Broadcom halves subscription price for VMware’s flagship hybrid cloud suite

Broadcom halves subscription price for VMware’s flagship hybrid cloud suite

They've also scrapped the ability to purchase perpetual licences; and added a vSphere bundle for smaller organisations. Plus, don't miss Day 8 of our Advent Competition!

Published on 13th December 2023

Advent Competition

Looking for today's advent competition clue? Head to the bottom of the article to find it.

Broadcom’s VMware Cloud Foundation Division has announced what it’s described as “a dramatic simplification of our product portfolio,” plus the end of perpetual licenses and a move to subscriptions – some at half their previous price.

The Cloud Foundation Division is a Broadcom business unit dedicated to VMware’s server virtualization, private and hybrid cloud products – such as vSphere, VSAN, and Cloud Foundation. It’s the core of the old VMware.

A Monday announcement reveals the Division has made the following changes:

“I expect most VMware customers will be angry at the sudden termination of the way they’ve bought vSphere for the last two decades, and more so by the forced march to new products if they want support,” Gartner VP analyst Michael Warrilow told The Register.

“It’s likely to be a nightmare to finalize the conversion of existing VMware perpetual licensees, particularly if there’s a corresponding move to per-core (as was the case with vSphere+)” he added.

Cloud Foundation Division general manager Krish Prasad has positioned the changes as the culmination of pre-acquisition efforts to simplify VMware’s portfolio.

“This shift is the natural next step in our multi-year strategy to make it easier for customers to consume both our existing offerings and new innovations,” he wrote in an FAQ that accompanied the announcement. “VMware believes that a subscription model supports our customers with the innovation and flexibility they need as they undertake their digital transformations.”

While the immediate cessation of perpetual license sales and accompanying support deals is jarring and will rightly not be appreciated by customers whose procurement plans must now change to fit Broadcom’s strategy, VMware long ago signaled its intention to move customers to subscription licenses.

The virty giant did so, in part, because it changed software development practices to prioritize work on new features for subscribers who ran its wares in clouds and/or SaaSy configurations. Broadcom is therefore continuing VMware’s past strategy and argues that it will improve customers’ ability to innovate. Which is just what VMware has said for a couple of years now.

The new vSphere Foundation should be understood in the context of VMware’s long frustration that many of its customers don’t look too far beyond its core private cloud offerings. Adding ops management tools may see some larger vSphere users pay more attention to those products. But The Register has often heard that VMware sold its Aria products in bundled deals, and was not entirely displeased if they ended up as shelfware. Nothing in this announcement will stop customers choosing to ignore whatever tools are bundled with vSphere Foundation.

The price cut to Cloud Foundation subs was unexpected. Broadcom had pledged not to increase prices, but never hinted at cuts – never mind halving the price for subs! Many VMware customers will see that as a pleasant surprise, given Broadcom’s past actions to hike prices after acquiring CA and Symantec.

Between the price cuts and retention of smaller vSphere bundles, Broadcom may have dispelled many fears.

But it has still left many users with plenty to do. As Gartner’s Warrilow pointed out, negotiating the end of perpetual licenses will neither be welcome nor easy, as it’s not value-adding work and will likely require some forced migration for those who hold licenses and support contracts for older software.

Advent Competition: Day #8

Today's teaser is:

Last month saw the first transatlantic flight by a large passenger plane powered only by alternative fuels.

But what's the missing letter of the airport it landed at when it reached New York?


Check out tomorrow's article for the next teaser.


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