Wednesday, December 13, 2023

VMware Transition to Subscriptions

VMware (via Hacker News):

Broadcom’s close of the VMware acquisition has brought together two engineering-first, innovation-centric teams to help build the world's leading infrastructure technology company.


VMware has been on a journey to simplify its portfolio and transition from a perpetual to a subscription model to better serve customers with continuous innovation, faster time to value, and predictable investments.


Complete the transition of all VMware by Broadcom solutions to subscription licenses, with the end of sale of perpetual licenses, Support and Subscription (SnS) renewals for perpetual offerings, and hybrid purchase program/subscription purchase program (HPP/SPP) credits beginning today (effective dates will vary).

It says “all” solutions, but at least for now VMware Fusion is still available as a perpetual license.


Update (2023-12-19): Scharon Harding:

Broadcom is looking to grow VMware’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) from about $4.7 billion to about $8.5 billion in three years, largely through shifting the company’s business model to subscriptions, Tom Krause, president of the Broadcom Software Group, said during a December 7 earnings call, per Forbes.


Additionally, Broadcom’s layoffs of at least 2,837 VMware employees have brought uncertainty to the VMware brand. A CRN report in late November pointed to VMware partners hearing customer concern about potential price raises and a lack of support. C.R. Howdyshell, CEO of Advizex, which reportedly made $30 million in VMware-tied revenue in 2022, told the publication that partners and customers were experiencing “significant concern and chaos” around VMware sales. Another channel partner noted to CRN the layoff of a close VMware sales contact.

Via Rui Carmo:

Ah, the typical Broadcom acquisition playbook: lay off staff, drive up revenue as much as possible, and then maybe, if things hold out, not kill off all the product lines. Kind of sad to see VMware being milked like this, but virtualization has become a commodity market.

This licensing and support cutoff move is going to seriously annoy a lot of people who have built their entire IT (and hosting) landscape atop VMware, and I’m betting that many major customers (and partners) were caught completely by surprise and are now scrambling to figure out what to do.

Update (2024-02-28): Rui Carmo:

The amount of aggravation Broadcom has been causing VMware customers and parters is certain to become the stuff of legend in IT circles–Since getting wind of this I have been personally involved in at least three instances of major customers (one of them a sizable European hosting company) setting some hard dates for cutoff to another solution (either on premises or in the cloud), and smaller shops are already deploying KVM or Hyper-V in multiple shapes and forms.

Update (2024-03-17): Scharon Harding (Hacker News):

Broadcom CEO and President Hock Tan has acknowledged the discomfort VMware customers and partners have experienced after the sweeping changes that Broadcom has instituted since it acquired the virtualization company 114 days ago.

In a blog post Thursday, Tan noted that Broadcom spent 18 months evaluating and buying VMware. He said that while there’s still a lot of work to do, the company has made “substantial progress.”

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Subscription is a deal breaker!


“Users will continue to be able to purchase and use our favorite desktop hypervisor apps the same way they have been for the past several years.”

This sounds like they’ll continue with the same perpetual licenses as before, although neither post is totally clear.

I don't think VMware are in any trouble for now. Their real customers are enterprise not consumer, and they're thoroughly locked in on multiple fronts. Everyone else has options, both for desktop and bare-metal/core hypervisors. Though I'd be annoyed if Fusion/Workstation (they can both be used with a single licence) were to become subscription only and it ended up costing me more, I doubt that will actually happen, and as with Parallels, you're probably paying when the upgrades become available just to keep working on current platforms anyway, so this is probably one case where I really don't see a problem.

@Michael I have noticed that when I visit your blog, and even after reloading from origin in Safari (Cmd+Opt+R), the page is obsolete. Only by clearing caches (Cmd+Opt+E) and reloading can I get a new copy of the page. Using curl to request I note that you send two conflicting Cache-Control headers. Also that HTTP/2 fails, though this might be a curl bug as it's been observed elsewhere. It doesn't seem to be a problem on iOS, for some weird reason. Do you know what might be going on here? When I next see this, I'll try disabling extensions, but unless 1Password is doing something very odd, I can't imagine how an extension could be responsible since everything else is manually activated or a content blocker.

@Sebby Hmm, I wonder whether the conflicting headers are a WP Super Cache bug. I’m not seeing multiple headers when logged in. I’ll check the next time I post something whether I have to clear the Safari cache.

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