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WWT has had many conversations around this topic between May 2022 and November 2023. While rumors swirled, some customers cautiously explored potential actions and considered alternative options. Evaluations mostly surrounded how these technologies might (or might not) compare to the current architecture. As we all know, the acquisition of VMware officially happened on November 22, 2023 and changes were put in place almost immediately. Since the acquisition's completion, there has been a notable increase in discussions. The tangible effects experienced by our customers, as well as ourselves, are real and have been met with a wide array of emotions.

As we did our own research, testing and tracking in these different areas, we found a trend that coverage was a bit myopic. Most content of this issue jumps into something along the lines of "What technologies are out there, here's a giant list, good luck!" Don't get us wrong, understanding what's out there and the differences between these technologies is an important step in the journey. As a matter of fact, you can find our thoughts about different technologies in this episode of WWT Presents. However, understanding the "Why should we even do this?" is equally, if not more, critical. The reasons below highlight these reasons from the many conversations we've had across our customer base.

VMware is expensive now, let's move off.

If the main driver to move off VMware is that the prices have gone up, let's pause and understand the realities of these efforts. For enterprise customers, migrating off VMware will most certainly cost more than renewing license agreements, even if the prices are 5x what they used to be. Migrating to a different solution will at a minimum require new software. Whether the path is another proprietary solution or an open-source one with enterprise support, there will be a cost associated with the core hypervisor. Taking timelines into consideration, we often find that customers will end up paying for both solutions for some time. This adds to the complexity of the efforts when taking budgets into consideration.

Digging deeper, some solutions may require new hardware, ancillary products (think backups, disaster recovery, automation, etc.), and architectural designs. Additionally, do not overlook the cost of the migration efforts (if needed) to a new platform. Mapping, planning, scheduling, testing, application downtime, and the time needed to migrate the underlying storage all needs to be considered and add to the overall burden. These efforts are often overlooked with respect to the overall cost of moving away from VMware.

We don't know why, but we're worried like everyone else.

This is not the #1 reason (albeit, close), but is completely reasonable. The market has been turned upside down overnight, there's a lot of coverage, but not all customers are in the same place with respect to license renewals and the level of pain potentially being felt. Customers who fall in this category often just want to know what's out there, what other customers are doing, how far along they are, and is this something that's serious enough to invest time and money in.

Other customers who fall into this category are also those who may be on board with the Broadcom vision of VMware, staying with or planning on implementing VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF), and simply doing their due diligence. Following Broadcom's vision for VMware is a viable direction and one that shouldn't be immediately dismissed. This does introduce an opportunity for customers to look into optimization of hardware and license consumption. While we are seeing an enormous uptick in alternate technologies interest, let's not ignore the fact that VMware has been the gold standard in the data center for many years and still has the leading technology and greatest level of 3rd party integrations.

Introduce a dual vendor strategy and reduce risk and exposure.

By far the most popular and talked about strategy for enterprise customers is introducing a dual vendor strategy often leading to reducing risk and exposure. A common strategy for customers is to employ a multi-sourcing strategy for any critical technology. This means that on any given day, their level of effort to move to or buy from two x86 vendors, two storage vendors, two network vendors, and deploying applications to multiple public clouds, has little to no impact on operations and can be done with relative ease. The acquisition of VMware by Broadcom has exposed this dual vendor strategy as lacking as it relates to the hypervisor.

Furthermore, this often leads to a reduction in risk and exposure for the business. Multi-hypervisor adoption, despite initial challenges, empowers customers to adapt investments (increase, decrease, or pause) in response to external market pressures, ultimately reducing business risk. It is worth noting that introducing a dual vendor strategy does not mean having the ability to freely migrate between the two without an outage to the application being hosted on the virtual machine.

There are two popular choices when we discuss a dual vendor strategy. Deploy and migrate, which as mentioned above can introduce additional complexities for migration planning and execution. The other popular choice is to deploy assuming a true greenfield where no migrations (or minimal) will occur. The thought is that any new applications that need to be deployed will be pointed to this environment. This option is a popular choice when thinking about the intricacies that are involved in not only migrations but also trying to re-architect a "like for like" environment. A lot of customers will use this path as a catalyst to designing a new architecture and question what has historically been considered "requirements."

Initial discussions with customers often start with the thought of complete removal of VMware but quickly shift to multi-vendor and/or optimization strategies due to the complexity of existing VMware integrations. Regardless of the approach, most enterprise customers will, for some time, have two hypervisors in their data center (and potentially two strategies for many ancillary products) as migrations can take months to years depending on scale.

Worried about the future of the technology.

From the time the intent to acquire VMware was announced to the day the acquisition officially closed, there were a lot of rumors. Some turned out to be wildly untrue while others turned into reality. These range anywhere from layoffs, price increases, and product sell-off, to name a few. It's clear that Broadcom is testing the market with what will and won't work. Customers are reacting with differing degrees of actions which may (or may not) adjust Broadcom's course in the future as it relates to VMware's portfolio offerings. The combination of these events has left many customers with a sense of uncertainty which drives efforts to evaluate alternatives. While we believe that the core VMware technology isn't going anywhere, it does raise questions about other portfolio products in the future.


The acquisition of VMware by Broadcom has sent some of the biggest ripples ever seen in the industry. Often and understandably, these conversations start with an emotional reaction to all of it. It's important to slow down, understand the realities, and lay out a plan with realistic expectations. WWT has published briefings, research papers, and workshops to go through these strategies and dig deeper into what technologies may or may not make sense for customers. A wealth of information can be found on our main Virtualization Platforms page.

If you have additional questions, reach out to your WWT account team to find out more.