VMware alternatives

Cloud Service Providers Seek VMware Alternatives as Broadcom Acquisition Looms

Decoupling VMware from the stack accounts for 50% of new CloudStack projects!

The Broadcom-VMware deal has created huge uncertainty for many users over the last months. Enterprises may be able to wait to see the final outcome. Still, the service provider space, where margin and long-term product stability are key, is already looking to mitigate these risks.

Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware, a deal worth an eye-water $69 billion, was announced in May 2022, with Broadcom saying at the time, “the combined company will provide enterprise customers an expanded platform of critical infrastructure solutions to accelerate innovation and address the most complex information technology infrastructure needs.”. The deal was recently been approved by regulators.

But the deal has introduced a high level of uncertainty regarding future pricing policies and innovation strategies with existing customers.  With Broadcom’s focus on larger customers, demonstrated through acquisitions such as Symantec and CA Technologies, many companies are actively seeking alternatives that enable them to build a reliable, future-proof cloud infrastructure while effectively managing costs and fostering innovation.

In a recent survey (August 2023), 52% of organizations adopting Apache CloudStack cited VMware migration as a key driver for their implementation. This is up from only 8% of respondents 12 months earlier.

“In the last few months, we have seen massive interest in Apache CloudStack as an enabler for people to remove their VMware lock-in,”  says Giles Sirett, CEO of ShapeBlue – a leading global CloudStack integrator. “In terms of what’s driving our customer’s projects, the situation with VMware currently accounts for more than half of those projects.

Apache CloudStack gives organizations the ability to move to a mixed hypervisor environment and to decouple their automation layer from VMware.

Sirett continued, “For obvious reasons, organizations are worried now about their long-term dependency on VMware. Apache Cloudstack isn’t a like-for-like replacement but adds a translation layer between VMware and other tooling. As it supports multiple hypervisor types (including VМware, KVM, Xen & XCP-ng) it then gives organizations the ability to move workloads to alternative hypervisors seamlessly”.

If we look at those organizations, the majority are cloud service providers and telcos – which is logical as licensing costs are a direct cost of sale for them. However, it is also very interesting to see a number of traditional enterprise organizations also adopting the same approach.”

Apache CloudStack is a free-to-use open-source technology that allows organizations to build IaaS cloud environments or orchestrate their internal data centers. It presents one API, irrespective of the underlying hypervisor used.

Commenting on alternative hypervisors, Sirett added: “We’re seeing more organizations targeting KVM or XCP-ng as their hypervisor of choice going forward, but this is a long-term strategy: VMware continues to be part of the mix for most organizations”.

The migration from VMware to a CloudStack and KVM-based IaaS environments can not only save companies from long-term infrastructure issues and worries but seems to bring significant cost decreases.

In a recent analysis, comparing VMware’s IaaS offerings to to alternatives, it was shown that service providers could save 69% in ongoing licensing and maintenance costs by adopting alternatives.


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