Reduce risk from the Broadcom acquisition with VMware alternatives

By: Brad Parks

Breaking up is hard to do


The Broadcom acquisition of VMware concluded in November 2023 and the reality of the impact is seemingly worse than many had feared.  Notorious heartbreakers, Broadcom was quick to break up many aspects of VMware including price increases, license changes, and service provider program cancellations to name a few.


We hear everyone’s concerns loud and clear; it’s important to mitigate the risks and future-proof your IT landscape in the wake of these extreme changes.  As with any relationship, considering the pros and cons is important before you pull the plug.


At its core, VMware is a hypervisor company, so it makes sense to start there, but it’s equally important to think about how you are going to migrate and orchestrate across VMware and whatever comes next.  Clearly, Aria Automation (aka vRrealize Automation) is not an option if you are looking at non-VMware hypervisors.


VMware Hypervisor Alternatives

One of the main use cases for Morpheus is to turn on-prem hypervisors into a true private cloud experience. With over 1M VM’s provisioned, we have an informed perspective on what’s getting traction.


VMware still makes up the bulk of the on-prem hypervisor market but we’ve seen a significant uptick in the alternative hypervisors that we equally support including:


  • Microsoft AzureStack HCI provides integration between on-premises data centers and Azure, offering a consistent experience for Microsoft-centric organizations. We’ve not seen any of our customers going 100% AzureStack but it’s finding its way into the mix.


  • Nutanix AHV and Prism is a hypervisor and cluster management stack that Nutanix released to offer HCI customers a cost-effective alternative to VMware. Nutanix has dominated the HCI market for a long time, particularly in mid-size enterprises and project-based deployments.


  • Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is an open-source virtualization solution bundled with Linux. KVM has been proven in millions of deployments which is one reason it underpins most of the world’s cloud services. It comes in on-prem variants including Proxmox and Oracle OLVM.  In fact, Morpheus has been running its own hardened KVM stack (MVM) internally for many years.


The Broadcom-VMware acquisition is also causing organizations to look at their mix of on-prem and public cloud; platforms like AWS, Azure, and GCP offer a scalable and flexible alternative to on-premises virtualization by letting you run VMs in the cloud.


Shameless Morpheus plug here… we support all of the above so if you want to blueprint the applications in your service catalog and then provision VMs into VMware, AzureStack, Nutanix, KVM, or any public cloud you’ve come to the right place.


Looking beyond virtualization towards cloud-native alternatives

In the wake of the Broadcom acquisition of VMware, many organizations are accelerating away from traditional virtualization towards containerization and Kubernetes (K8s).  Why?


  • Open-Source Flexibility: Kubernetes, being an open-source container orchestration platform, enables enterprises near endless customization and extension and avoids vendor lock-in.


  • Cost-effectiveness and Community: Kubernetes leverages a robust ecosystem of contributors, ensuring continuous development, updates, and a wealth of resources available for troubleshooting and knowledge sharing.


Unfortunately, open-source options like K8s don’t have the same simplicity and tooling as VMware.  Like OpenStack, many organizations started down the K8s path only to realize it can be complicated to set up and manage.  Many larger enterprises are also now facing Kubernetes sprawl with different teams picking up and running with the K8s distro of their choice, leaving IT Ops to pick up the pieces.


Morpheus provides a built-in K8s distribution and cluster management utility for free as part of the platform including the ability to customize and add your custom packages.  You can also connect to your existing Kubernetes clusters and provisioned cloud-managed K8s (AKS/EKS/GKE) to provide consistent management and governance across heterogeneous K8s estates.


For those who want to skip the underlying stack completely, re-factoring applications to take advantage of cloud-native options enables offloading of operational responsibilities. These options include PaaS services like RDS and DynamoDB as well as cloud Functions from the major hyperscale providers.


Yes, I know we sound like a broken record at this point… Morpheus also lets you simplify provisioning and governance of cloud-managed PaaS and Functions leveraging our blueprint integration with DSLs including AWS CloudFormation, Microsoft ARM, and Hashicorp Terraform (HCL). It really is the best way to straddle legacy and cloud-native deployment patterns.

Broadcom Vmw Risk Mitigation Morpheus

Mitigating hypervisor risk with unified orchestration from Morpheus

There’s a lot to consider when weaning yourself off of VMware. The need for change is imminent as your ELA renewal inches closer – but it’s more complicated than many people realize.


The good news is that Morpheus has helped dozens of the largest companies on the planet reduce their dependency on VMware and embrace a unified cloud operating model across on-prem and hyper-scale environments. We’ve learned a bit along the way:


  • It will not happen overnight: It took decades for VMware to get tendrils into every aspect of the data center and it was successful because it had a great hypervisor.  Reduce your risk exposure by abstracting the hypervisor and making it a commodity, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.


  • There is no panacea: Some organizations have run towards 100% open-source options and have realized that they don’t have the tooling ecosystem that VMware has. This extends beyond the hypervisor into open-source developer platforms.  Look for proven and supported options that give you degrees of freedom without taking on more technical debt.


  • You will need help: Skills gaps are already one of the biggest challenges for IT organizations.  If you are looking into VMware alternatives, you need to be able to manage a variety of options with your existing skill set.  You also can lean on Morpheus to help you design an automation and orchestration solution to assist in your risk mitigation.


  • It will be worth it: Your business applications and your data are among your biggest differentiators. Use the Broadcom acquisition of VMware as a motivator to take back control of your application workloads and accelerate innovation.  Embrace hybrid cloud platform operations and worry less about the political drama with individual hypervisors and hyperscalers.


One of our favorite poster children is global pharmaceutical leader AstraZeneca.  They were ahead of the curve and traded in vRealize Automation for Morpheus a few years ago.  Since that time, they’ve utilized different on-prem hypervisors and public cloud services.  They continue to see greater developer agility, increased workforce productivity, and millions of dollars in savings.


Adopting a centralized orchestration platform that manages diverse infrastructure components, prioritizes enhanced automation, and supports hybrid cloud deployments is crucial to thinking ahead, even despite the Broadcom shroud. Whatever you decide to do, Morpheus will be there to simplify and streamline, and whatever level of breakup ensues, it won’t be as heart-wrenching as originally feared.


To help you evaluate your options we’ve developed a 90-day risk mitigation program that is consultative, affordable, time-bound, and services-led.  Yes, there is a unified software platform at the end of the rainbow, but we’d like to start by discussing your mitigation strategy, inviting you to a hands-on lab, and letting our experts share lessons learned from successful vRA migrations and private cloud implementations.


Worst case, you can honestly tell your CIO you are actively working on a risk mitigation plan and get some leverage over Broadcom when that ELA renewal comes around.  Best case, you take back control of your workloads, leapfrog your competitors, and enable a hybrid cloud platform operations strategy.


Ready to learn more? 

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