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The Future of Your Hypervisor: Evaluating Options After Broadcom’s VMware Acquisition

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Introduction

For years, VMware has been the unquestioned leader in enterprise virtualization and a core part of many organizations’ IT infrastructures. However, Broadcom’s $61 billion acquisition of VMware in late 2023 has sent shockwaves through the industry and left many VMware customers reevaluating their hypervisor strategy going forward.

While Broadcom has pledged to be a good steward of VMware’s products and continue innovating, the move has understandably made some customers nervous about cost increases or lack of support under the new ownership. This uncertainty has driven many to begin exploring alternative hypervisor solutions should they decide to leave the VMware ecosystem.

In this article we will be sharing some of the insights we have gathered from discussions within our customer base surrounding what their evaluation criteria and considerations are when evaluating alternatives for VMware solutions – specifically at the hypervisor layer.

Considerations When Evaluating Other Hypervisors

Switching hypervisors can significantly impact an organization’s IT infrastructure, performance, and operational workflows. VMware customers contemplating a switch to a new hypervisor should carefully consider the following factors:

Cost Implications

Analyze the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the new hypervisor, including licensing fees, hardware requirements, operational costs, estimated migration costs, enablement costs, and potential savings. Some hypervisors may offer lower upfront costs but require additional investments in hardware or have higher operational expenses. Consider both CapEx and OpEx implications, as well as potential savings from features that improve efficiency or reduce downtime. Ensure that you are factoring the learning curve that your team will have ahead of them with a new solution.

Hardware Realities

Beyond pure software costs, the suitability of existing hardware can significantly impact the decision. For example, some alternate hypervisors are tightly coupled with their appliance hardware, so adopters lacking compatible infrastructure would face costly rip-and-replace scenarios. Other more open solutions tend to have wider hardware support.

Ecosystem Dependencies

For most enterprises, the hypervisor is just one piece of a broader IT ecosystem. Solutions for backup, disaster recovery, monitoring, security and more may have built-in VMware dependencies and a lack of support for other in-market hypervisors. A wholesale hypervisor swap could disrupt operations if those ecosystem products don’t extend support. Evaluating integration efforts and working with third party vendors will be vital.

Migration Paths

Although the effort of migrating hundreds or thousands of workloads is daunting, some alternatives offer paths to reduce friction. Nutanix touts mobility between AHV and VMware via their hybrid solution. Open-source projects often have tools as well. But for complex multi-tier applications, considerable re-platforming work may still remain.

Feature Set and Capabilities

Compare the features and capabilities of the new hypervisor against VMware’s offerings. Consider whether the new hypervisor meets your requirements for performance, scalability, and reliability. Also, assess its ability to support future growth and technological advancements. Pay attention to features like live migration, storage and network virtualization, high availability, disaster recovery, and support for containers and cloud-native applications.

How CloudBolt Can Help

With so many technical, operational and financial factors to balance, VMware customers face a complex decision-making process as they ponder their future hypervisor strategy. Acting prudently, understanding requirements, and viewing the hypervisor through an ecosystem lens will be critical for organizations looking to evade Broadcom-induced turbulence.

For VMware customers utilizing CloudBolt as their self-service platform, the transition to a new hypervisor can be seamless and transparent to end users, thanks to CloudBolt’s robust support for multiple hypervisors. This unique capability means that even during a backend migration, users experience no disruption in accessing and managing their resources. CloudBolt acts as an intermediary layer that abstracts the complexities of the underlying infrastructure, allowing end users to interact with their resources as if nothing has changed from when they were managed in VMware. This approach not only enhances operational efficiency by reducing the learning curve and minimizing potential disruptions but also ensures continuity of service. By leveraging CloudBolt, organizations can undertake hypervisor migrations confidently, knowing that the end-user experience remains consistent and high-quality, thereby facilitating a smoother transition and adoption of new technologies.

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