VMware by Broadcom plots pair of Cloud Foundation releases that will show off its strategy

But unhappy European buyers have called for regulators to step in

Exclusive VMware by Broadcom will deliver a significant update to its flagship Cloud Foundation bundle in the middle of this year and follow it up with a major update early in 2025.

Both releases will show off Broadcom's plan to make the package easier to implement and operate, and hopefully assuage customer concerns about price rises.

More on that later. First, the updates.

One release is currently scheduled to debut in July, according to Paul Turner, vice-president of product management and the leader of the VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) team. The release will allow use of a single license key for all the components of Cloud Foundation, improve OAuth support as a step towards single sign-on across the VMware range, and add an NSX overlay that will allow implementation of software-defined networks without requiring IP address changes.

Turner explained those features as exemplifying the sort of simplification VMware by Broadcom thinks is needed to make Cloud Foundation easier to implement.

A bigger release Turner hopes will debut in early 2025 – though he would commit to only a H1 launch – will be a "unified" release in which more of VCF is better integrated.

Today, Turner admitted, VMware customers may have implemented vSphere and the Aria management suite, but might still need or choose discrete storage for each. Future VCF releases will increasingly unify the products so that silos aren't needed.

Prashanth Shenoy, vice president for VMware by Broadcom's cloud platform, infrastructure, and solutions marketing, told The Register the release will be called VCF 9 and will represent "the fullest expression of Broadcom's vision for product integration."

"When customers deploy VCF there are seams – when they deploy networking and storage, they feel like they do not have a unified developer or operator experience," Shenoy admitted. VCF 9 will tidy that sort of thing up and make the process "seamless."

Buyers can also expect improved log file analysis, the ability to acquire templates from a marketplace and adopt them as PaaS, and plenty more.

Turner and Shenoy told The Register that the two releases are hoped to make VCF adoption easier, and by doing so demonstrate the value of the bundle. Today, they argue, would-be hybrid cloud adopters using VCF are in reality integrating siloed products – which doesn't prove the value of the vStack well.

VCF 9's planned integrations, they argue, should demonstrate the power of the stack and the wisdom of Broadcom's decision to create a VMware unit dedicated to VCF. That team, they explained, means developers for each of the bundle's components work together on a unified experience, rather than to create their own product.

Contentious licensing

It may also demonstrate the value of VMware by Broadcom's new licenses – which some users have complained are considerably more expensive now that subscriptions are required, and products are only sold in bundles.

Sylvain Cazard, president of Broadcom Software for Asia-Pacific, told The Register he feels complaints about bigger bills for VMware products under Broadcom are groundless. Customers who use two or more components of VCF today will pay less under the new arrangements, he argued.

Others who feel their bills are increasing may have failed to understand that Broadcom's bundles include support, Cazard noted. VMware previously sold support separately.

Cazard, Turner, and Shenoy all told The Register that those who feel the end of perpetual licenses is unfair have not recognized that VMware had become a holdout for such deals, even as subscriptions came to dominate the industry.

If those arguments have reached the ears of big VMware buyers in Europe, they're not going down well. The Register has learned that Euro-cloud consortium CISPE and others will on Tuesday each send a letter to senior European Commission politicians with oversight of monopoly policy to call for an investigation of Broadcom's conduct as owner of VMware.

The letters, signed by representatives of four tech industry lobby groups – France's Cigref, Belgium's Beltug, German group Voice, and CIO Connect of the Netherlands – states "Broadcom's contempt and brutality towards its customers are unprecedented in the recent history of the digital economy in Europe."

"This is an issue whose economic and political dimensions must be fully understood," the letter declares, making it a matter that "cannot be left exclusively to competition law technicians."

The letter also labels Broadcom's conduct "unfair" and harmful to competition, as it will strengthen the position enjoyed by hyperscale clouds – which is the opposite of what Broadcom said would happen once it acquired VMware.

Competition-focussed newswire MLEX, meanwhile, last week reported that European competition authorities have already contacted Broadcom over its VMware licenses.

All of which makes those new VCF bundles potentially even more important. ®

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