VMware Changes: Understanding New VMware Licensing and Products

VMware by Broadcom logo imposed over a wave-like background image, signifying different vmware changes that have been made.

The recently announced changes to VMware’s licensing model and product offering have left many customers with many questions. Broadcom’s decision to make these substantial changes has many users scrambling to understand what it means for their organization and reevaluating their virtualization efforts.

We hope this blog helps demystify the new VMware licensing model and Broadcom’s slimmed-down product slate. We will also include our recommended VMware solutions for customers choosing to stay with the virtualization provider.

The New VMware Licensing Model

One of the most notable VMware changes is the move away from perpetual licenses towards a subscription-based model.

Traditionally, customers purchased perpetual licenses for VMware products. Under the new model, customers must subscribe to access the software, aligning with the broader cloud-consumption industry trend toward subscription models.

The shift to a subscription-based model offers benefits like:

  • Continuous innovation
  • Faster time to value
  • Predictable investments

The new VMware subscription approach has also moved to a core-based license rather than socket (CPU) licensing, which reflects VMware’s adaptation to modern hardware capabilities and configurations.

With this change, organizations need to carefully assess their core usage patterns to determine potential cost implications.

An important note to education and nonprofit customers: VMware has discontinued their discounted rates for your organizations, transitioning those to retail pricing.

VMware Product Reductions

The second of the two major VMware changes is the weighty reduction of its product portfolio. This streamlining effort aims to simplify their product landscape and create a more user-friendly experience.

This consolidation also potentially means:

  • Limited Feature Choice: Customers might no longer find an exact one-to-one replacement for their previously used VMware products.
  • Feature Loss: Some features previously available in individual products might no longer be available in the new bundles, possibly requiring additional add-on services.

Two Primary VMware Product Offerings

Moving forward, VMware is focusing on two primary bundles: VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) and VMware vSphere Foundation (VVF). Both are designed to be comprehensive yet extendable, with the opportunity to enrich through various add-ons.

VCF - VMware Cloud Foundation

VMware Cloud Foundation targets hybrid and multi-cloud deployments, offering a combination of on-premises and cloud resources. VCF combined vSAN, NSX, and vRealize Suite into a single, easy-to-manage solution.

VCF is the best choice for an enterprise-grade, private cloud infrastructure.

VVF - VMware vSphere Foundation

VMware vSphere Foundation focuses on private cloud environments, providing a suite of tools for managing and automating on-premises virtualization infrastructure.

VVF is tailored for smaller environments but can be a stepping stone for businesses that may later scale to the more comprehensive VCF.

VMware Products

VMware’s William Lam has a more detailed look into what everything that both VVF and VCF offer, as well as additional information on possible add-ons.

For a complete list of discontinued VMware products, please see the table included below in this article.

HBS Recommended Next Steps

Understanding the impact of these substantial changes is the first step for every VMware user. Here are the next steps:

  1. Review Existing Licenses and Usage Patterns: Carefully evaluate your current licenses and the product(s) you use.
  2. Consult with Virtualization Experts: Seek the guidance from tried and true virtualization experts who can help navigate the new licensing options and recommend the best solutions that fit your specific needs.
  3. Consider an Alternative to VMware: Remaining with VMware might be the best choice for you, but there are other solutions out there (our primary recommendation is either Nutanix or Azure Stack HCI). There’s also a chance you may not need virtualization at all.
You may want to give thought to a one-year VMware renewal—this will help buy you some time for long-term strategy discussions and future planning. Just know that a one-year renewal will not be as cost-effective as a multi-year contract.

Navigating the VMware Changes

You have a lot to consider. If you’re wrestling with these changes, please allow HBS and our team of virtualization experts to answer your VMware questions. Informed decisions during this transition will be critical as you align your organization’s IT and business goal strategies.

Reach out to HBS to explore all of your virtualization possibilities.

VMware Products No Longer Available

VMware vSphere Enterprise PlusVMWare vSphere Essentials Plus Kit (excluding new subscription offering)
VMware vSphere+VMware vSphere Starter/Foundation
VMware vSphere Standard (excluding subscription)VMware vSphere with Operations Management
VMware vSphere ROBOVMware vSphere Basic
VMware vSphere Scale OutVMware vSphere Advanced
VMware vSphere DesktopVMware vSphere Storage Appliance
VMware vSphere Acceleration KitsVMware vSphere Hypervisor
VMware vSphere Essentials KitVMware Cloud Foundation (excluding new VCF subscription offering)
VMware Cloud Foundation for VDIVMware Aria Universal Suite (formerly vRealize Cloud Universal)
VMware Cloud Foundation for ROBOvMware Aria Suite Term
VMware SDDC ManagerVMware Aria Operations for Networks (formerly vRealize Network Insight)
VMware vCenter StandardVMWare Aria Operations for Networks Universal (formerly vRealize Network Insight Universal)
VMware vCenter FoundationVMware vRealize Network Insight ROBO
VMware vSANVMWare Aria Operations for Logs (formerly vRealize Log Insight)
VMware vSAN ROBOVMware vRealize Operations 8 Application Monitoring Add-On
VMware vSAN DesktopVMware Aria Operations
VMware HCI KitVMware Aria Automation
VMware Site Recovery ManagerVMware Aria Automation for Secure Hosts add-on (formerly SaltStack SecOps)
VMware Cloud Editions/Cloud PacksVMware vRealize Automation SaltStack SecOps add-on
VMware vCloud SuiteVMware Aria Operations for Integrations (formerly vRealize True Visibility Suite)
VMware Aria Suite (formerly vRealize Suite)VMware Cloud Director
Cloud Director ServiceVMware NSX Threat Prevention to Gateway Firewall
VMware NSXVMware NSX Advanced Threat Prevention to Distributed Firewall
VMware NSX for DesktopVMware NSX Advanced Threat Prevention to Gateway Firewall
VMware NSX ROBOVMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer (excluding Subscription, SaaS)
VMware NSX Distributed FirewallVMware Container Networking Enterprise with Antrea
VMware NSX Gateway FirewallVMware HCX
VMware NSX Threat Prevention to Distributed FirewallVMware HCX+

HBS Is Here to Help

Whether you're choosing to stick with VMware and their new licensing and reduced product offerings or you're looking for a different virtualization solution, HBS wants to help.

Allow our team of experts assist in evaluating you current environment, considering possible alternatives, and even migrating if necessary. Contact us today to request a meeting.

author avatar
Carly Westpfahl