Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO), a global technology leader, completed its acquisition of VMware, Inc. in November 2023. This acquisition has led to significant changes in VMware’s licensing model, which many businesses are now facing. As a business leader, it’s crucial to understand these changes and their potential impact on your company’s infrastructure costs.

What is VMware?

VMware’s technology allows multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical machine, enabling more efficient use of computing resources. If your data center used to have many devices but now only has a server or two, VMware or similar technology likely played a role in reducing systems, capital costs, electricity costs, and other efficiency increases. VMware has also been instrumental in building the infrastructure that supports cloud computing.

The Licensing Changes

The recent Broadcom-VMware licensing changes include:

  1. End of Perpetual Licenses: VMware has ceased selling new perpetual licenses and now exclusively offers subscription-based licensing. This will impact how customers budget and plan for VMware costs going forward.
  2. Consolidated Offerings: VMware has consolidated its offerings into two main bundles – VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware vSphere Foundation. This could increase customer costs, especially those previously using standalone VMware products.
  3. Potential Price Increases: The transition to subscription-based licensing is expected to lead to significant price increases for some customers, potentially doubling or even tripling their costs. This will impact IT budgets and operational expenses.
  4. Partner Program Changes: Broadcom has ended VMware’s partner agreements, requiring existing resellers and service providers to reapply. This could disrupt customer negotiations and access to favorable licensing terms.
  5. Customer Dissatisfaction: Many VMware customers are frustrated by the licensing changes, with some considering switching to alternative virtualization and cloud solutions. This could lead to disruption and migration costs.
  6. Transition Planning: Customers must carefully assess their VMware usage, audit existing licenses, and develop a roadmap to transition from perpetual to subscription-based licensing. This will require significant planning and budgeting.

Implications for Business Leaders

Info-Tech Research Group, the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, produces unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. GBQ IT services partners with Info-Tech to provide strategic IT advisory services and to bring its research and guidance to GBQ clients.

According to Info-Tech Research Group, the ramifications of these subscription changes pose significant challenges and opportunities for VMware customers, spanning cost management, potential vendor entrenchment, regulatory compliance, innovation adoption, and operational flexibility.

As a business leader, you should closely monitor these changes and work with your IT and finance teams to mitigate the risks. Engaging with your technology leadership is crucial to identifying the impacts on your company and making sure planning for the change is underway.

GBQ’s IT Services team can help with this conversation directly or by extending our Info-Tech advisory services to help with your infrastructure and strategy challenges with this change.


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