quantify long term effect as the smaller customers they say they don't want eventually become bigger customers - of other vendors.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We had already migrated all of our internal virtual servers off VMWare starting last year. All customer hosted servers will be off in the next few weeks. We have been strong evangelists for VMWare for over 15 years, but they are done in our business.

      We are also talking with some large corporate and government clients who are looking to move off VMWare to help them develop a plan.

      As our other customers with their own onsite VMWare kit come to the end of their current support agreements, most of them are likely to move to alternatives.

      It doesn't need to take that long to move VMs, there are some very good migration tools and we have experience in moving between multiple hypervisors. The biggest issues can be around support products such as backup and monitoring, but there are alternatives. Again, we have the experience in deploying them.

  4. marky_boi

    We are moving to AWS

    Our company decided since we are already virualized we may as well jump in all the way after doing the sums... Bare metal was second choice with Broadcom a very distant third

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    its bullshit....

    Our costs went for $7,000 to $57,000 how the hell could bare metal cost that much for what were were doing.

    In the last 4 years we made maybe 2 requests for assistance both of which were referred to KB's articles.

    We will continue to use the perpetual license until it runs no longer, by which time we will have other solution's and VM won't have ANY of our business....

    1. Dimmer Bronze badge

      “We will continue to use the perpetual license until it runs no longer”

      Same here. But be vigilant on the exploits and mitigation , like the usb one that a guest can access the host.

      It seems that it is in the best interest of software vendors to supply buggy software. You are forced to the next version by them, the hackers or some regulation from the government, insurance or PCI.

      1. Simon 49

        Depends - in many/most cases there's a way to mitigate a known vulnerability elsewhere in the stack, it may be suboptimal, but may give the time required to migrate to another solution.

        I see 1/3 customers paying up, at least for now, 1/3 (who are already hyper converged) jumping to Nutanix (which I don't really understand, as that's a lot of upheaval for few features, less support of virtual appliances and almost as expensive), and the biggest 1/3 in my case going to KVM, as they already have a cadre of Linux admins.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tony Soprano/drug dealer business practices.

      ‘Give me tha fuckin’ money”

  6. ldo

    Actual Customer Defections ...

    ... will be inversely proportional to the volume of complaints.

    In other words, if you hear a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth, then that means Broadcom’s strategy is working. There is a certain kind of mentality among users of proprietary software, where they would much rather complain about what their vendor is making them do, rather than make the effective decision to end the pain by moving somewhere else.

    Those who decide to move, will do so, without making a big fuss about it.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Actual Customer Defections ...

      There's a lot of truth in what you say and just look at Oracle and SAP's customers for confirmation: they may hate it but they stick with it. However, I don't think VMWare has quite same connection to the C-Suite and once techies find an off-ramp, it may well see a lot of take up. Especially, when the beancounters see the jump in costs.

      I'm certainly going to be asking our team to look at alternatives.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Actual Customer Defections ...

        And one factor at play is that senior management often use applications strongly tied to the organization's DBMS, ERP, and other major software packages — but the virtualization system is pretty much invisible to them. Where they might resist ditching SAP in favor of something that would require them to learn a new interface, they won't much care about a switch that only the datacenter nerds need to understand.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boradcom is screwing everyone, Hard.

    We're lucky as we renewed our Vmware licencing and support last year with Dell for a lump less than VMware direct. for 5 years too.

    We've estimated that when we come to renew, based on current pricing estimates that we have gleaned, that we'll be looking at 5x increase.

    It's not the per core count I object to, nor the support subscription as we need support anyway.

    It's the bundling of stuff we don't need.

    We don't need NSX as our networking team like Cisco so we have ACI.

    We don't need all the Aria stuff as we have alternatives for that in place.

    We just want a bundle that is Enterprise Plus & Vcenter. Broadcom are trying to sell stuff we don't need nor want

    We will be looking at hyper-V and other alternatives when the time comes to renew.

  8. thondwe

    What do you get for "Support" anyways?

    A lot of sites have a lot of local expertise or a 3rd party support outfit, who more often than not discover the solutions on 'internet - forums/knowledge bases etc. Training is something else which usually costs extra.

    So what does "Support" actually provide - access to fixes for things that are broken - which arguably should be free? What else - "insurance" to allow C-suite to shout at someone when fan gets hit?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What do you get for "Support" anyways?

      I have heard some really horror stories about VMware support in the past. I doubt Broadcom will improve it.

  9. EricB123 Bronze badge

    "Ain’t technology grand? "

    No. it isn't. I'll bet the hunters and gatherers who were our forefathers were less stressed. Sometimes I wonder why we even bother with this BS.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Service Provider Perspective

    Service provider here running private pods, multitenant pods and both IaaS, BaaS, RaaS & managed services wrappers for private and multitenant workloads.

    We're looking at ~ 20% increase in licensing costs. We have to stick with it at the moment as our core service is built around it. Nothing else comes close to offering all the features we use & sell to customers. We also have a azure stack hub in the offing for multitenancy & let me tell you, it stinks. So many limitations on azure stack hub.

    We've made premier partner & our core counts are above minimum commit, however, it will have an impact on private pod design in future - tuning for 16 core single sockets on management clusters & minimizing data center licensing on management clusters by seeking non Microsoft alternatives. It's quite doable for us as we have a skilled team with good understanding of the stack, the ancillary ecosystems and how to re architect to minimize license hit ( distributed firewall & gateway firewall - i'm looking at you...)

    Bummer everyone else is feeling it - shady on Broadcom's side. If you're looking for a vmware Iaas, happy to help.. ;)

  11. Jibberboy2000

    Bye bye VMware, thanks for the past

    Anyone still wedded to VMware and Windows Workloads should be rethinking their IT futures, it’s dead and long gone from a point of anything being built new. I salute Broadcom for the action that will massively speed up people moving away of crappy large monolithic Windows Workloads that have no place in a modern tech stack. I’d say I feel sorry for folk still having to deal with the budget juggling of this Broadcom greedy change, but it’s going to be BAs PMs CIOs and CTOs and they are in those position because they choose to be and on a day-to-day basis they add very little value to the overall workings and running of Tech stacks and IT in company’s … so no let them suffer, it was either them or people like them who made the stupid decisions to continue with such antiquated fat licensing models they only have themselves to blame. Enjoy your late nights losers!!!

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