Broadcom ends easy elasticity for VMware Cloud on AWS

Amazon is not taking this lying down, as shown by aggressive migration promotions

VMware by Broadcom has made another change to its licenses – this time by disallowing on-demand use of its software in VMware Cloud on AWS.

In an email sent to customers late last week, VMware by Broadcom stated: "To continue delivering you the best possible experience, we are moving to a subscription-only model for the purchase and consumption of hosts, meaning we are no longer supporting the on-demand model."

VMware Cloud on AWS was the virty giant's first and flagship hyperscale partnership as it was jointly engineered with AWS. As is the case with most cloudy services, it was elastic – if users needed extra capacity, they could summon new hosts in as little as two hours and dispense with them later. Pre-acquisition VMware also sold the service on one and three-year subscriptions.

The new arrangement means it's still possible to spin up new resources, but only with a one-year subscription. Self-service for new hosts has also been canned. A reseller or Broadcom must be involved.

Customers currently using the on-demand model have been told they must purchase an additional one-year subscription for those hosts by August 1.

Elasticity is a key benefit of cloud computing because it allows customers to use and pay for resources for short periods – even a few hours. That's vastly harder to do with on-prem kit, as wheeling in a server to cope with a busy morning is beyond most organizations. Self-service is also a huge element of both public and private cloud computing.

It's therefore hard to see how this delivers "the best possible experience" as VMware by Broadcom's email styles the change – especially as VMware services from Microsoft and Google both offer on-demand services that AWS now cannot.

The licensing change follows the early May decision by Broadcom to end AWS's right to resell VMware Cloud on AWS.

AWS is not taking this lying down.

The Register recently received an invitation to an AWS event where the cloudy concern will discuss its migration services for VMware infrastructure.

"The recent changes to VMware licensing have raised concerns among many IT leaders, leaving some wondering if VMware is the right platform for their future workloads," the invitation opens.

AWS also partnered with CloudBolt Software on a survey of VMware customers across North America. The resulting "CloudBolt Industry Insights Reality Report: VMware Acquisition Aftermath" found 30 percent of those surveyed are "extremely concerned" about the potential impact of Broadcom's acquisition of VMware on their business, while 46 percent are "very concerned."

73 percent of respondents expect VMware prices to rise by 100 percent or more. VMware by Broadcom insists its price changes are misunderstood and that the list price of its products have fallen.

Most respondents to this survey are yet to decide what to do with their VMware estate and won't for months because the majority have seven to 24 months before their current license expires.

The study also says there is no mass exodus of VMware users, most of whom intend to keep some of their estate or continue as they do now – while also trying to reduce risk.

And risks clearly exist for VMware Cloud on AWS customers who will soon be without functionality most users take for granted. ®

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