VMware by Broadcom has a licensing portability win with Microsoft

If only customers could find their keys after support portal migration

VMware by Broadcom has won Microsoft's support for its license portability plan.

The two tech giants late last week announced that subscribers to the VMware Cloud Foundation suite (VCF) will be able to use their entitlements on Microsoft's Azure VMware Solution.

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan has said license portability is a key benefit of what he describes as the "business simplification" he has brought to VMware. The scheme means subscribers to VCF – a suite that enables the creation of logical software-defined datacenters that span on-prem and cloudy environments – can apply their licensed capacity to resources of their choice, and even to mix and match those resources as needed.

With most of the big hyperscalers using discounts to lure customers into multi-year commitments, license portability means users have a means to ensure cloud capacity they've already promised to pay for can be put to good use.

This deal means VMware users can acquire their VCF licenses from either the vendor itself, or Microsoft, when signing up for the Azure VMware Solution.

Microsoft joins Google Cloud in the VCF license portability club. AWS – VMware's first hyperscale pal to offer a jointly-engineered service – can't currently match that offer after Broadcom decided that only it, and its channel, would resell the service in the future. That edict led to an odd situation in which AWS promoted itself as an alternative to its own service.

While Microsoft agreeing to license portability is a plus, The Register has been made aware that finding license keys is currently challenging for some VMware customers after the virtualization pioneer's support site was merged with Broadcom's.

We've heard from customers who say their licenses and other entitlements aren't appearing in the Broadcom site, while social media posts suggest that the situation has persisted for weeks.

Others have complained that, despite following Broadcom's support account migration advice and process, their new account is yet to be activated – meaning access to licenses is not possible and VMware by Broadcom may not honor entitlements.

We've even seen a VMware staffer take to social media to ask customers if their migrated accounts are yet to be approved, so they can make a "big push to get this sorted." The staffer even has a "tracking list" of those suffering from this issue.

The migration to Broadcom's support portal also proved controversial, as it saw VMware security advisories disappear from public view. Registration for the portal was required to see them – a most unusual practice as in the infosec community it's generally felt that allowing news of vulnerabilities to be seen far and wide is best practice.

Broadcom quickly reversed the decision after backlash, and brought its vuln reports back into public view. ®

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